Sustainable investing is at a tipping point with interest and awareness at an all-time high according to Standard Chartered and its latest survey.

However, the Sustainable Investing Review 2021 also revealed an upward trend in sustainable investing among more than 2,000 investors. They were surveyed in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, India, the UAE, and the UK.

Furthermore, the allocation of sustainable investments in investor portfolios is on the rise as 13% of investors already have more than 25% of total investments channelled into sustainable solutions. This has risen since the mere 2% in 2020.

The survey from Standard Chartered identified a four-stage adoption cycle:

  • Awareness: 82% know what sustainable investing is;
  • Interest: 81% show interest;
  • Intention: 40% have not invested but plan to in the future, and
  • Adoption: 61% have placed funds in a sustainable investment solution.

In addition, 72% of investors stated that they have a growing sense of responsibility and are looking to do good with their wealth.

There are some hurdles to overcome as 69% need more numerical evidence of the impact from sustainable investments. 51% also feel sustainable investing is simply too new and 43% believe donations can achieve a more immediate social outcome.

Marc Van de Walle, global head of wealth management, Standard Chartered, said: “With investor interest at an all-time high, we can expect more investment capital to move into sustainable investing solutions, presenting a huge opportunity to address pressing global challenges. To ensure we cross the tipping point, it is vital for the industry to collaborate and develop robust governance frameworks and address the concerns with transparency and measurement. At Standard Chartered, we continue to work with key stakeholders and incorporate the latest regulatory requirements as we sharpen our sustainable investing standards and framework for greater transparency.

“The findings also highlighted the crucial role of professional advice: by providing personalised advice according to our clients’ sustainability goals, and access to the most relevant sustainable investment solutions, we can enable our clients to make a positive impact, along with financial returns.”