Does Wall Street really care about sustainability? This was one of the questions in the air at the Ceres conference last week, where managers of trillions of dollars of assets gathered to assess and advance the state of ESG/SRI/sustainable/impact investment.

Sprint/Nextel CEO Dan Hesse observed that he’s never been asked about Sprint’s sustainability initiatives on a quarterly analysts call–despite Sprint’s rapid rise up the Newsweek green rankings to #3. Anne Stausboll, CEO of investment giant California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), wasn’t surprised. There are three kinds of investors, she said: traders, raiders and owners. The traders are looking for short term gains, and they’re the ones on those calls. CalPERS sees itself as owners–with an investment horizon of 100 years–and just isn’t interested in those calls.

Often we find what we’re looking for. What is your company looking for?

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