Global Investor Study 2018

Would you be investing more in sustainable funds if you knew more about them?

Climate change, shifting demographics and the technology revolution are reshaping our planet, our values and how we invest. Against this backdrop, sustainability has been rising on the agenda of investors.

This is reflected in the growing importance of sustainable investment funds, which invest in businesses showing strong environmental or social performances and who proactively prepare for the changes ahead.

But barriers remain for sustainable investment to reach its full potential. Performance is not a major concern, but a lack of information is currently limiting people’s allocation to sustainable investments. Investors are keen to understand the full impact of sustainable investment, in particular on how companies are held to account on issues like bribery and corruption and pollution. As sustainable investments become more widely identifiable and understood, so too will their appeal to people looking to combine profit with positive impact.

There is a lack of information when it comes to sustainable investments that is limiting how much people invest in them

There is a lack of information available on how sustainable fund managers are engaging with the companies they invest in

There is a lack of advice more widely available on sustainable investments

I'm not sure which investments take a sustainable approach

I don’t really understand what sustainable investments are

Fund managers can influence companies' approaches to environmental and social issues. People care about a broad range of behaviours

Areas of importance to potential investors on a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 10 (extremely important)


Ending bribery and corruption


Climate change


Pollution from operations/use of renewable energy


Selling unhealthy or addictive products


Treatment of company workforce


Diversity of company's workforce

But many people don’t yet recognise investment decisions as a way in which they can personally contribute to a more sustainable society

Personal contributions to a more sustainable society, undertaken often or always

I reduce or recycle my household waste

I avoid businesses who have a track record of controversies

I buy locally produced goods

I buy from businesses with a good record of social responsibility

I consider my carbon footprint in my transportation and home energy decisions

I buy organic food

I invest in sustainable investment funds rather than those that don't consider sustainable factors

Encouragingly, sustainable investments are becoming more important to people, and the myth that they are bad for returns is abating


say sustainable investing has become more important to them over the past five years


of people feel they are prevented from investing in sustainable investments due to concerns that they wouldn't deliver as good a return as non-sustainable investments

The majority of people say they are investing in some kind of sustainable investment


say they have increased investments in sustainable investment funds over the past five years

Of those who are investing in sustainable investments (and know the proportion), the average of their total portfolio being allocated to them is:




Global Average

Those who feel they have a higher level of investment knowledge are more likely to be investing in sustainable investments

People investing in sustainable investments split by self-assessed investment knowledge level

Investing >1% of portfolio

Investing 0%

Don't know




People who feel they have higher levels of investment knowledge are investing more of their total portfolio in sustainable investments and expecting higher returns on their entire portfolio

Proportion of investment portfolio invested in sustainable investments

Total annual return expected on investment portfolio




Would you be investing more in sustainable funds with the right information at hand? Learn more about sustainable investments here.

Schroders commissioned Research Plus Ltd to conduct, between 20th March and 23rd April 2018, an independent online study of over 22,000 people in 30 countries around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, UAE, the UK and the US. This research defines "people" as those who will be investing at least €10,000 (or the equivalent) in the next 12 months and who have made changes to their investments within the last 10 years.

Contact Us

Level 33, Two Pacific Place,
88 Queensway,
Hong Kong
(852) 25211633
Online enquiry: Please complete the web form below and
we will reply as soon as possible.
Contact us