The survey of over 25,000 investors across 32 countries and territories around the world found that 16% invest sustainably, compared to 32% who are interested and would like to invest this way.
Japanese investors had the least interest (26%), while India topped the chart with 73% of investors having either already put money into ESG strategies or wanting to.
The vast majority of investors in India (87%), China (80%) and Thailand (77%) said they always consider sustainability when investing.
This compares with 40% of investors in Canada and Denmark and 41% in the Netherlands, countries which arguably have had a focus on sustainability for longer, indicating that it is perhaps implicit to investing.
Almost two-thirds of respondents (60%) stated that changes to regulations encouraging them to invest more in sustainable investments would motivate them to do so.
The same proportion said that independent ratings confirming that a particular fund takes a sustainable approach would also drive them to invest this way.
Lack of tangible action
Jessica Ground, global head of stewardship, Schroders, commented: “There remains a gulf between people’s sustainable investment aspirations and the reality of how they prioritise these factors in their investment decision-making.
“A significant proportion of investors clearly believe that sustainable investing is important, but this is yet to translate into tangible action for the majority.
“This will unfortunately leave investors vulnerable to the global impacts caused by the issues such as climate change. It is important that asset managers and the broader industry – including the likes of policymakers globally – work with investors to ensure they can better identify the benefits of investing sustainably and, in turn, are able to access funds which will enable them to do so.”