Morgan Stanley finds 'record levels' of ESG investors

Morgan Stanley finds ‘record levels’ of ESG investors

Interest in sustainable investing is continuing to increase as evidence mounts that investment choices can deliver positive social or environmental benefits. But the sector is still being hampered by the “myth” that sustainable investing requires a financial trade-off.

That is one of the main conclusions from the latest survey on attitudes towards sustainable investment undertaken by banking giant Morgan Stanley.

The bank published its latest Sustainable Signals report last week, revealing the results of a survey of 1,000 active individual investors undertaken earlier this year.

The survey, which provides an update to the same poll carried out in 2015, found that the proportion of people describing themselves as “very interested” rose from 19 percent to 23 percent, while 52 percent said they were “somewhat interested,” staying constant. As a result, the overall share of investors claiming they were interested in sustainable investing stands at three-quarters of respondents.

Significantly, engagement with sustainable investing is significantly higher among millennials, who are set to make up three-quarters of the U.S. workforce by 2025. The survey found 38 percent of millennials describe themselves as very interested in sustainable investing, up from 28 percent two years ago. Overall, 86 percent of millennials said they were interested in sustainable investing.

Audrey Choi, chief sustainability officer and chief marketing officer at Morgan Stanley, said the survey provided further evidence that “as widespread attention to sustainability continues to increase, consumers and investors alike are now more than ever factoring sustainability issues into their investment decisions.”

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