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This research aims at synthesizing the existing body of literature on the role of environmental, social and governance (ESG) during the Covid-19 global pandemic…
This research aims at synthesizing the existing body of literature on the role of environmental, social and governance (ESG) during the Covid-19 global pandemic, identifying the research agenda and perspectives on the role of ESG during times of economic turbulences and pointing to gaps and future research directions in this area.
A literature review of academic articles that focus on the role of ESG investments during the Covid-19 pandemic is conducted. These studies are identified based on searching/containing the keywords “ESG”, “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)”, “Sustainability” and “Sustainable Finance” in combination with one or more of the following terms: “Covid-19”, “Pandemic” “and Crisis”. Then, the authors explore the key directions/themes in these papers, and highlight the main gaps and areas that are evolving as future research opportunities.
The empirical findings provide overall compelling evidence in support of the role of ESG during times of crisis, especially when it comes to stock risk and volatility. For example, several studies report that ESG stocks are associated with superior stock performance (higher stock returns and firm value) during the pandemic, while other studies report that ESG act as a risk protection tool during times of crisis, as they document that ESG stocks are associated with lower volatility and lower downside risk during the Covid-19 crisis.
To the best of the authors knowledge, no review of the literature on the role that ESG plays during crises and pandemics has been conducted before. Thus, it fulfills this research gap in the literature.