When it comes to environmental, social and governance focused investments, global investors tend to focus on the environmental component, according to a new study released Monday by Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America.
The average American investor, however, is equally interested in a company’s social and governance practices when considering an investment, the study found.
Allianz Life conducted an online survey in December with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents ages 18 years or older.
Asked about the importance of several ESG topics in deciding whether to invest in a company, 73% of American respondents cited environmental concerns, such as natural resource conservation or a company’s carbon footprint/impact on climate change.
The same percentage also emphasized social issues like employee working conditions or racial and gender equality, and 69% highlighted such governance topics as transparency of business practices and finances or level of executive compensation as being significant in their decision making.
“While environmental factors are certainly important, the average investor in the U.S. is just as interested in a company’s social and governance practices before they make investment decisions,” Allianz’s chief investment officer, Todd Hedtke, said in a statement.
“From a business perspective, companies need to pay attention to the fact that ESG is not some passing fad. Companies that view this as an opportunity to make changes are likely to realize a positive impact in both the near and long term.”
A similar preference for positive social and governance results was even more pronounced in relation to consumers’ decisions to actually do business with a company.
Thirty-four percent of respondents said a company’s stance on social issues was the most important factor, while 27% said corporate governance issues were a top priority. In contrast, 22% cited a company’s record on environmental issues as their chief concern.