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Responsible investment still on the rise, reports Aon


Justine Montminy

June 12, 2018 11:00

Photo : Freepik

A new survey ofAon , has demonstrated a significant increase in the number of institutional investors interested in exploring or implementing approaches to responsible investment.

The 223 institutional investors surveyed in the world include endowments, foundations, public pension plans and corporate defined benefit plans.

Environmental impact

Among these, 68 % of respondents believe that responsible investment is somewhat important for their organization, 40 % have already developed a responsible investment policy, and 14 % are in the process of developing their policy.

A little over a quarter (26 %) of respondents said that they want to have an impact on certain issues, such as the carbon footprint, climate change and water issues.

Climate change is of concern to canadian investors

In Canada, Aon reports that climate change is the main concern related to the responsible investment of 67 % of Canadians.

“Responsible investment is one of the most debated topics among institutional investors in Canada, in particular, endowment funds, foundations and others with a public interest mission, but we also see more commitment to him in the important corporate investors. The institutions are coming to realize that there is a link between well-managed companies and better investment returns, ” says Calum Mackenzie, associate, consulting, investment management Aon.

The survey from Aon shows that there is a cleavage map with respect to attitudes towards responsible investments. The activity is significantly more important in the United Kingdom and in the european Union than in the United States. Canada, meanwhile, is about mid-way.

In comparison, 80 % of investors in the Uk claim that climate change is the main concern related to responsible investment, but in the United States, climate change ranked second to concerns about investment and only 48% of respondents cited it. Economic nationalism comes to the forefront as a concern among Americans, with 56 %.

Investment manager

Canadian institutions are also giving a great importance to the investment managers, according to Aon. “We see investment committees to devote more time to discussions on the environmental factors, social and governance-related (ESG), and ask managers about their policies on ESG. This shows how the issue has become important for the institutions and this is one of the reasons why we incorporate now an ESG rating in our evaluation process of the managers, ” says Mr. Mackenzie.

In the United States, no investor has declared that it would abandon a fund manager, not having a responsible investment policy, while 5% of canadian respondents and 11 % of uk investors said they would.

Aon provides that interest in responsible investment will continue to grow, but it will be necessary to clarify definitions, provide access to data and to specific measures, to manage the concerns regarding performance and pressures, and regulatory.

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