Investors globally are engaging more with sustainable investment, a report from investment manager Robeco has found.
However, both retail and institutional investors need more education about how to engage with sustainable investing (SI), and to understand where the long-term investment trends are.
To this end, the manager has published according to the 102-page guide: The Big Book of SI, to help investors, pension schemes and their financial advisers navigate the world of ethical and sustainable investment.
Robeco’s guide covers a range of issues including the current status of sustainability investing, emerging mega-trends and the relationship between investment performance and environmental, social and governance (ESG).
It considers how investors can engage with sustainability investing, which includes the need to make ESG part of the investment process and to address three mega-trends identified by the authors as being key to the future of SI: climate change, rising inequality and cybersecurity.
These themes build on the view that investments should not drive negative images, but rather offer opportunities that not only deliver returns for the investor but also have a positive impact on the environment.
Gilbert Van Hassel, chief executive of Robeco, said: “We firmly believe in sustainability investing. It is already clear that taking a sustainable approach does not detract from performance and that using financially material ESG information leads to better-informed investment decisions and benefits society.
“Investors are increasingly looking to create more sustainable portfolios to meet the demands of their sponsors, participants and regulators.”
John Ditchfield, co-owner of Castlefield Advisory Partners, said: “Sustainability is now a material concern for investment managers. For several decades sustainability was considered not important and contrary to the key job of achieving performance.
“This attitude has been reversed in recent years, with the industry accepting what scientists have been saying all along, that the current economic model is not sustainable and SI is vital to the future of healthy investments.
"Anything that promotes this message is to be welcomed.”