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Investor support for sustainable investments growing

1 October 2018

Global investment manager Schroders latest survey has shown that investors are increasingly of the view that sustainable investments will not hinder their returns.

The Global Investor Study, which surveyed over 22,000 people globally, found that investors are growing more convinced robust returns and positive impact are not mutually exclusive, with only a quarter expressing concern that sustainable investments would be detrimental to their long-term returns.

Along with European investors, those in the UK were among the least concerned about investing their funds in sustainable investments, while in contrast investors in Asia were most concerned (29%).

According to the findings, the desire to invest sustainably continues to grow in popularity, with 56% of investors having increased their allocations over the past five years. In addition, over two thirds (68%) said investing sustainably has increased in importance over the same timeframe.

The trend found greater traction among millennials than older investors, with 85% of those aged 18-36 stating it had become more important. This compares to 47% of those aged 65 and over.

Just under a tenth (8%) of UK investors said they did not really understand what a sustainable investment entailed and this prevented them going down that route. Other reasons cited included a lack of advice regarding sustainable investments (26%) as well as a shortage of information on how fund managers who invest sustainably are engaging with companies (27%).

Global Head of Stewardship at Schroders, Jessica Ground, commented: “This survey underlines the rapid growth of interest in sustainable investing. Specifically, it’s encouraging to see that investors no longer appear to be held back from investing sustainably by concerns that this approach may hamper returns.

“While the demographic differences were interesting, it was particularly interesting that knowledgeable investors were more likely to invest sustainably. This emphasises the work the industry still needs to do to educate all investors about the potential benefits of investing sustainably.”

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