437 asset owners from 28 countries respond so far to RI’s ‘ESG: Do you or Don’t you’ study

Americas results to be presented at RI Americas conference on December 5/6.

In March this year, Responsible Investor in association with UBS Asset Management launched a major research initiative asking asset owners globally if they see the integration of ESG as a necessary addition to the investment process in terms of mitigating risk or enhancing returns, or an unnecessary distraction. The project, titled “ESG – Do you or Don’t you?” (#ESGDoYou), has generated a lot of interest from Europe and the Americas – the first two geographic regions surveyed – to be followed by Asia and Australasia early next year.
So far, 437 asset owners from 28 countries have responded, broken down as 321 asset owners from Europe and 116 from the Americas. We will increase this number going forward by keeping the study open on a rolling basis to new participants. RI has created a free-access website, which is publicly displaying the initial top line data from the first cut of the European market (to be updated shortly with the increased European numbers). To take a look, please visit www.esg-data.com or click on the RI-Research tab on RI.com. We will be presenting the updated results at the RI Americas conference in New York on the 6th December, including the results from asset owners in the Americas. The RI-Research site will then be refreshed with the top-line data from the 116 asset owners in the Americas.
Apart from the positive response rate, some top line data are already noteworthy: around half of the total respondents so far come from the corporate pension space and a clear majority (63%) are not signatories to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.These demographics indicate that we are reaching beyond the “usual suspects” of the ESG world, gathering new and valuable data from all corners of the global asset owner market. Importantly, 77% of respondents have so far indicated that they ‘do’ ESG, with another 18% being at the stage of intent to ‘do’ ESG in the future / interest in the topic. Of course, there is a clear active bias in the organisations that answer the survey. But the high numbers of respondents makes this a hugely encouraging trend in our view. It is, after all, the needs/requirements of asset owners that drive the development of investment management strategy and product.
We aim to draw further conclusions from the complete dataset in 2019, which we believe are incredibly useful for the market as a whole, in order to produce a ‘state of the nations’ report highlighting best practice among asset owners globally. All asset owner participants will receive access to the results upon completion of the study.
If you are an asset owner and would like to be involved and answer our ‘non-attributable’ 5-minute survey, please head to the survey link.
For further information, please reach out via email to the research department (research@responsible-investor.com), or speak to Dennis Fritsch at the RI Americas 2018 conference