Mistra – Sustainable Investment Research Platform

The Sustainable Investment Research Platform forms one part of the research programme “Sustainable Investments and the Sustainable Company” which is funded by the Swedish MISTRA foundation and carried out by a number of Swedish, Dutch, German and French research institutions as well as Queen’s University Management School.

Sustainable Investments and Corporate Social Responsibility has increasingly become an economic issue among institutional investors, asset managers, mainstream analysts, and the business community. Sustainable investment screening that drives companies towards a sustainable development is growing in importance. Institutional investors actively engage with companies and they are likely to influence company behaviour towards a more sustainable development.

Our contribution to the second part of this research programme (2009-2011) will among others involve the compilation of a value-based environmental sustainability analysis of Scandinavian companies using the Sustainable Value approach. Furthermore, a carbon performance assessment of Scandinavian pulp & paper companies in the context of their European competitors using the Sustainable Value approach will be conducted in late 2010. The Sustainable Value approach is the first value-based methodology for the assessment of corporate environmental and sustainable performance.

The Sustainable Value concept assesses the use of environmental resources based on their relative contribution to value creation instead of their relative harmfulness. For this purpose Sustainable Value follows the example of the financial markets and uses opportunity costs to assess environmental and social burdens. Opportunity cost thinking allows to express the sustainable performance of companies in monetary terms. Sustainable Value does not require the monetarisation of external effects.

The results of this analysis will feed into the development of a Nordic value rating and the construction of a Nordic value index.

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