There has been much noise recently around impact and sustainable investment choices. But what are the truths behind the hype? PBI looks at the seven sustainable investing trends that will affect the asset class in 2019.

UK millennials shun sustainable investing

14% of UK millennial investors who cite an interest in sustainable investing actually invest in the class.

OppenheimerFunds surveyed over 900 UK HNW investors and advisers in the survey. The study also revealed a misalignment between HNW investors’ expectations from their advisers and what advisers think their clients want.

UK and US have lowest adoption of sustainable investments

39% of investors globally have at least 1% of their portfolio devoted to sustainable investments according to UBS.

The study revealed emerging economies including China, Brazil and the UAE as having the highest rates of sustainable investing adoption.

Investors in the US and the UK were found lagging in this regard, with only 12% and 20% adoption rates, respectively.

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Millennials favour sustainable portfolios over peers

Millennials in the UK are four times more likely to invest in sustainable portfolios compared to their older peers, according to research by Barclays.

Of the 2,000 investors polled in the UK, 43% below the age of 40 years were found to have made an impact investment during their lifetime.

On the contrary, 9% of investors aged between 50 and 59 years and only 3% of investors over 60 years of age were found to have made an impact investment.

Hong Kong businesses eschew ESG factors

37% of business executives of Hong Kong-listed companies have incorporated environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their core strategies.

The joint study by KPMG, CLP and the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) surveyed more than 200 senior executives.

More than one third of the interviewees believed ESG issues do not significantly affect the business or that it offers limited short-term/immediate returns.

UBS ESG portfolio raises $1 billion

The amount raised by UBS’s new 100% ESG sustainable portfolio has reached $1 billion.

Launched in June and available to UK clients, the portfolio gives access to World Bank bonds; green bonds and ESG equity funds focused on shareholder engagement.

The launch comes a year after UBS launched the investment vehicle in Switzerland.

A third of institutional investors neglect sustainable investments

32% of institutional investors say sustainable investments had little to no influence on their decision-making process, according to a report by British fund manager Schroders.

Of the 650 institutions polled, only the larger institutional investors were found to place a bigger focus for sustainable allocations.

BlackRock launches four new sustainable funds

Last year BlackRock announced four new sustainable emerging market debt funds.

The UCITS-compliant strategies will invest in debt securities issued by governments, public local authorities as well as corporates in emerging market countries.