Schroders Global Investor Study 2017: Sustainable investing on the rise

A survey of over 22,000 investors across 30 countries has found that sustainable investing is on the rise across the globe. The survey highlighted the countries that are ahead of the curve and those where sustainability behaviours, such as recycling, and investing is lagging behind. Globally, investors see sustainable investing as a way to drive not only societal, social and environmental change, but also profit.

Sustainable investing is on the rise

  • It is growing in importance to investors with 78% of respondents stating it is more important to them now than it was five years ago; 32% said it was significantly more important and 46% said it was somewhat more important  
  • There is a desire from investors to learn more about it. The survey showed that sustainable investing was the top choice of investment topics people would most like to improve their knowledge of, ahead of subjects such as asset classes and the effect of compounding
  • Moreover, investors are increasing the share of money they are allocating to sustainable investments – 64% of investors said that they have increased their investment in sustainable funds over the last five years

This trend appears to be stronger in Asia and the Americas than Europe, as demonstrated by the table below:


Investors that said sustainable investing   is more important than five years ago

Investors that stated they have increased   their investment over the last five years













The adoption of sustainable behaviours (such as recycling, and reducing energy) and popularity of sustainable investing differs between countries. We created a sustainability ranking[1] based on an average score of the questions we posed to investors.  Indonesia topped the ranking, with India second and the US third. At the bottom of the list were Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. The full ranking is below:































South Africa






















The Netherlands




Hong Kong




South Korea





Why are people allocating more to sustainable investing?

The survey showed that investors see sustainable investing as a way to drive not only societal, social and environmental change but also generate profits.

When asked whether they invested in sustainable funds for the positive impact or potential profit, the average response across all fund types showed that positive impact had a greater importance (38%) than profit (32%). However, the proportions were similar – on average, potential profit is also seen to be an important desired outcome from investing in sustainable investment funds, as well as  positive impact, such as bringing about societal, social or environmental change.

The two fund types which bucked the global trend, with profit scoring higher or the same as positive impact were:

  • Investors said that investing in funds focusing on corporate governance was more likely to be for profit than for positive impact (37% vs 30%)
  • Investing in medical science and biotechnology funds showed equal weighting between positive impact and profitability (36% vs 36%)

Investors scored the following funds higher on positive impact:

  • Positive social impact funds such as human rights, poverty and social welfare 46% vs 25% (positive social impact vs profitability)
  • Funds that invest in green technologies 43% vs 31% (positive social impact vs profitability)
  • Funds that avoid oil, gas or coal companies 37% vs 31% (positive social impact vs profitability)
  • Funds focused on improving diversity 34% vs 32% (positive social impact vs profitability)

Jessica Ground, Global Head of Stewardship at Schroders, said:

“It is extremely encouraging for us to see sustainable investing is on the rise.

"While profitability remains the central investment consideration, interest in sustainability is increasing – and is especially strong in some surprising areas. But investors also see sustainability and profits as intertwined.  They are looking to allocate to companies that are successfully navigating social and environmental change to generate profit and impact.

"Investors understand the impact that issues such as strong corporate governance and diversity can have in generating profits - views that are backed up by the research.

"Social and environmental change is happening faster than ever. The challenges posed by climate change, inequality and demographics are sizeable. Our Study shows that investors are willing to play a role and value the impact that investments in green technology and social impact can have."

For the Schroders Global Investor Study 2017 full report please visit If you are interested in an interview with Jessica Ground please get in touch with the PR contacts stated below.

For further information on sustainable investing at Schroders please visit


For further information, please contact:

Sarah Deutscher

Tel: +44   (0)20 7658 6139

Lucy Cotter

Tel: +44   (0)20 7658 3365



Important Information:

Schroders commissioned Research Plus Ltd to conduct, between 1st and 30th June 2017, an independent online study of 22,100 investors in 30 countries around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US. This research defines ‘investors’ 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 ten years. These individuals represent the views of investors in each country included in the study.

The views and opinions contained herein are those of Schroders and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds. This material is intended to be for information purposes only and is not intended as promotional material in any respect. The material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The material is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. Reliance should not be placed on the views and information in this document when taking individual investment and/or strategic decisions. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested. All investments involve risks including the risk of possible loss of principal. Information herein is believed to be reliable but Schroders does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Reliance should not be placed on the views and information in this document when taking individual investment and/or strategic decisions.

To the extent that you are in North America, this content is issued by Schroder Investment Management North America Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Schroders plc and SEC registered adviser providing asset management products and services to clients in the US and Canada. For all other users, this content is issued by Schroder Investment Management Limited, 31 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7QA. Registered No. 1893220 England. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  


Note to Editors

For trade press only. To view the latest press releases from Schroders visit:

Schroders plc

As a global investment manager, we help institutions, intermediaries and individuals across the planet meet their goals, fulfil their ambitions, and prepare for the future. But as the world changes, so do our clients’ needs. That’s why we have a long history of adapting to suit the times and keeping our focus on what matters most to our clients.

Doing this takes experience and expertise. We bring together people and data to spot the trends that will shape the future. This provides a unique perspective which allows us to always invest with conviction. We are responsible for £418.2 billion (€476.3 billion/$543.3 billion)* of assets for our clients who trust us to deliver sustainable returns. We remain determined to build future prosperity for them, and for all of society. Today, we have 4,100 people across six continents who focus on doing just this.

We are a global business that’s managed locally. This allows us to always keep our clients’ needs at the heart of everything we do. For over two centuries and more than seven generations we’ve grown and developed our expertise in tandem with our clients’ needs and interests.

Further information about Schroders can be found at

Issued by Schroder Investment Management Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  For regular updates by e-mail please register online at for our alerting service.

*as at 30 June 2017

[1]The ranking was devised through a scoring system that aggregates a country’s responses to questions asked about their knowledge, attitude and behaviour regarding sustainable behaviours and investing. The final scores are proportionate to the number of respondents from each country.