In their book Sustainability, Technology, and Finance: Rethinking How Markets Integrate ESG, Georg Kell and Andreas Rasche explore the swiftly emerging and crucially important nexus among sustainability, finance, and technology.
Kell is Chairman of the tech company Arabesque, which uses AI and data to assess sustainability performance and guide investments. He is also founder of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Rasche is a professor of business in society and Associate Dean of Copenhagen Business School. Together with Martin Reeves, Chairman of BCG Henderson Institute, they discuss the bleeding edge of sustainability thinking.
ESG investment, Kell and Rasche explain, should be viewed through three lenses as they relate to technology. First, technological innovations, such as chemical recycling for plastics, shape firms’ ESG performance. Second, technological developments enable investors to assess ESG performance more accurately (for example, the use of blockchain tech to enhance supply chain transparency). Finally, the ESG investment agenda itself is influenced by technology; consider that Bitcoin mining creates significant emissions. Based on this three-lens framework, Kell and Rasche explain how technology can be a critical part of the sustainability solution.