De-jargoned: Glossary of ESG terms

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There are currently 12 relevant ESG terms in this directory beginning with the letter M.
Majority Voting
A system for proxy voting under which a director is required to receive a majority of votes to be elected. The specific procedures of majority voting systems vary. In some companies, candidates who receive more withhold votes than votes in favor are strictly refused a seat on the board. Majority voting gives shareholders more power to control the composition of the board, even in the absence of an alternative slate. [Source: Stanford: Corporate Governance Research Initiative]

Management Entrenchment
The degree to which management is shielded from the market forces and performance standards to which management teams are typically held accountable. An entrenched management is able to retain employment, despite poor performance or opposition from the board, shareholders, and/or stakeholders. [Source: Stanford: Corporate Governance Research Initiative]

In the sustainability context, information is material if there is a clear link to the financial performance of a company. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Refers to small loans from a microfinance institution granted to lower income entrepreneurs in developing and emerging market countries. These loans contribute to the development of local economies and therewith contribute to creating jobs and reduce poverty. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Microenterprises are those with ten or fewer workers. They are often unregistered businesses and run by financially impoverished people. Definition of microenterprises may differ across countries. [Source: First Affirmative Financial Network]

A range of financial tools (loans, savings, money transfers, etc.) provided by microfinance institutions and designed for people who do not have access to the traditional banking system. Microfinance products are typically offered to companies and individuals in developing and emerging market countries. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Microinsurance products are designed for individuals in developing and emerging market countries who do not have access to traditional insurance services. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Minder Initiative
Swiss referendum launched by a politician named Minder with the aim to reduce wage levels at Swiss companies. The adoption of the 'Minder Initiative' in March 2013 resulted in an Implementing Ordinance (VegüV), temporarily defining the implementation of this new article of the Swiss Constitution. The main principles are: annual mandatory votes for pension funds on board remuneration of Swiss companies and transparent reporting on votes, no severance payments for governing officers, regulation in articles of association of credits and pensions payable to governing officers, and custodial sentence for persons violating these principles. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Mission Based Investing
The incorporation of an organisation’s mission into its investment decision-making process. Most often used in reference to foundations and other non-governmental organisations working for social or environmental change. Mission-based investing ensures that organisations’ investments are aligned with the overall goals of the organisation itself and are helping, not hindering, the achievement of those goals. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Modern Slavery
Although no standard definition exists, modern slavery can broadly be thought of as the exploitation of people who are coerced into an activity by someone who “controls” them, often with violence. It can take many forms including forced or bonded labour, early or forced marriage or human and organ trafficking. [ Source: Allianz]

Montreal Carbon Pledge
Launched in September 2014, signatories of the Montreal Carbon Pledge commit to measure and publicly disclose the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios on an annual basis. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Moskowitz Prize
The only global academic award that recognizes outstanding quantitative research in areas of interest to responsible investors. Since 1996, prize winners have explored topics like shareowner engagement and the question of whether SRI investment strategies inhibit or enhance financial performance. The Moskowitz Prize is awarded annually at The SRI Conference. The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley conducts the review of applications. [Source: First Affirmative Financial Network]


  1. Allianz Global Investors, ESG Glossary, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  2. First Affirmative Financial Network, Glossary of Responsible Investing Terms, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  3. Global Affairs Associates, ESG Glossary, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  4. Invesco Ltd., Glossary: Understanding ESG jargon, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  5. Nuveen, LLC., Glossary: Responsible investing, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  6. Schroders Investment Management North America Inc., Understanding sustainable investment and ESG investment terms, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  7. Stanford Graduate School of Business, Corporate Governance Research Initiative, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  8. Swiss Sustainable Finance, Glossary, Retrieved: September 12,2020

Disclaimer: This glossary is NOT intended to be an authoritative reference document. All information in this glossary is for educational use only. This glossary has been compiled based on public domain information available on the websites of the mentioned sources. While due care has been taken in compiling this glossary, ESGSense does not assume any liability for any inaccuracy or factual error. Any term or definition mentioned here does NOT constitute financial or investment advice. ESGSense assumes no liability for any financial decisions and/or investments made on the basis of information gained from this glossary.