SIX’s Martina Macpherson discusses the cyclical nature of ESG and new green assessment tools

Sally Duros

Sally Duros

Freelance Editor

Martina Macpherson, the head of ESG Product Management at SIX, the Swiss Exchange Group, now Europe’s third largest stock exchange operator, spoke with Sally Duros for the John Lothian News ESG Podcast. In a wide-ranging conversation, Macpherson discussed her background and what brought her to SIX and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, as well as the evolution of ESG. She talked about the cyclical nature of ESG and whether it has run its course. Macpherson highlighted the importance of addressing broader systemic issues in management and decision-making processes in ESG, cautioning against the tendency to create silos in understanding complex problems. Various elements within systems, such as data, stakeholders, and impacts, are all interconnected. Macpherson critiqued the notion that “what matters gets measured,” arguing that not everything can be quantified, particularly in areas like social and nature risks. Qualitative approaches belong alongside quantitative metrics, referencing the complexity of assessing ESG factors within the limitations of traditional finance. Macpherson introduced the concept of intersubjectivity, a perspective that would incorporate both objective and subjective measures to foster systemic transformation in financial analysis and ESG considerations. A systemic approach is necessary to realize the full potential of ESG. Finally, she discussed new climate offerings by SIX including its SME Green Assessment Tool, developed with Greenomy, to help banks assess the sustainability of small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

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