Over the past year and a half, the precarious financial situation of American workers has come to the forefront as millions of people have lost their jobs and millions more received only temporary hazard pay on top of low hourly wages. But while it's more visible now, living paycheck to paycheck or falling behind on bills isn't new to the many American workers who have faced persistent financial insecurity. With the growth in conversations around stakeholder capitalism, there is a significant opportunity for employers and investors to seize this moment and engage more fully on worker financial security, which is defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as the ability to fully meet current and ongoing obligations, feel secure in one's financial future and the make choices that allow one to enjoy life.
Sustainable investing is a growing industry, currently at more than $17 trillion in the U.S. Investors are increasingly using their influence to contribute to positive change, particularly as there is a growing recognition of the link between sustainability and financial performance. As the data come in on ESG integration, one of the many forms of sustainable investing, we are seeing that investing for good is often coupled with non-concessionary financial returns. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence from industry leaders including BlackRock Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. demonstrating that ESG funds offer higher returns than traditional funds and are more resilient to market downturns.