May 25, 2005

Financial Analysts Journal on the Eco-Efficiency Premium

I was pleasantly surprised to see FAJ publish this piece on the portfolio management implications (via backtesting) of using Innovest ratings. "The Eco-Efficiency Premium Puzzle" (Derwall, Guenster, Bauer, and Koedijk) is another decent article to contribute to our growing body of literature showing the legitimacy of using non-traditional data in stock picking. Moreover, I think the authors are correct is raising the possibility of "mispricing" based on the degree of outperformance and their use of a multifactor model to control for several traditional financial factors. Here's the abstract: Does socially responsible investing (SRI) lead to inferior or superior portfolio performance? This study focused on the concept of "eco-efficiency," which can be thought of as the economic value a company creates relative to the waste it generates, and found that SRI produced superior performance. Based on Innovest Strategic Value Advisors' corporate eco-efficiency scores, the study constructed and evaluated two equity portfolios that differed in eco-efficiency. The high-ranked portfolio provided substantially higher average returns than its low-ranked counterpart over the 1995–2003 period. This performance differential could not be explained by differences in market sensitivity, investment style, or industry-specific factors. Moreover, the results remained significant for all levels of transaction costs, suggesting that the incremental benefits of SRI can be substantial.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lloyd Kurtz said...

This is a strong study, and very much worth the attention of anyone interested in SRI.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Lloyd Kurtz said...

See also Dowell, Hart, and Yeung (2000) which shows than corporate environmental policies may be at least partly priced by the global securities markets.

10:39 AM  

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