Social-minded millennials have new clout on Wall Street and are using it to reimagine the role of business in society, the opening keynote speaker said April 12 during the 2019 Spring Convening of the Center for Social Value Creation at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
“Millennials are earning and investing a lot more,” said Brian Werner, associate director of corporate business at Trucost, part of S&P Global. “What we’ve seen over and over again through our research is that this generation cares so much about environmental, social and governance issues — especially about climate change — and they want that reflected in their investment choices.”
Werner said companies have responded with financial disclosure reports that include details about environmental, social and governance initiatives. He said one-in-four investment dollars already go toward these causes.
“That’s only going to increase,” he told an audience of about 100 faculty, staff, students and alumni at Maryland Smith.
The spring convening, organized the same weekend as Smith Impact Day and Good Neighbor Day at the University of Maryland, included two lightning-round panels and a second keynote address from Scott Nash, founder and CEO of Mom’s Organic Market.
Supporting partners for the half-day conference included PwC, Unilever and Tata. The three companies are also founding members of the Coalition for Better Business within the Center for Social Value Creation.
Kimberlee Robertella Glinka, the center’s director, said the purpose of the spring convening was to help participants reimagine the role of business in society.
“We can do better,” she said during her welcoming remarks. “All of the individuals and organizations that you are about to meet today are working toward solutions that bring us closer to the new future — a world where companies, communities, society and the natural world collectively thrive.”