Nuveen’s latest investor survey has found that concerns about natural disasters and societal issues continues to drive ESG investing globally.
Nuveen’s 6th annual Responsible Investing Survey covers 1007 investors, including 332 who said they are currently engaged in ESG investing.
For ESG investors, better performance is their most important reason for participating in ESG investing, cited by 55% of respondents. More than 91% of ESG investors say that seeing the specific societal or environmental benefits of their ESG investing is essential. About 53% of ESG investors also say it’s hard for them to see those results – and 95% of those investors say they would invest even more if it were easier.
Among investors currently participating in ESG investing, 46% report above average returns and 43% say their returns are about the same as market returns were in the past year.
Many investors are turning their interest and concern regarding urgent societal issues into action when it comes to ESG investing. Two thirds of all investors agree that recent climate-related natural disasters have made them more interested in the sector. A majority of all investors (58%) would be more interested in shifting to an investment strategy if it had only investments with net zero carbon emissions. And 29% of all investors have talked to their advisor about investing in low carbon solutions that take climate risk into consideration; 24% have changed how they invest.
“The ESG marketplace is increasingly sophisticated, and investors recognize it is no longer enough for a company to simply claim they are committed to ESG principles,” said Amy O’Brien, Global Head of Responsible Investing at Nuveen. “We believe ESG investors are telling us that when they invest in a company that says it is ESG-focused, they want to see tangible evidence of that commitment in how the company runs its operations and behaves toward its key stakeholders. Indeed, authentic dedication to ESG management is a criterion that we now are applying across our entire investing platform,” said O’Brien.
“Evidence continues to grow that investors are not at all sacrificing performance when they invest with concern for urgent societal and environmental factors,” said O’Brien. “In fact, ESG-focused management is all about strengthening a company’s viability and sustainability for the long-term, with a measurable impact on fundamental performance.”