Half of asset managers neglecting ESG

9th March 2020

Web climate change money istock 105932158 0

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Finance ,
  • Global ,
  • Investment ,
  • Sustainability



Half of the world's largest asset managers are failing to adequately incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in their investments, research by ShareAction has uncovered.

In total, 38 of the 75 companies studied, managing more than $36trn (£28trn) of assets, were found to be neglecting the ecological and social harms of their investments.

Six of the world's largest asset managers, including BlackRock and State Street, were among the worst performers, with US firms scoring far worse than their European peers on average.

Despite many poor scores, all of the companies studied are members of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, and 75% have joined the Climate Action 100+ initiative.

While many in the industry are eager to promote their ESG credentials, our analysis clearly indicates that few of the world's largest asset managers can lay claim to having a truly sustainable approach across all their investments, said ShareAction senior analyst Felix Nagrawala.

It is imperative that they start to account for the real-world impacts of their investments and step up to meet the challenges of the social and environmental crises we are now facing.“

ShareAction's Asset Owners Disclosure Project reviewed investments of the world's 75 largest asset managers for governance, climate change, human and labour rights and biodiversity.

The 38 laggards identified were found to have weak or nonexistent commitments, failing to account for real-world impacts across their mainstream assets.

The majority of European asset managers generally outscored their peers in other regions, particularly Dutch firms, with most of the US-based investors far behind the curve.

The five largest Japanese asset managers included in the ranking generally performed better than their US counterparts and outscored their peers in the Asia Pacific.

Robeco, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Legal & General Investment Management, APG Asset Management and Aviva Investors complete the five best-performing firms in the ESG study.

Carola van Lamoen, head of active ownership at Robeco, says: Robeco's place at the top of the leader board reflects our long-standing history in this field, and our commitment to driving positive change through rigorous stewardship and focus on ESG integration.

“We acknowledge that in order to truly meet the challenges in the world, industry standards must be raised across the sector. We hope this ranking will propel the industry into action as we continue to play our role in educating and sharing best practices.“

Image credit: ©iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

UK off track for net zero by 2030, CCC warns

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Three in five British adults want more public involvement in the planning system, which could be at odds with Labour’s plans to boost economic growth, IEMA research has found.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

Rivers and waterways across England and Wales are increasingly polluted by sewage spills. What is causing the crisis and what is being done to tackle it? Huw Morris reports

31st May 2024

Read more

IEMA submits response to the Future Homes Standard consultation

31st May 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close