Partner & Director, Sustainable Investing & Social Impact
Douglas Beal leads Boston Consulting Group’s client work with financial institutions on sustainable finance and investing. Prior to his current role, Douglas was the global head for economic development at the firm.
Douglas works with the firm’s largest banking and insurance clients to look beyond corporate social responsibility to total societal impact—which integrates social impact as a source of business value. Douglas works with corporate and investment banks to build and grow sustainable finance across multiple product areas and sectors, including climate transition finance. Douglas also works with investors and wealth managers on sustainable investing strategies and capabilities, with a focus on ensuring material environmental, social, and governance factors are fully integrated into investment processes across all asset classes.
Having lived overseas for 21 years, he has acquired extensive experience on strategies and organizational capabilities advising the private sector, governments, and development organizations in the US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. He has worked with several nations on their national development strategies and enablers of overall economic and socioeconomic progress.
Douglas is a cocreator of BCG's total societal impact (TSI) approach as well as the firm’s Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA), a statistical benchmarking tool used by many national government leaders and development organizations to improve economic and socioeconomic conditions. TSI and SEDA have been featured in numerous internationally read business newspapers and magazines, including The Economist and Financial Times.
He has served on the board of Save the Children in Hong Kong and currently sits on the advisory board for the Cornell Center for Global Sustainable Enterprise.
Financial institutions play a powerful role in funding global decarbonization. They can take several steps to ensure that their financing doesn’t worsen social inequity.
Corporate leaders have a pivotal role in bridging the divide between institutional sustainability commitments and day-to-day investing practices.
Financial institutions that lead on social tend to outperform. But there is no “net zero” for social—and banks are struggling to seize the opportunity.
An emerging form of blended financing and project structuring reaches out to private sector investors as partners in initiatives to benefit displaced communities.
Asset managers know sustainable investing is the new standard, but finding the best approach is challenging. Firms must change their tactics or risk being left behind.
Rising demand for sustainable investment presents wealth managers with a significant opportunity. For those set to accelerate their efforts, the current period, and its attendant pandemic-related sensitivities, is the ideal time to act.
To advance the battle, firms should focus on their underwriting and investment portfolios, internal emissions, and regulatory and reporting transparency.
For now, corporate sustainability spending may be curtailed. But investors believe that in the long run, ESG will remain a powerful driver of portfolio performance.
As environmental, social, and governance issues become material to business with increasing speed, investors must equip themselves to react rapidly and flexibly.
Nearly all nonprofits are being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. How should they respond?
Purpose can provide unifying momentum, but it won’t help identify the specific steps and actions corporations should be taking. Here’s a four-level approach.