UK wealth management and financial advice association PIMFA has collaborated with investment research firm Morningstar to launch the online PIMFA ESG Academy.

The Academy will serve as an online training platform for financial advisers, better enabling them to offer ESG investing advice to their clients.

It will also allow advisers capitalise on the growing opportunities arising for their clients from ESG investments.

The launch of the Academy comes amid an increasing demand for ESG, with sustainable investment funds reaching $1trn in Q2 2020.

Moreover, of sustainable vehicles available to investors a decade earlier, 72% were found to have survived. The comparable figure in case of traditional funds is 45.9%.

Morningstar director of Client Solutions, Advisor Segment, EMEA, Anastasia Georgiou said: “As Morningstar data shows, global sustainable investment funds reached a record-breaking US$1 trillion in Q2 2020, demonstrating that ESG is fast becoming the new standard for long term investing.”

Participants at the Academy can gain access to a library of ESG content and interact with on any device.

The programme includes podcasts, self-assessments, downloadable worksheets along with discussion forums.

It comprises three modules, with the first offering an overview of the fundamentals of ESG investing.

The second module will show how to evaluate data in the context of ESG investing.

The third module will offer training in how to speak to clients regarding ESG investing opportunities.

Members of PIMFA can avail the CPD-accredited learning experience for free.

PIMFA CEO Liz Field said: “Increasingly, we are seeing client demand for these types of investments and it is clear that ESG factors are having a significant impact on company performance.

“There is an opportunity to be seized here, and those companies that ignore ESG, or commit a misstep, could incur significant economic costs and jeopardise their ability to earn long-term, sustainable profits, which in turn has an impact on investors.”

Notably, earlier this year, Morningstar acquired ESG ratings and research firm Sustainalytics.