I&PE, Investments for Pensions Europe
3 January 2012
Across central and eastern Europe, the extent to which countries have launched themselves off the ESG starting blocks varies greatly.
While western European investor have paid plenty of attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in Asia’s emerging markets, closer to home the emerging markets of central eastern Europe (CEE) have been neglected.
One of the reasons for the relatively weak ESG market and the small number of investors is the lack of information. “Few companies have understood the value of ESG data,” says Martin Pitura, managing director at GES Investment Services Poland. “And when published, the information is often poor.”
There is something of a west-to-east tilt. From Russia and the Ukraine, the further west you go, the more interested people are in ESG, believes Pinner. Poland is widely believed to be in the lead when it comes to ESG and on par with southern European countries. Companies in the Czech Republic and Slovenia are also quite advanced, while Turkey is ahead of the average on ESG.
“Because of the limited access to environmental and social information positive screening is limited,” adds Pitura. “Negative screening, however, is relatively common.”
Institutional investors are the most likely to push ESG in CEE as they are the first to think about new ideas and asset classes, reduced risk and good performances although external pressure can also come from a parent company.
By Nina Röhrbein