Sustainable factor investing during the covid-19 pandemic

By Svetlana Borovkova & Ying Wu / November 2020

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China in early January 2020, the epidemic spread around the world at an extreme speed. In the past months, the coronavirus pandemic is the topic on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Subsequent lockdown measures have resulted in massive consequences for society, economy, health system, and other aspects of life. It is expected that the coronavirus crisis will trigger a worldwide economic recession.

There is no doubt that the world is changing due to the COVID-19. There are several prominent new trends emerging now, and they will define the post-corona world. One of these new trends is heightened attention to sustainable innovation. It is likely that antiquated, less sustainable companies will partially disappear, giving way to more environmentally and socially conscious organizations. This is partially due to the fact that sustainability requirements are important part of governments’ rescue packages.

This is a far-reaching and long term trend; however, the question arises, how sustainable companies have withstood the crisis so far, compared to less sustainable ones? This is the question we attempt to answer in this paper.