By Alexander Cheema-Fox, Megan Czasonis, Piyush Kontu and George Serafeim
We explore the world’s first set of financial accounting data on firms’ sustainable activities.
Though sustainable investing has grown in popularity over the past decade, measuring sustainability remains a key challenge. Investors often rely on environmental criteria—such as analyst ratings and carbon emissions—that are insufficient or rely on qualitative analysis. However, for the first time, with the advent of the EU’s Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities, investors have access to financial accounting data that follows standardized and transparent criteria for quantifying the percentage of a firm’s revenues and expenditures that align with sustainable activities. In a recent paper, we explore this novel dataset for a cross-section of large European firms, documenting patterns and analysing how firms’ aligned activities relate to fundamentals and environment ratings. We find that the EU Taxonomy data provide information that is distinct from existing sources and offers insights that can help investors and regulators, alike.