How does APAC fare in ESG rankings?

robeco ESG Asia Pacific

23 March 2022
| By Laura Dew |
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A global climate survey by Robeco has found Asia-Pacific (APAC) investors are improving their engagement with climate change, although European investors remain the leaders in the field.

The report surveyed 300 global institutional and wholesale investors by CoreData Research and found Asia-Pacific lagged European leaders but were performing better than North America.

Some 82% of investors in Asia-Pacific expected active ownership and engagement to be at the centre, or a significant factor, in their investment policy in two years’ time. This was higher than North America at 68% but behind Europe where 90% considered it important.

Governance standards and maximising shareholder in investee companies were the two key motivating factors for investors in Asia-Pacific at 75% and 64% respectively. However, in Europe, the key motivating factor was positively influencing policies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) while North American investors saw it as part of their fiduciary duty as long-term investors. 

Over half of investors in Asia-Pacific scored engagement tools as ‘quite effective’, which was classed as expecting the impact of engagement to grow in the future. Meanwhile, 19% said they were ‘very effective’ and felt they should be a priority for ESG investment strategies.

Some 31% of APAC investors had already made a public commitment to net zero and 32% were investigating if they could do so.

Lucian Peppelenbos, climate strategist at Robeco, said: “The Climate Survey sheds light on how institutional investors view some of the key issues around climate change, biodiversity, and stewardship. While there is uncertainty around these topics, we also know that we must take urgent action. We don’t have the luxury to wait for perfect data or perfect solutions.

“As investors, we need to pull up our sleeves and work our way through it, as we have the means to put money to work where it can make a difference. Being a global leader in sustainable investing, we see it as our duty to share our expertise with others and we hope that this research helps stimulate the investment industry to play a constructive role in combating climate change and loss of nature.”

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