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The United States are not among the best performers 18-01-2021

A new start ...

On 20 January 2021, Joe Biden, the new Democratic President, embarks on his four-year term of office.

At any rate, his plans are ambitious: more support for families, a fairer tax system, lower medical expenses, a strengthening of the ties with allies and accession to the Paris Agreement again.

However, he's faced with huge challenges. The coronavirus crisis is raging, unemployment remains high and relations with the rest of the world have soured.

... but a long way to go towards sustainability

The US still has a long way to go in terms of sustainability too.

The main reasons for this are: the large environmental footprint, income inequality, gender inequality in decision-making rights, weak scores on integration and opportunities for migrants, and the lack of solidarity among generations.

In order to be among the best performers in terms of sustainability and be admitted to our SRI funds, the US has to meet the criteria specified in KBC AM's Best-In-Class (BIC) country model. This analysis is built around five pillars:

  • General economic performance and stability;
  • Socio-economic developments and public health;
  • Equality, freedom and rights of all citizens;
  • Environment;
  • Security, peace and international relations.
Can Biden's ambitious plans be quick to turn the tide?

Despite President Biden's clear ambitions, it's far from certain that the US will pass our country screening in the future.

The fact is that US government paper does not deserve a place in your sustainable investment at present.

Are US companies then to be excluded in any case? No, a sustainable company denominated in US dollars may perfectly well account for a proportion of your SRI fund.

If you are curious as to the top three countries in the sustainability screening, be sure to check out www.kbc.be/socially-responsible-investment > Four reasons for socially responsible investment at KBC > Transparent communication.

Kenneth De Bruycker, SRI expert KBC Asset Management
"Our BIC country model has rated the US as unsustainable. Even now that Joe Biden as new president of the US is turning a new page, it remains far from certain that he will succeed in making the US one of the best performers again."

Editing ended on 18 January 2021. This document is a publication of KBC Asset Management NV (KBC AM). The information in it can be changed without notice and offers no guarantee for the future. Nothing in this document may be reproduced without the prior, express, written consent of KBC AM. This information is governed by the laws of Belgium and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of its courts.