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Lessons from history: How do you measure company ethics?

Can accounting standards help pave a way to better ESG monitoring?
Lessons from history: How do you measure company ethics?
  • Accounting standards have evolved over five millenia 
  • Applying better standards to ESG monitoring could help investors make better decisions

Investors need a new kind of numbers geek. For decades, in offices around the world, silent armies of accountants have been compiling the statements of profit and loss that shareholders depend on for tracking company performance.

Now, an emerging group of accounting disruptors think investors need to do far more than sort operating from net profits; they should also know which companies have the lowest carbon footprint and the most female board members. Identifying do-good businesses is not just about helping society and the planet, they believe, but avoiding investment risks that aren’t traditionally counted on a company balance sheet.

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