Three-quarters of institutional investors in a recent survey say building environmental, social and governance initiatives into a company’s business model is a smart business decision, and 98% say a company with strong ESG initiatives makes for a more attractive investment.
The survey results, incorporated in a white paper developed by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and its sister agency Penn Schoen Berland, found that 95% of investors agreed it was important to their clients that companies share and improve their ESG performance.
Another 89% said their clients are well-informed about companies’ ESG initiatives.
“The responsible investment movement is here to stay,” Tim Mohin, chief executive of the Global Reporting Initiative, a standards organization, said in a statement released by Burson-Marsteller.
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“Savvy investors realize that aligning their capital with sustainable business practice is a smart, long-term strategy.”
Indeed, investment advisors no longer find ESG investing optional; it’s essential. A recent report said one out of every five dollars under professional management is being invested according to socially responsible investment strategies.
Which ESG data are most important to institutional investors? Forty-one percent of respondents in the Burson-Marsteller survey said the return on dollars invested in social and environmental initiatives, and 31% said impact data, such as quantified reduction in carbon emissions.
Also important were year-over-year trend data (ideally up to five years) to measure the impact of an initiative, planning for future initiatives, case studies and company priorities.
Six in 10 investors said ESG reports should provide comprehensive and detailed information, while 37% preferred them to be short and concise.