ESG factors - environmental, social, governanceAt William Blair, we consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors to be one of many considerations that inform our investment decisions.

For all of William Blair’s fundamental equity strategies, ESG factors are inextricably linked with our fundamental assessment of company management and financial statement quality as well as the sustainability of competitive strengths. Our research analysts provide a qualitative summary of what they view as each company’s relevant risk exposures. These issues are documented within our company recommendation reports and discussed by the analysts and portfolio managers during our regular team meetings.

In addition, third-party ESG company ratings are systematically incorporated into our research reports. These ratings are discussed as part of the original buy recommendation, depending on data availability and our assessment of materiality with respect to the investment thesis. William Blair currently utilizes ESG ratings from MSCI ESG Research and routinely monitors the research vendor landscape for additional ESG research inputs. We also continually seek expanded universe coverage and data quality improvement from our existing research providers.

From a governance perspective, our key focus is on shareholder value creation, transparency, oversight, and accounting policies. Environmental areas of focus include resource management, product innovation, renewable energy/water use, and reporting. Social considerations include human rights at the company and in the supply chain, labor/management relations, product/workplace safety, and community relations. The relevance of these issues varies by country, industry, and company.

  • Learn More About Our ESG Integration Philosophy
    ESG factors are inextricably linked with our fundamental assessment of company management and financial statement quality as well as the sustainability of competitive strengths. Third-party ESG company ratings are systematically incorporated into our research reports. And from a governance perspective, our key focus is on shareholder value creation, transparency, oversight, and accounting policies.
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  • U.K. Stewardship
    William Blair has received the highest ranking from the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) for the quality of our approach to stewardship.
    William Blair: A Tier 1 Stewardship Signatory
  • Japan Stewardship
    Learn about our approach to responsible ownership with regard to the guidelines set out in the Japan Stewardship Code, published by the Financial Services Agency in February 2014.
    Japan's Stewardship Code
  • Korea Stewardship
    Learn about our approach to responsible ownership with regard to the guidelines set out in the Korea Stewardship Code, published by the Korea Stewardship Code Council on December 16, 2016.
    Korea Stewardship Code
  • Read Our Paper, “ESG Investing and Portfolio Integration” 
    Interest in ESG factors is expanding at a rapid pace among institutional and retail investors around the world. In this paper, we provide an overview of the sustainable investment landscape, including investor adoption and implementation trends, as well as important sustainable investment themes from an industry perspective. We also explore the opportunities and challenges of integrating nonfinancial factors within traditional fundamental company analysis.
    Read our paper
  • Get More of Our Investing Insights
    Our thought leaders share their ESG-related insights on our blog.
    Read our related posts
  • Learn More About Our Community Engagement Efforts
    We are committed to being a long-term partner to the communities in which we live and work.
    Read about our efforts