More than half of investors re now more concerned with environmental issues compared to pre-pandemic years, and 57% are more concerned with social issues, according to the 2021 Schroders Global Investor Study,
The study, which surveyed over 23,000 investors across 33 locations globally, found that 53% of investors still feel more data that demonstrates investing sustainably delivers better returns would encourage them to increase their allocations.
As little as 39% indicated they believed investing sustainably would generate greater returns.
Despite these findings, the majority of those surveyed revealed they would feel happy to move to an entirely sustainable portfolio. This was particularly the case amongst younger people.
“These findings have laid bare the growing expectations now being placed on asset managers when it comes to addressing climate change. We are focusing on ensuring the investments we manage for our clients are aligned to the transition toward a more sustainable planet, and benefit from the opportunities that transition will bring,” said Andy Howard, global head of sustainable investments at Schroders.
Calls for regular reports that highlight how investments impact sustainable objectives would motivate 40% of investors to increase allocations, the report found, while just over a third would like their investment manager to provide certification that their investments are in fact sustainable.
This follows a notable increase in investor scepticism surrounding the extent to which ESG-labelled products live up to the name, in addition to a number of high-profile cases of greenwashing.
In August, asset manager DWS refuted allegations that it misled clients about its sustainable investment activities following probes from regulators in the US and Germany.
Last month, the SEC launched a review into the use of green and social labels on investment products.
In the US, sustainable assets grew from $8.7 trillion in 2016 to $17 trillion in 2020.
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