Doing Well by Doing Good: Win-Win Investing Through ESG

Is it possible to do the right thing and come out ahead financially, too? The answer is a resounding yes.

To fully live up to its Buddhist principles and fulfill its fiscal responsibilities, the Board of Directors of BCA and its Endowment Foundation (BCAEF), as well as its investment advisor, Angeles Investments, are committed to making investment decisions with a focus on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors. Each of these addresses non-financial aspects of businesses that a growing number of investors feel have a financial impact on corporate behavior.

We’re happy to report that this approach has reaped impressive real-world rewards: In 2020, despite the worldwide economic turmoil, BCAEF’s Growth Fund enjoyed a return 20.3% (net of Angeles’ fees), versus the benchmark return of 14.4%.

Let’s look at what these broad categories actually encompass. Environmental factors can include greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, and energy, water, fuel, or waste management. Social factors can range from human rights and community relations to data security, fair disclosure, labeling and marketing, health care access, and diversity and inclusion. And under the governance category would typically fall diversity of boards and personnel, shareholder rights, business ethics and transparency, and systemic risk management.

As a Buddhist investor, BCAEF recognizes the potential value in considering all of these factors in the investment process.