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Investor appetite rises for ESG
11 December 2013
Many pension funds already use environmental social governance factors in their investment, according to new research by ING IM
Three quarters of investors believe that environmental social
governance (ESG) factors are fundamental to the future of
investment, according to new research by ING Investment
Management (ING IM).
The findings revealed that two thirds of investors
professionals responsible for pension funds already use ESG
factors or a socially responsible investment approach in their
Almost half (48%) say their appetite for ESG and SRI has risen
over the past six months.
"In recent years there has been a shift within the industry
towards more responsible investment products. This research
underlines the importance - both professionally and personally
- of ESG factors," said Hendrik-Jan Boer, senior portfolio
manager for ING IM's SRI funds.
He added that ING predicts demand for SRI to grow in the next
few years and to become more commonplace in investors'
The majority of respondents - 58% - said they wanted to
incorporate responsible investment in their strategy out of a
"sense of personal responsibility", while 52% said it was
company procedure to apply such criteria to investments.
"It is certainly positive to see that investors not only
believe in the social and intrinsic value of ESG factors, but
also believe in the effectiveness of applying such criteria to
their investments. It is encouraging to note an anticipated
shift in attitudes towards ESG from simply being a filter that
investors feel they should implement in their portfolios to
becoming a genuinely strong investment tool in its own
Respondents in the developed economies were the most proactive
in this area, the most keen being those in Western Europe
(86%), followed by North America (36%) and then Australasia
Pension funds were the most willing to incorporate ESG factors
(72%), followed by charities (62%).