The FTSE Russell survey of asset owners focuses on the fast-evolving global theme of sustainable investment.

The continued growth and mainstreaming of sustainable investment have become core considerations for asset owners of various sizes, underpinned by widespread adoption that has created a baseline of global acceptance. We can conclude that sustainable investment for asset owners today is indeed a maturing story – with a positive outlook.

Our research shows an established commitment to sustainable investment across the globe. This includes a narrowing of the gap between evaluation and adoption levels reported by asset owners in traditionally first-moving Europe and slower-adopting North America. Beneath the global trend, however, the regional stories continue to evolve.

Variations in macroeconomic and societal factors across regions are resulting in specific approaches by asset owners that are implementing sustainable investment strategies. Among the key drivers and motivations that are fueling sustainable investment are risk management considerations, which the survey shows playing out with varying emphasis in different regions. Our report discusses how risk management factors are behind the widespread adoption of sustainable investment. We also observe that although asset owners are moving toward a greater level of adoption, their methods and approaches differ, reflecting their size, investment strategy and geography.

Our research highlights that asset owners face data-related barriers to implementing sustainable investment into their investment strategies. As there are considerable variations in how companies disclose data about their own performance, asset owners are prioritizing standardization of data and materiality as they look for a clearer investment view on their potential investee companies.