Generation Investment Management, the investment firm chaired by former Vice President Al Gore, published a white paper this week encouraging businesses to adopt a sustainable capitalism outlook it says will support lasting, rather than short-term, economic growth.
Gore, along with David Blood, the senior partner of the self-described green investment firm, published a five-point plan titled Sustainable Capitalism to offer guidelines toward reforming the investment business. The proposals, according to the team, should help combat climate change and poverty while also boosting profit margins in the long term.
While we believe that capitalism is fundamentally superior to any other system for organizing economic activity, it is also clear that some of the ways in which it is now practiced do not incorporate sufficient regard for its impact on people, society and the planet, Gore said, according to Reuters.
Long-Term, Sustainable Profit Tactics
Blood, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said he hopes the five steps would reignite the discussion on how to put companies, investors and stakeholders on the path toward long-term, sustainable profits.
The pair suggested ending quarterly earning guidance from companies, which the pair said encourages executives and investors to base business decisions on short-term factors rather than long-term objectives. Companies have also been encouraged to to practice integrated reporting, meaning firms would combine their financial, environmental, social and governance performance into one report to identify how performance in one area affects another.
In addition, investors should identify and incorporate risks from potentially stranded assets -- meaning those that could potentially change in value under certain scenarios -- align compensation structures for finance professionals and executives with long-term sustainable performance, and encourage long-term investing by rewarding investors that hold securities for a certain number of years.