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Opinion
Matthew A. Winkler

Socially Conscious Investing Thrives Amid Pandemic

Stock values reflect a corporate trend toward doing the right thing for business reasons, especially in the market for renewable energy.

...for investors.

...for investors.

Photographer: Moriah Ratner/Bloomberg

At the moment when so many industries are staggered by the coronavirus pandemic, investors are beating the market by putting their money in companies committed to environmental, social and governance priorities favoring transparency, diversity and sustainability.

ESG is where profits are, signaling that doing the right thing increasingly is the smartest bet. The iShares exchange-traded fund investing in companies it thinks have “positive environmental, social and governance characteristics,” one of the largest of the type, produced a total return this year that is more than three times the performance of S&P 500 index.