Millennials twice as likely to invest in green business, survey reveals

Millennials are driving global growth in sustainable investing, according to financial services firm Morgan Stanley, which has discovered that the younger generation are twice as likely to invest in companies targeting social or environmental goals.

Nearly nine in ten Millennials surveyed (86%) are interested in sustainable investing, compared with three-quarters of individual investors overall (75%)

Nearly nine in ten Millennials surveyed (86%) are interested in sustainable investing, compared with three-quarters of individual investors overall (75%)

Millennial investors are making more sustainable investing decisions, according to the research by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, which found that 86% of millennial investors are interested in sustainable investing.

The group’s 2017 'Sustainable Signals’ report revealed that overall awareness and interest in sustainable investing has climbed steadily since 2015, as has the percentage of individual investors who have integrated sustainability into their investment decisions.

It also revealed that sustainable, responsible and impact investing rose 33% between 2014 and 2016 to $8.72trn.

Morgan Stanley's chief sustainability officer and chief marketing officer Audrey Choi believes that, as widespread attention to sustainability continues to increase, consumers and investors are more likely to factor sustainability issues into their investment decisions.

“The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing works to drive scalable investment solutions that seek to deliver positive social or environmental impact alongside the market-rate returns that clients expect,” Choi said.

The study suggests that millennials are helping to drive a newfound focus on corporate sustainability. Indeed, pressure has already begun to mount on firms to treat climate change risks as a serious issue, with experts recently suggesting that global warming puts as much as $43trn of global manageable assets at risk between now and the end of the century. And investors already fear that the next financial crisis will be climate-related.

On Tuesday (8 August), lawyers from Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) filed proceedings on behalf of two shareholders against the Commonwealth Bank for failing to adequately disclose climate risk in its 2016 annual report.

Millennials are widely regarded as the 'challenger generation', driving forward the uptake of electric vehicles and new products and services, embracing the circular economy, and helping to shape new approaches to sustainability reporting.

In July 2016, a study by Accenture revealed that a strong consumer demand in new products and services from millennials would create a “significant amount of value” for energy providers who embrace the younger generations. In September, a seperate survey by Nissan found that the majority (53%) of millennials would consider buying an electric vehicle within the next 10 years. And last month, analysis by WRAP discovered that millennials are 2.4 times as likely to shop for resale items because of the environmental impact of clothing.

edie staff


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