High ESG scores lower the cost of capital, study finds

BVWireIssue #244-3
January 25, 2023

cost of capital
beta, cost of capital, income approach, risk analysis, cost of equity, cost of debt

A recent paper says there is significant evidence that companies having a higher environmental, social, and governance (ESG) score have a lower cost of capital. While the “ESG score does not seem to have a significant impact on the cost of equity and the beta,” the paper says, the impact is on the cost of debt because “firms having a high ESG score can significantly obtain more leverage.” Researchers analyzed the relationship between the ESG score and the cost of capital of 600 large, mid- and small capitalization companies across 17 countries of the European region being a component of the EURO STOXX 600 Index. The paper is “The Impact of a Firm’s ESG Score on Its Cost of Capital: Can a High ESG Score Serve as a Substitute for a Weaker Legal Environment?” and the authors are Randy Priem (Financial Services and Markets Authority; Saint-Louis University, Brussels; KU Leuven; United Business Institutes) and Andrea Gabellone (United Business Institutes).

Please let us know if you have any comments about this article or enhancements you would like to see.