A recent study by CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, reveals that some of the largest companies in the world expect climate change to pose a trillion dollar financial burden to their businesses. And, many of those effects are expected to be felt within the next five years.
The impact of ESG ratings on companies' cost of capital is on the rise. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, $32 Billion in loans are now tied to ESG ratings. That's up from $3 Billion just two years ago. However, the data is still controversial and inconsistent, as the ratings don't necessarily reflect actual performance on ESG metrics.
A 2017 study reported that companies with the highest ESG ratings outperformed the lowest-rated firms by as much as 40%. In 2018, Bank of America Merrill Lynch observed that "firms with a better ESG record than their peers produced higher three-year returns, were more likely to become high-quality stocks, were less likely to have large price declines, and were less likely to go bankrupt."
Decreasing meat consumption will not have as large an impact on the environment as many believe. Meat production does not generate more greenhouse gases than the transportation sector, and the continuation of meat consumption is necessary to sustain the increasing world population.