Public Equities as Impact Investments
Public companies create impact due simply to their global reach, deep supply chains and communities where they operate. Asset managers can enhance the impact and performance of public equities by actively allocating to those having a positive influence on society and the planet.
Impact investing is a relatively new term, used to describe investments made across many asset classes, sectors and regions. The Global Impact Investing Network defines impact investing as made with the intention of generating social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. There is an ongoing debate in the impact investing community as to whether public equities can count as impact investments. At ClearBridge, we believe large public companies are already having an impact at scale that can be measured, and that we can further drive impact by being intentional active investors through our allocation of capital and direct engagement with company managements. Many globally relevant issues, such as environmental exploitation, renewable energy generation and labor rights, can be addressed by directing capital in the traditional public equities markets toward or away from the institutions central to those issues.