Planetary Pulse - Wave 1

Sustainable investing - What investors want

The Planetary Pulse survey reveals answers to investor questions on sustainable investing.

Oct 19, 2021

20 minutes

The Planetary Pulse survey reveals answers to investor questions on sustainable investing.

Contents

01
Sustainable investing - What investors want
02
It's more about attitudes than age
01

Sustainable investing - What investors want

Wave Splashing On Sea
Investors have sustainable investing high on the agenda and while each have varying knowledge, understanding and attitudes toward sustainable investing, all want their money to have a positive impact.

Ninety One commissioned the second edition of the Planetary Pulse survey to find out. First, we asked investors what sustainable investing means to them. We share the results here. Second, we focused in on investing to tackle climate change, asking what it means to allocate capital towards the net-zero transition. We’ll reveal those results in our next survey release.

  • Our survey revealed a strong desire among investors to put their money to work to make a positive impact: three-quarters of investors believe that their money should be invested to make a difference. At the same time, return and risk remain the main determinants of any investment decision.
  • It also showed that expectations are high: a large majority of investors agree that sustainable investing – which we defined as ‘investing in countries and companies that seek to minimise their harmful, and/or maximise their positive, impact on society and the environment’ – is ‘vital for the future of the planet’, suggesting they think their portfolios can make a real-world beneficial impact.
  • What’s driving them to want to invest sustainably? The main cause appears to be mounting concern about the environment, especially climate change: more than half of the investors we surveyed cited world events linked to climate activity as a key driver for considering sustainable investments.
  • But the Planetary Pulse survey also highlighted a major knowledge gap: many people are still unsure what sustainable investing involves. It also revealed that sustainable investing often means different things to different people, and that investors have widely varying preferences for types of sustainable investment products.
Download wave 1 research findings (PDF)

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