According to a recent poll of investment consultants in the U.S. socially responsible investing and an attention to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors are here to stay. In the survey, which was conducted by the Social Investment Forum (SIF) and Pensions & Investments, noted that 88% of respondents believe that client interest in ESG will continue to grow over the next three years, and none believe it will decrease.
The survey asked recipients to indicate whether they advise clients on any of six ESG integration approaches: proxy voting; corporate engagement; exclusion of stock/bonds in a portfolio; integration of ESG analysis into investment decision making; inclusion of stock/bonds in a portfolio (best-in-class); and positive selection according to sustainable themes (climate change, etc.)
Of the six ESG strategies, respondents were negative on balance about only one–excluding stocks and bonds from a portfolio–with 41% saying it has a negative impact on portfolio performance. In addition, for each of the six strategies, a full quarter to a third of all respondents said they did not know whether the strategy had a positive, negative or no impact.