Asset owners reasons for ESG integration vary markedly across Europe: survey

Survey quizzes 251 asset owners on their reasons for incorporating ESG in investment.

European asset owners give marked differences behind their reasons for integrating environmental, social and governance issues into investment, according to a survey by Novethic, the French SRI research and media company. The survey, which received responses from 251 asset owners, was carried out in partnership with the European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif). It found that 59% of French asset owners and 68% of their German peers believe the main incentive for ESG integration is to contribute to a more sustainable development model for investment. But only a minority of Danish (21%) or UK (17%) investors share this opinion. Instead, most UK investors (57%) say ESG integration is dictated by financial performance. Similarly, protecting one’s reputation is a priority in Finland andDenmark (more than 40% in each country), but it is of minor concern for French investors (11%) and was not mentioned by UK investors. Long-term risk management is cited as an ESG integration incentive by a third of French and Dutch investors but less than 15% of German, Spanish or Finnish investors.
ESG integration practices also vary considerably between countries. Screening out companies is by far the majority approach in France (81%), while shareholder engagement is favoured in the United Kingdom (77%). In Denmark, shareholder engagement and exclusions of companies that breach international guidelines are primarily applied (more than 40% each).
Link to survey