RI asset owner survey: How are you managing your ESG initiative memberships?

Investors are facing an increasing burden in terms of time and resources to meet their commitments to sustainability initiatives – but are the costs of leaving even higher?

Responsible Investor wants to hear from asset owners on how they are managing their memberships to sustainability and ESG-focused initiatives.

Our short, anonymised survey was prompted by several off-the-record conversations with pension funds and recent developments such as the Church of England Pension Board’s decision to leave the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) to focus on its membership of the Paris Aligned Asset Owners (PAAO) initiative.

Many time- and resource-constrained asset owners have accumulated memberships to the proliferating number of investor groups that have launched over the years. One large European investor recently admitted to RI that, until a recent inventory, it had no clear idea about the number it belonged to.

It’s early days, but we have already received around a dozen responses, with several expressing support for the survey – “relevant topic you are raising” – and interest in the results: “I would like to see the survey and preferred initiatives.”

The need or potential for consolidation, particularly among climate initiatives, is an emerging theme in the submissions, with one commenting that “too many climate initiatives or associations are overlapping”.

More than half of respondents revealed that they have considered leaving an initiative in the last 12 months but many also raised some of the potential pitfalls of quitting. One, for example, expressed concern that it could, incorrectly, be seen as “caving to anti-ESG pushback”.

If you would like to participate in the survey, which should only take just a few minutes, please click here.

The deadline for responding is 4 September.

Any questions or comments, please get in touch with paul@responsible-investor.com