ESG is being tested like never before.
Republicans are pressing to get rid of it, regulators are cracking down on the misselling of ESG-labeled funds and bonds, and sustainable investing purists want to eliminate the acronym altogether. It’s also become less of a talking point for corporate executives.
Still, love it or hate it, most in finance have decided that ESG is here to stay. A survey of 550 Bloomberg Terminal users found that more than 60% expect ESG to be a standard part of, or increasingly critical to, running a business. By comparison, roughly a third of the respondents think the strategy that takes into account environmental, social and governance issues — and impacts roughly $40 trillion of assets — is just a “fad.”
European respondents were most optimistic about ESG’s importance, followed by those surveyed in Asia, with the Americas trailing at roughly 50%.
Other studies offer similar findings. A recent PwC survey showed that 89% of large investors said they’ve already rejected -- or would consider rejecting -- an asset manager due to shortcomings in their ESG strategies. The same survey showed 86% would be similarly dismissive of those whose corporate ESG efforts were inadequate.
[Saijel Kishan and Natasha White]