Discover ESG Investing in Emerging Markets for 2024

Wondering what's up with ESG investing in the year 2024? Dive into our article where we break it down in plain, human-friendly language. Find out why it's worth your attention, how you can get involved, and where your investments can make a real impact. We'll even chat about the challenges and what you can do to overcome them. Join us in making money and making the world a better place!

Arturas Svirskis

9/27/20234 min read

Ever heard of ESG investing? It's all about making money while also making the world a better place. In 2020, people invested a staggering $35.3 trillion in ESG-related assets, a huge chunk of the world's investments.

But here's the exciting part: ESG investing isn't just for wealthy countries anymore. It's spreading like wildfire in emerging markets, places like Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These are where most of the world's population resides, and where the global economy is buzzing. However, they also face some serious challenges, from climate change to poverty and inequality. ESG investing in these regions can be a game-changer, improving lives and creating a more equitable and resilient world.

In this article, we'll delve into the world of ESG investments in emerging markets. We'll explore the latest trends, savvy strategies, and key areas to watch in 2024. We'll also discuss the hurdles and risks that investors need to navigate and how to do so successfully.

What's Driving ESG Investing in Emerging Markets? Let's break it down in simpler terms:

  • Investor Enthusiasm: More and more investors, especially the younger generation passionate about the environment and society, are getting into sustainable investing. Did you know that 95% of millennials are interested in it? That's a huge number compared to 75% of the general population. What's more, a whopping 86% of millennials believe that focusing on ESG can lead to better long-term returns.

  • ESG Matters: Companies in emerging markets are starting to realize that ESG factors are vital for their success. Things like addressing climate change, upholding human rights, and practicing ethical business can significantly impact a company's bottom line. Companies excelling in these areas have even outperformed their competitors by nearly 4% annually between 2007 and 2019.

  • Supportive Policies: Some developing countries are actively promoting ESG through policies and regulations. For instance, China aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and has implemented measures to boost green finance and ESG reporting. India has launched one of the world's largest renewable energy programs and mandates that certain companies allocate 2% of their profits to corporate social responsibility initiatives. Brazil has established a national ESG strategy and provides incentives for sustainable agriculture and forestry.

Diverse Approaches to ESG Investing. If you're interested in ESG investing in emerging markets, there are various approaches to consider:

  • Review Your Portfolio: Take a close look at the companies you've invested in and assess their ESG performance. You can choose to support companies that align with your values and avoid those engaged in activities you disagree with.

  • Engage with Companies: You can actively engage with the companies you've invested in and encourage them to improve their ESG practices. This can involve constructive dialogues, voting on resolutions, or collaborating with other stakeholders.

  • Drive Change in the Industry: If you're up for a bigger challenge, you can work to change the way companies operate in your chosen industry. This may include advocating for industry standards, influencing other investors to prioritize ESG issues, or pushing for policy changes.

  • Invest in Impact: Consider putting your money into projects or companies that not only offer financial returns but also deliver measurable positive social or environmental impacts. This can encompass various asset classes and sectors, from microfinance and clean energy to affordable housing.

Promising Sectors and Opportunities for ESG Investing in Emerging Markets. Emerging markets offer a wide range of sectors and opportunities for ESG investment, depending on the specific needs and potential of each region. Some of the most promising and impactful sectors include:

  • Clean Energy and Sustainable Infrastructure: This sector plays a pivotal role in combating climate change and providing access to affordable and clean energy for millions. Emerging markets are expected to lead global renewable energy capacity growth, covering solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal power, and energy efficiency.

  • Healthcare and Biotechnology: With the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and rising chronic diseases, healthcare is of utmost importance. Opportunities lie in telemedicine, digital health solutions, diagnostics, vaccines, and biopharmaceuticals.

  • Education and Digital Inclusion: Ensuring access to quality education and bridging the digital divide are critical, especially for youth and women empowerment. This sector includes online learning, educational technology, mobile devices, broadband access, and e-commerce.

  • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security: Meeting the global demand for food while preserving natural resources is essential. Opportunities include organic farming, precision agriculture, aquaculture, irrigation, and plant-based protein production.

Challenges and Risks in ESG Investing in Emerging Markets. Despite the promising opportunities, ESG investing in emerging markets comes with its fair share of challenges and risks:

  • Data Quality and Availability: Obtaining reliable and consistent data on ESG performance in emerging markets can be a major hurdle. Investors often need to rely on multiple data sources, engage with companies and stakeholders, and verify information.

  • ESG Standards and Frameworks: The diversity and complexity of ESG standards and frameworks across different countries and regions can create confusion and inconsistency. Investors must navigate these standards while advocating for greater harmonization and alignment.

  • ESG Integration and Capacity Building: Some investors and companies in emerging markets may lack awareness and understanding of ESG issues and struggle to integrate them into their decision-making processes. Education and capacity-building efforts are essential to enhance ESG integration.

Final words:

ESG investing in emerging markets offers exciting opportunities to generate profits while contributing to positive social and environmental change. However, it also presents challenges, including data limitations, regulatory variations, and the need for education and capacity-building. By addressing these challenges, investors can unlock the full potential of ESG investing in emerging markets and contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive global economy.