ESG and impact investing - statistics & facts

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, and impact investing is a growing trend around the world, with the aim to have a positive impact on society. This form of investing is a response to global challenges such as climate change and inequalities, and many investors believe that the coronavirus outbreak will bring even more importance to the topic. The most common approach to investing sustainably among investors in 2020 was through ESG integration - by explicitly and systematically factoring ESG issues into the investment decision. This approach is creating impact by forcing companies to report how they are dealing with important environmental, social, and governance topics. Impact investing is more direct, yet not as common, and targets explicitly positive environmental and social outcomes - such as placing capital in businesses or funds with a clear environmental or social focus.

What is driving the growth of ESG and impact investments?

The growth of responsible investments is driven by several factors; from regulators, impacts on risk and return, and client demand. The main motivations for considering ESG factors among investors are that they believe it can improve investment returns and reduce risk, and that society expects it. The main motivations among impact investors are that they have a mission to pursue impact through their investments, and that impact investments are central to their commitment as responsible investors.

What are the barriers to wider adoption?

Despite the strong motivations and commitments towards responsible investing, ESG and impact investors still see challenges ahead. In general, investors' main aims are financial gain and risk mitigation, whereas there is a widely held belief that ESG investments involve accepting lower returns or higher risks. Impact investors also see the risk of impact washing as a main challenge for the industry over the next five years. Impact washing, or greenwashing, is when a business or fund claims to act with a positive impact but in reality, is not.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "ESG and impact investing".

ESG and impact investing

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ESG and impact investing - statistics & facts

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, and impact investing is a growing trend around the world, with the aim to have a positive impact on society. This form of investing is a response to global challenges such as climate change and inequalities, and many investors believe that the coronavirus outbreak will bring even more importance to the topic. The most common approach to investing sustainably among investors in 2020 was through ESG integration - by explicitly and systematically factoring ESG issues into the investment decision. This approach is creating impact by forcing companies to report how they are dealing with important environmental, social, and governance topics. Impact investing is more direct, yet not as common, and targets explicitly positive environmental and social outcomes - such as placing capital in businesses or funds with a clear environmental or social focus.

What is driving the growth of ESG and impact investments?

The growth of responsible investments is driven by several factors; from regulators, impacts on risk and return, and client demand. The main motivations for considering ESG factors among investors are that they believe it can improve investment returns and reduce risk, and that society expects it. The main motivations among impact investors are that they have a mission to pursue impact through their investments, and that impact investments are central to their commitment as responsible investors.

What are the barriers to wider adoption?

Despite the strong motivations and commitments towards responsible investing, ESG and impact investors still see challenges ahead. In general, investors' main aims are financial gain and risk mitigation, whereas there is a widely held belief that ESG investments involve accepting lower returns or higher risks. Impact investors also see the risk of impact washing as a main challenge for the industry over the next five years. Impact washing, or greenwashing, is when a business or fund claims to act with a positive impact but in reality, is not.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "ESG and impact investing".

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