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Opinion: 3 Ways Investors Can Pressure Companies to Take Sustainability Seriously

Mindy Lubber, president and chief executive officer of Ceres Inc. Photograph by Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg
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Climate change and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are not political or partisan topics, and not limited to niche investors. Measuring and analyzing ESG information is becoming an important activity for any investor who seeks to optimize risk and return —a growing body of evidence shows that companies with strong ESG policies produce better financial results. Academic research analyzing 2,000 U.S. companies from 1993 to 2014 shows higher profit margins and superior risk-adjusted returns for those that made significant ESG investments to improve their performance on industry-specific material ESG...