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T. Rowe Price

Unlocking Impact Outside of ESG-Labeled Debt

Impact investing is often associated with ESG-labeled debt, including bonds with monikers such as “green” or “sustainability linked.” However, market participants may wish to expand the opportunity set to non-labeled, “vanilla” bonds. The broader range of issuers available can provide impact investors with the chance to back companies making societal impacts that are more tangible than with ESG-bond issuers.

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Why Impact Investing Needs Public Debt Markets

With most attention on private markets, investors could be missing out on the enormous potential that public debt capital markets could have on impact investing. In particular, the acceleration in issuance of publicly traded environmental, social, and governance (ESG) debt has highlighted publicly traded debt markets as one of the few places potentially capable of helping achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, a set of ESG related targets that are estimated to cost up to USD 7 trillion per year according to the UN.

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Impact Investing: Why It Matters Now More Than Ever

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the sustainability agenda. Social inequality has elevated issues like diversity, health care, education, and quality higher up the political and business agenda. For all investors, understanding
the implications for their investments is more important than ever as many seek to make a more active and conscious choice to favor companies that show clear leadership in sustainability, environmental, and social issues.

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What Makes an “Impact” Investment Manager?

Impact investing aligns the interests of stakeholders with shareholders, fiduciaries, and listed corporates to pursue positive social or environmental outcomes. While originally the domain of private investors, we believe the potential to capture and create impact in public equity markets has broadened tremendously over the past decade. Here in this Q&A, Hari Balkrishna discusses what an impact investment manager needs to build, manage, and measure an impact portfolio.

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