A majority of asset owners globally actively integrate ESG factors into their investment process, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. The new survey polled 110 public and corporate pensions, endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth entities, insurance companies and other large asset owners worldwide, 92% of which had total assets over $1 billion. The survey gathered insights about trends, motivations, challenges and implementation approaches in sustainable investing. This work builds on the Institute’s extensive body of research tracking sustainable investing trends over the last six years through its Sustainable Signals survey series focused on individual investors, asset owners and asset managers.
“These results provide an additional proof point that sustainable investing has become table stakes,” said Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing at Morgan Stanley. “This year’s survey found more asset owners identifying return potential as a key driver for sustainability integration, and accordingly many envision a future where they will limit their allocations to managers with formalized sustainability approaches.”
Ted Eliopoulos, Vice Chairman at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said: “The majority of investors surveyed believe that companies with ESG-aligned practices can be better long term investments, but continue to need better reporting and data to evaluate holdings on those criteria. Investment managers can play a critical role supporting clients as they implement tools to assess how investments align with their sustainability goals.”
Nearly eight in ten (78%) investors surveyed agree that sustainable investing is a risk mitigation strategy. Additionally, asset owners already practicing sustainable investing have identified clear benefits to reputation and stakeholder engagement.
“Sustainable investing has gathered enough momentum in recent years to reach the mainstream, and this survey aims to track the way asset owners are integrating these considerations over time,” said Matthew Slovik, Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley. “As the appetite for sustainable investing rapidly accelerates, we see technology and third-party investment managers playing a key role in measuring sustainability and further driving adoption.”
Results from the survey identify several trends reflecting the increasing growth in sustainable investing as a whole. Key findings include:
For more information, please see Sustainable Signals: Asset Owners See Sustainability as Core to the Future of Investing.
About The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing
The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing (The Institute) builds scalable finance solutions that seek to deliver competitive financial returns while driving positive environmental and social impact. The Institute creates innovative financial products, thoughtful insights and capacity building programs that help maximize capital to create a more sustainable future. For more information about the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, visit www.morganstanley.com/sustainableinvesting.
About Morgan Stanley Investment Management
Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM), together with its investment advisory affiliates, has more than 700 investment professionals around the world and $584 billion in assets under management or supervision as of March 31, 2020. MSIM strives to provide outstanding long-term investment performance, service and a comprehensive suite of investment management solutions to a diverse client base, which includes governments, institutions, corporations and individuals worldwide. For further information about Morgan Stanley Investment Management, please visit www.morganstanley.com/im.
About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.