This Harvard survey finds that sustainability gives a company:
- An annual above-market average return for the high-sustainability sample was 4.8% higher
- Lower share price volatility
- Much better return on equity and return on assets
It compares a matched sample of 180 US-based companies, 90 of which were classify as high-sustainability and another 90 as low-sustainability.
The classification was based on the adoption of environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies in the 1990s that reinforced a cultural commitment to sustainability.
Over an 18-year period (from the mid 1990s and until 2012), the high-sustainability companies dramatically outperformed the low-sustainability ones in terms of both stock market and accounting measures.
Read the survey extract here.