Freelancer Anna Fedorova spoke to us on what it means to write about ESG – from why she is drawn to the topic to what she is most sceptical about.

Anna has been a freelancer for three years and does much of her commissioned work around ESG topics. Anna has a certain level of much-coveted freedom in her freelance capacity, which allows her to write on subjects that she cares most about. She can take the time required to write thoughtful, analytical pieces – getting to the heart of difficult questions around sustainability.

When asked why she likes writing on ESG, Anna told us: “ESG is tangible. I don’t want the world to turn into a burning ball of overheated air. I want global warming to be stopped in its tracks. With ESG writing it feels that there is some goal to do good and improve the world in some way”

Anna gave us a lot to think about. And when it comes to the process and challenges of writing about ESG, there were some points that really stand out:

  • Be specific – ESG has become an incredibly multifaceted topic that everyone wants to talk about – and is talking about. As such, it is harder to find topics within ESG that have not been discussed ad nauseum. Anna relishes her freedom to write in-depth, long-form pieces that get to the heart of issues that people might not know about: “ESG is being used as an umbrella term” Anna told us, “I like drilling deeper into ESG” and looking at themes with a more detailed lens.
  • Learn to love data – The most helpful information that anyone can give to a journalist about ESG is data. It’s also the hardest thing for journalists to get a hold of. Data creates a picture and tells the full story. Particularly with ESG, where scepticism grows with each new fund launch, data makes stories believable.
  • Greenwashing won’t cut it – Journalists like Anna feel more and more strongly that they need “to differentiate between what it sounds like and what it’s supposed to sound like. Ultimately, it’s a sales pitch, but what’s actually behind the fund?” Anna says that to cut through this scrutiny, it comes back to data: “you can see what the fund is investing in, its carbon footprint, what it’s measuring itself against”.

In JPES Partners’ own recent research – The Asset Management Agenda – we discussed how supply and demand of ‘green’ funds will undoubtedly increase, with PwC predicting that assets in sustainable investment products in Europe will reach €7.6 trillion over the next five years. With this, however, comes increased scrutiny and the need for accurate, well-crafted communications.