A new survey, published by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, has found that 85% of individual investors in the US now express interest in sustainable investing. The third edition of the individual investor survey, Sustainable Signals, examines the attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of individual investors towards sustainable investing. Following two prior Sustainable Signals individual investor surveys, this year’s findings show that interest in and adoption of sustainable investing have grown steadily since 2015. The survey also revealed that investors are beginning to overlook potential short-term financing trade-off concerns, with 86% believing that corporate ESG practices can lead to higher profitability over the long term.
The results indicate that sustainable investing is reaching a stage of maturity. It is no longer a niche side stream, but is increasingly accepted as part of mainstream investing. The interest in and understanding of sustainable investment have even begun to spread out of investor circles and into common discourse. Morgan Stanley’s study found that 52% of the general population take part in at least one sustainable investing activity, a figure which rises to 67% when looking at Millennials.
Companies must act upon the growing interest in the environmental, social and governance investing movement among investors and the wider public, highlighted by the survey. Exploring opportunities to leverage ESG information, and adopting long-term sustainable growth policies that deliver value in forms beyond profit, will increasingly be attractive to investors.