Asset owners—pension funds, endowments, foundations and other large institutional investors—are embracing sustainable investing and viewing environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as a way to proactively manage risk and returns. Of the $22.8 trillion invested sustainably, or $1 in every $4 under professional management, institutional investors own nearly 75%.1
The momentum for sustainable investing is high and asset owners are speaking louder than ever. In Japan, the Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest pension with $1.3 trillion under management, announced last year that it would increase the ESG allocation of its equity holdings from 3% to 10%.2 Meanwhile, New York City announced in January, 2018, that it would divest its $189 billion public pension fund from fossil fuels in the next five years.3
Beyond pensions, other asset owners, including foundations, are rising to the occasion as well. In April 2017, the Ford Foundation announced a commitment of $1 billion of its endowment to mission-related investments.4
A recent survey from the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Morgan Stanley Investment Management finds continued growth and ample opportunity ahead. The survey, which gathered insights from 118 global asset owners, 60% of which had assets over $10 billion, finds that 84% are pursuing or actively considering pursuing ESG integration in their investment process. Of those, 60% began doing so in the last four years and 37% within the last two.
Does your organization seek to integrate sustainable investing or ESG criteria into the investment process, including selection of third-party investment managers?
How long has sustainable investing or ESG criteria been integrated into your investment process?
How important are each of the following factors in driving sustainable investing adoption at your organization?
Which of the following approaches to sustainable investing does your organization currently employ?
Does your organization seek to address or align with any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as part of its investment strategy?
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: "Asset owners have a responsibility to address global sustainability issues through their investments"
Does your organization have adequate tools to assess the alignment of its investments with its sustainable investing goals?
Read more Sustainability Insights from Morgan Stanley Investment Management.