Asset owners commit to maturing sustainable investment strategies

2023 global survey findings from asset owners

7th Annual Sustainable Investment Asset Owner survey 2023

Each year we conduct a survey to better understand asset owners’ attitudes, priorities and decisions around sustainable investment.

Our survey takes a pulse of the market and this year we found a strong, continued long-term commitment to the maturing sustainable investment industry. While we noted a directional dip in terms of asset owner levels of implementing and evaluating sustainable investment, the long-term trend reflects a very positive trajectory.

Key findings for asset owners:

  • After 5 years of steady growth, sustainable investment registers a slow down in terms of implementation and evaluation
  • Barriers to increased sustainable investment adoption are still apparent but on a downward trend
  • Governance themes are the priority having significantly risen across all regions
  • Top rationale for implementing sustainable investment is member or client demand

Survey highlights

Sustainability issues that are a priority focus 2023

This graph shows where sustainability issues are prioritised by asset owners surveyed. 54% of respondents stated governance was a priority, compared to 53% in Americas, 55% in EMEA and 53% in Asia Pacific. 53% of respondents stated climate/carbon issues as a priority compared to 53% in Americas, 73% EMEA and 34% in Asia Pacific.  37% of respondents stated social themes are a priority issues, compared to 27% in Americas, 40% in EMEA and 43% in Asia Pacific. 29% of respondents stated broader environmental considerations are a priority issues, compared to 37% in Americas, 25% in EMEA and 25% in Asia Pacific. 18% of respondents stated ethical/faith-based considerations are a priority issues, compared to 6% in Americas, 26% in EMEA and 22% in Asia Pacific.

Key stats

  • 80%
    of asset owners are currently or considering implementing or evaluating ESG/Sustainability considerations in investment strategies
  • 8%
    Of asset owners consider questions around how to determine the best sustainable investment strategy a barrier – barriers to adoption are reducing
  • 54%
    of asset owners consider governance as a priority focus, that has significantly risen across all regions

Previous asset owner surveys

We now have seven years of insight into the role and impact of sustainability on institutional investors and investment practices, which includes four years on the topic of smart sustainability – the coming together of two trends, smart beta and sustainability. And prior to the more recent trend of combining ESG with smart beta, we have an archive of our original smart beta survey.