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A survey on ESG: investors, institutions and firms

P. Raghavendra Rau (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Ting Yu (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

China Finance Review International

ISSN: 2044-1398

Article publication date: 6 January 2023

271

Abstract

Purpose

Over the past two decades, the topics of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) have attracted an increasing amount of interest, reflecting a growing sensitivity of investors and corporations towards environmental, social and governance issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This survey offers an overview of the academic literature on ESG/CSR through the lens of investors, institutions and firms. We first discuss the definitions of ESG and CSR and their relationship to each other.

Findings

We next describe how ESG is measured and note problems with the measurement of and quality of ESG data and discrepancies between different measures of ESG. We then turn our attention to investors, examining what types of investors invest in ESG and the role of institutional investors in ESG. From the firm's perspective, we discuss why firms themselves conduct ESG. We also summarize the literature on the impact of ESG on firms: how ESG affects firms' financing, disclosure and reporting activities and firm performance. Finally, we describe other consequences of the focus of ESG and CSR on firms and investors.

Originality/value

This survey offers an overview of the academic literature on ESG/CSR through the lens of investors, institutions and firms.

Keywords

Citation

Rau, P.R. and Yu, T. (2023), "A survey on ESG: investors, institutions and firms", China Finance Review International, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/CFRI-12-2022-0260

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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