Technology and big data can lead to sustainable investments

Technology and big data can lead to sustainable investments

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Headquarters, J.P. at Park Avenue. Morgan Chase Tower, Midtown, Manhattan, New York.

Tim Clayton – Corbis | Corbis Games | Getty Images

Singapore – Although there is “nothing new” to sustainable investment, JPMorgan says technology has made it easier for financial litigants to consider non-financial metrics.

“The amount of data that we as investors can use to facilitate dialogue with companies is greater than ever,” said Jennifer Wu, the bank’s head of global fixed investment.

From artificial intelligence to big data and machine learning, information is now available to better measure environmental factors and their economic impacts, he said. For example, satellite images can be used to observe and measure a company’s actual environmental impact, such as pollution levels.

Noting the significant change in the last three or four years, Wu said, “This is a very powerful one.” “It’s not something we (before) had access to, but now it’s possible.”

Shows money

This could spell a positive shift to the sustainability agenda that has long lagged behind economic gains.

Ultimately, investors are often driven by financial returns, Wu noted. But the wide range of data means that banks can now do a better job of proving to customers the potential returns and losses of such investments.

Jennifer Wu is the global leader in JPMorgan Sustainable Investment.

J.P. Morgan

Policy is key

Today, policy directions are much clearer and more dedicated to governments, policymakers and institutions, and much more than I said three or four years ago.

Jennifer Wu

JPMorgan, Global Leader for Sustainable Investment

There is a lot of work to be done in this regard. However, Wu said he was “very optimistic”.

“Today, policy directions are very clear and committed from governments, policymakers and institutions, and this is far more than I said three or four years ago,” he said.

“Especially with Govit this year, one thing has become very clear: it’s very important, it’s very big and there is a great appreciation for how important it is that we have to be prepared for something that will disrupt everything,” Wu said. “In my mind, I’m very happy to have more constructive conversations with clients.”

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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