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Investors Back Greenwashing Rules, Survey Shows

Three quarters of fund buyers want tighter rules to ensure managers do what they say on sustainability and impact

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
Investors Back Greenwashing Rules, Survey Shows

Fund investors want tighter rules around sustainable and impact funds to ensure the products they buy do what managers say, according to a new poll.

A survey of more than 1,000 Canadian investors by the Responsible Investment Association (RIA) found that 75% of respondents are either very or somewhat concerned by greenwashing in investment fund marketing.

In addition, 78% say they either strongly or somewhat agreed that regulators need to put the investment industry under greater scrutiny to weed out misleading materials and behavior.

“It’s clear that investors are thinking about social and environmental issues and want their portfolios to reflect their concerns,” said Patricia Fletcher, CEO of the RIA. “This is an opportunity for financial advisors that are knowledgeable about responsible investing to meet investor demand and provide investment opportunities that align with their clients’ ESG preferences and personal values.”

At a time when states are split broadly on political lines over whether ESG and sustainability concerns should influence investment decisions, the RIA’s survey finds that — for Canadians at least — investors agree that responsible investment “can have a real impact on the economy and contribute to positive change for society”.

The survey follows a similar report from asset manager Nuveen of US investors that shows more than three quarters (76%) believe ESG considerations should always be factored into investment strategies.

Two thirds (67%) agree that responsible investing strategies could lessen the impact of climate risks on businesses. On top of this, 80% say it is important to view ESG and sustainability as a long-term approach to investing.

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