Integrating Sustainability Risks in Asset Management: The Role of ESG Exposures and ESG Ratings

Journal of Asset Management, Vol. 21(1), 2020, 52-69.

37 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2017 Last revised: 14 Aug 2020

See all articles by Benjamin Hübel

Benjamin Hübel

HUK-COBURG Asset Management

Hendrik Scholz

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Date Written: November 21, 2019

Abstract

The rising sustainability awareness among regulators, consumers and investors results in major sustainability risks for firms. We construct three ESG risk factors (Environmental, Social, and Governance) to quantify the ESG risk exposures of firms. Taking these factors into account significantly enhances the explanatory power of standard asset pricing models. We find that portfolios with pronounced ESG risk exposures exhibit substantially higher risks, but investors can compose portfolios with lower ESG risks without harming risk-adjusted performance. Moreover, investors can measure the ESG risk exposures of all firms in their portfolios using only stock returns, so that even stocks without qualitative ESG information can be easily considered in the management of ESG risks. Indeed, strategically managing ESG risks may result in potential benefits for investors.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; ESG ratings; ESG exposures; stock returns

JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14, G23

Suggested Citation

Hübel, Benjamin and Scholz, Hendrik, Integrating Sustainability Risks in Asset Management: The Role of ESG Exposures and ESG Ratings (November 21, 2019). Journal of Asset Management, Vol. 21(1), 2020, 52-69., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3091666 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3091666

Benjamin Hübel (Contact Author)

HUK-COBURG Asset Management ( email )

Germany

Hendrik Scholz

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg ( email )

Lange Gasse 20
Lange Gasse 20,
Nürnberg, 90403
Germany

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