ESG / Impact Investing Solutions
for Individuals

SMART (Sustainability Metrics Applied to Risk Tolerance)® Investing Solutions
SMART Investor Brochure Download

ESG: The GPS of Investing® 

At Gitterman Wealth Management, we refer to ESG as the “GPS of Investing,” in that we see many similarities between ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) data and a car’s GPS system.

What does a GPS system do?  It allows for information, accumulated through big data and artificial intelligence, to come into our car or handheld device, helping us navigate any given trip we’re taking.  GPS alerts us to things like traffic and hazardous road conditions, providing us with live feed information to reroute us when necessary.

ESG is a similar type of data set, giving us real-time information from all over the world about environmental, social, and corporate governance issues that companies are facing.  It is a risk mitigator and alpha generator, making it easier for us to achieve our investment goals safely.  ESG is the foundation of a good portfolio because it helps avoid the potential pitfalls and hazards of intangible asset risk, and will also allow us to vote with our money in ways that we cannot yet imagine.

Recent studies show that financial statements and reports on tangible assets represents about 13 percent of a company’s valuation.1  What then accounts for the other 87 percent?  Welcome to the world of ESG:

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Climate impact and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy efficiency, air and water pollution, water scarcity, biodiversity, and site restoration.

Human rights, local community impact and employment, child labour, working conditions, health and safety, and anti-corruption.

Alignment of interests, executive compensation, board independence and composition, and other shareholder rights.

For more information about our services and offerings, please feel free to download our free brochure below:

ESG: Values and Return

Since 2015, studies show that ESG outperformance opportunities exist in many areas of the market. Recent findings from more than 2,200 unique primary studies show that there is clear material evidence for the business case of ESG investing.4

SMART Investing Services act like your car’s GPS system to capture and filter through ESG data that is now available to investors. Recent advances in technology make it possible to utilize millions of data points to screen for the best companies across multiple industries. ESG metrics capture this data and allow investors to see what is imperative to stock performance, allowing them to make decisions in real time.

ESG analysis is the starting point and foundation of SMART Investing Services, but upon a client’s request, we can also add Socially Responsible (SRI) and Impact Investing metrics.


ESG is the foundation of our SMART Investing approach, and consists of the integration of environmental, social and governance factors into the fundamental investment process.  It is the process of using good information that is more readily available every day through big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to make decisions about what stocks you want to own.  Regardless of a client’s level of interest in a values-based approach, investing without ESG data is like driving without using your car’s GPS.  ESG Investing is the foundation of a good portfolio because it helps avoid the potential pitfalls and hazards of intangible asset risk.


Above ESG, we can also incorporate Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) screens into our process, where we can layer in a values-based approach with our clients by filtering out certain stocks or complete sectors.  Examples of SRI screens include fossil fuel, fire arms, tobacco, and many others.  SRI can also be used to drive investment themes such as climate change, access to clean water, gender equality, etc.  SRI screens can be layered on top of ESG screens, but they are not the same thing.


Impact Investing is an investment into a company with the intention of generating a measurable environmental and/or social impact alongside a financial return.  Many of the Impact investment options that we consider are linked to the UN SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals). For clients with an interest in having a measured impact on environmental and/or social issues, we offer a variety of private and alternative investment options and are continually evaluating the potential of others.

ESG, SRI and Impact Investing are three very distinct sectors, and each one builds on top of the other. If you would like to learn more about our SMART Investing Services for Individuals, please contact us for a free consultation.

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Jeff Gitterman is also an Associate Producer of the feature documentary film PLANETARY, in partnership with VIMEO, Reconsider Films, and Planetary Collective.


A complimentary viewing of Planetary Collective’s first short film, Overview, can be seen here:


[1] 16 Ocean Tomo, Backgrounder on Ocean Tomo 300® Patent Index (OT300):
[3]FACTS® is a registered trademark of Next Decade, Inc. Gitterman Wealth Management, LLC and Next Decade, Inc. are separate and distinct entities.
[4] Gunnar Friede, Timo Busch & Alexander Bassen (2015) ESG and financial performance: aggregated evidence from more than 2000 empirical studies, Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, 5:4, 201-233, DOI: 10.1080/20430795.2015.1118917a

About Our Firm

We’ve been fostering meaningful relationships for over a quarter century and are thought leaders in the Sustainable, Impact, and ESG Investing arena.

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