Sustainable Investing on the Rise

A Schroders survey of over 22,000 investors across 30 countries has found that sustainable investing is on the rise across the globe. Globally, investors see sustainable investing as a way to drive not only societal, social and environmental change, but also profit.

Schroders is an asset-manager operating from 41 offices across Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Sustainable investing is growing in importance to investors, with 78% of respondents stating it is more important to them now than it was five years ago, the survey notes; 32% of those surveyed said it was significantly more important, and 46% said it was somewhat more important.

There is also a desire from investors to learn more about it. The survey showed that sustainable investing was the top choice of investment topics people would most like to improve their knowledge of, ahead of subjects such as asset classes and the effect of compounding.

Moreover, investors are increasing the share of money they are allocating to sustainable investments, according to the survey. Sixty-four percent of investors said that they have increased their investment in sustainable funds over the last five years.

This trend appears to be stronger in Asia and in the Americas than Europe, as demonstrated by the table below:

Investors who said sustainable investing is more important than it was five years ago   Investors who stated they have increased their investment over the last five years
Global 78% 64%
Europe 75% 58%
Asia 80% 68%
Americas 81% 70%


The adoption of sustainable behaviours, such as recycling and reducing energy, and popularity of sustainable investing, differs among countries. The survey created a sustainability ranking[1] based on an average score of the questions it posed to investors.  Indonesia topped the ranking, with India second and the U.S. third.

The full ranking is below:

Ranking Country Ranking Country
1 Indonesia 16 France
2 India 17 Taiwan
3 USA 18 Switzerland
4 China 19 Austria
5 Brazil 20 Canada
6 Thailand 21 Singapore
7 South Africa 22 Italy
8 UAE 23 Germany
9 Chile 24 Spain
10 Russia 25 Denmark
11 Sweden 26 Belgium
12 Australia 27 The Netherlands
13 Portugal 28 Hong Kong
14 Poland 29 South Korea
15 UK 30 Japan


Why interest in sustainable investing?

According to the survey, investors see sustainable investing as a way to drive not only societal, social and environmental change but also generate profits.

When asked whether they invested in sustainable funds for the positive impact or potential profit, the average response across all fund types showed that positive impact had a greater importance (38%) than profit (32%). However, the proportions were similar; on average, potential profit is also seen to be an important desired outcome from investing in sustainable investment funds, as well as positive impact, such as bringing about societal, social or environmental change.

The two fund types that bucked the global trend, with profit scoring higher or the same as positive impact, were:

  • Investors said that investing in funds focusing on corporate governance was more likely to be for profit than for positive impact (37% vs 30%).
  • Investing in medical science and biotechnology funds showed equal weighting between positive impact and profitability (36% vs 36%).

Ayo Mseka

[1]The ranking was devised through a scoring system that aggregates a country’s responses to questions asked about their knowledge, attitude and behaviour regarding sustainable behaviours and investing. The final scores are proportionate to the number of respondents from each country.