Sustainable Returns

A recent survey found that 71 percent of 800 individual investors are interested in sustainable investing.
Last November, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing surveyed 800 individual investors about their attitudes toward investing in companies that embrace sustainable business practices. It found that 71 percent of those surveyed are interested in sustainable investing. Millennials and women expressed the highest interest: Eighty-four percent of millennials (compared to 66 percent of baby boomers) and 76 percent of women (compared to 62 percent of men) are interested in investing in companies that embrace sustainable practices. On average, respondents believe that 46 percent of their portfolios should be invested in sustainable companies.

But even though survey respondents are interested in sustainable investing, a majority—55 percent—still see a “tradeoff between profitable and sustainable investments,” says Audrey Choi, managing director and CEO of the institute. That perception, she adds, “is still a major barrier to the growth of the field—we and others trying to advance sustainable investing at scale have a job to do, demonstrating that it is possible to achieve positive impact and market-rate returns.”

The report “Sustainable Signals: The Individual Investor Perspective” is available at www.morganstanley.com/sustainableinvesting/pdf/Sustainable_Signals.pdf.