The future of investing: are the UN SDGs the new investor compass?

BNP Paribas' ESG Global Survey reveals a rapid shift to ESG integration as investors increasingly embrace the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

ESG, SDGs, SRI – the investor sustainability landscape can be full of acronyms, but one thing seems clear: sustainable investing is here to stay. 

A recent Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) global investor survey conducted by BNP Paribas Securities Services revealed how the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are becoming a new compass in the responsible investment journey. The majority of respondents are committing themselves to the 17-goal SDG framework, with over 90% of respondents predicting that more than a quarter of their funds will be allocated towards ESG by 2021. This compares with half of respondents describing their existing portfolio allocations in the previous 2017. Although data remains a challenge, investors showed a strong commitment to ESG investment and also ranked improved long-term returns as a positive factor tilting their decision-making process. 

Key findings of the ESG Global Survey 2019:

Our survey highlights investors’ appetite to pursue both purpose and performance.

Florence Fontan, BNP Paribas Securities Services

Florence Fontan, Head of Asset Owners at BNP Paribas Securities Services, believes the next two years will be vital to achieving the right mix of investment, technology and skills. “ESG investment is becoming increasingly important for investors, and our survey highlights investors’ appetite to pursue both purpose and performance,” she explains. “However, practical integration has its challenges due to data and technology barriers, and deep ESG investment is still finding its feet.”