Trending Up: US SIF Report Finds $12 Trillion Invested in Sustainable Assets

Boston - Interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing has reached a new threshold across U.S. money manager, institutional and retail spaces, according to the US SIF's biennial "Report on U.S. Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends" released last month. As investors steer more dollars and advocacy toward resolving issues like climate change, human rights and transparency, financial advisors and plan sponsors are noting these key trends.

U.S. assets directed to sustainable, responsible and impact strategies climbed to $12 trillion in 2018, a 38% increase from $8.7 trillion in 2016, according to the report. This represents one in four dollars, or 26%, of the $46.6 trillion under professional management in the U.S.1

The report also noted that 165 institutional investors and 54 money managers, controlling $1.8 trillion in assets, filed or cofiled shareholder resolutions on ESG issues.

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Among money managers, as defined in the report, client demand was the top motivation for pursuing ESG incorporation, while institutional investors cited "fulfilling mission" and "pursuing social benefit." For both, adhering to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) was another main reason for their ESG focus.