The majority of investment companies consider sustainability to be integral to investor relations outreach,
according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.
More than half (56%) of companies say sustainability is a growing remit in discussions of investor outreach
and 34% of asset managers look for socially responsible investment (SRI) and environmental, social and corporate
governance (ESG) research to be incorporated into all analyses they receive from brokers.
Thomson Reuters and the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) announced the findings yesterday
(16 July) as the results of the Thomson Reuters Extel/UKSIF (SRI) and sustainability survey.
The 2014 survey represents the views of more than 360 investment professionals from 27 countries and includes
responses from 179 buy-side firms and 14 brokerage firms and research houses.
UKSIF chief executive Simon Howard said: "Two weeks ago the Law Commission said fiduciaries 'should take
financially material factors into account' and cited ESG elements as an example of those factors.
"This highlights how SRI and sustainability thinking is relevant to the mainstream.
These awards showcase the financial sector's successful integration of sustainability and ESG across the value chain,
from brokers through fund managers to companies."
The survey found that most critical to SRI/ESG research for buyers is thematic reviews and ideas, with 80% on the
buyside rating this as very important.
Extel at Thomson Reuters managing director Steve Kelly said: "The provision of research has become both more specialised
and multi-faceted, reflecting the desire from investors for more sophisticated analyses; and ideas directly relevant
to investment opportunities."
Some of the key rankings from the survey included Kepler Cheuvreux leading as the top brokerage firm for SRI and sustainability,
and HSBC as the leading brokerage firm for integrated research on climate change.
The survey comes at the same time as an announcement by HSBC and the Climate Bonds Initiative; that the market for green bonds
has grown 60% this year compared to 2013, with a total value of $18.3bn issued in the first half of 2014.
"You wouldn't believe the number of chief finance officers and chief executive officers who will come out of an
investor meeting saying 'it's still down at the bottom of the agenda and nobody really cares about this as yet',"
"I think we're beginning to see pointers that this will change. They [investors] are getting better and beginning to understand the
value of corporate sustainability plans of action, but it is still agonisingly slow."
Please refer to the following links below for additional reading regarding sustainable investment and sustainability reporting: