Institute for Sustainable Investing

Millennials Drive Growth in Sustainable Investing

A younger generation of investors, who overwhelmingly believe that their investment decisions can make an impact, is leading the sustainable investing charge.

More investors are interested in sustainable investing and adopting its principles as part of their strategy, but Millennials are leading the charge, according to the Institute for Sustainable Investing’s 2017 “Sustainable Signals” report. As with the previous report in 2015, this latest survey of 1,000 total active individual investors tracked both how investors perceive sustainable investing and whether they are acting on that interest.

Scroll down for some highlights from "Sustainable Signals New Data from the Individual Investor."
Interest in sustainable investing is growing, especially among Millennials.
Very Interested
Somewhat Interested
Indicates a statistically significant change
TOTAL POPULATION
MILLENNIALS
71%
52%
19%
75%
52%
23%
84%
56%
28%
86%
48%
38% 
2015
2017
 
2015
2017
Millennial investors are making more sustainable investing decisions.
2X as likely as the overall investor population to invest in companies targeting social or environmental goals
TOTAL POPULATION
MILLENNIALS
Millennials believe their investment can create positive change:
0
%
say their investments can influence climate change
0
%
say their investments can help lift people out of poverty
Younger investors want more proof of performance, but remain committed to sustainable investing.
59% of Millennials believe sustainable investing involves a financial tradeoff.
yet
61% of Millennials have taken at least one sustainability oriented investment action in the last year.
It isn't just Millennials. Women of all ages still show more interest than men.
More women showed interest in sustainable investing than men.
VS
0
%
%
0
2017
2015
but
When it comes to action, gender hasn't been a big differentiator.
Men are just as likely to have integrated sustainability into their investment decisions.
VS
0
%
%
0
Everyone wants more choices:
SUSTAINABLE 401(K)S
Millennials want sustainable investing options as part of their 401(k) plans.
TAILORED IMPACT
of the general population is more likely to adopt sustainable investing if they can tailor the impact.
Sustainable Investing assets under management are growing in the U.S.
Sustainable, responsible and impact investing rose 33% between 2014-2016 to $8.72 trillion.1
To grow even faster, more mythbusting is needed:
53% of investors still believe sustainable investing requires a financial trade-off.
Over the last two years, interest in sustainable investing has grown. The idea continues to draw strong support, and familiarity with it only appears to be spreading. Investors largely believe that their portfolios can have substantive social and environmental impact. As long as the need for such impact remains, it is likely that investor interest will keep rising.
Read the full Sustainable Signals: "New Data from the Individual Investor" report here.
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