SINGAPORE (Dec 9): The efforts to promote sustainability in the financial community is gaining momentum. However, companies and their investors continue to debate whether being sustainable is profitable.

James Gifford, Credit Suisse’s head of impact advisory, citing a 2015 meta-study of 2,200 other studies by the University of Hamburg, notes that 55% of the studies show a positive correlation between being sustainable and having a higher share price, 37% report a neutral correlation and just 8% indicate a negative correlation. Accordingly, there is a good business case that sustainability pays, says Gifford at a recent forum on sustainable investing organised by The Edge Singapore.

There are, however, other authoritative bodies stating otherwise. For example, the International Monetary Fund, in a report on global financial sustainability published earlier this year, notes that there is no conclusive evidence for now that being sustainable has a positive effect on a company’s share price.

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