Virus has boosted investor interest in ESG

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23 percent of respondents in a survey by BNP Paribas Asset Management say environmental, social and governance aspects (ESG) have become an even greater focus, since the covid-19 crisis started. 

In a summary of what it refers to as a market study, performed by Greenwich Associates, the bank says 81 percent of respondents already take ESG considerations into account in all or part of their portfolios, and that another 16 percent plan to. The summary does not discuss how respondents were sourced or how many they were in absolute numbers. 

The most common reasons cited were to positively impact society or the environment (80 percent), reduce risk (58 percent) and to meet stakeholder needs (47 percent).

The S closes in on E and G

More than a fifth of respondents, 23 percent, said ESG has become ‘more of a focus/more important’ with the coronavirus crisis. The market was apparently geographically split on the issue, though: with French respondents the number was 42 percent, while a mere 3 percent in Germany.

Taking a separate look at each of the three ESG factors, environment and governance stay in the lead as considered most important. That said, social criteria is the factor that has been boosted most since the start of the crisis, rising 20 percentage points in how many consider it extremely or very important – leading BNP Paribas to conclude “a major paradigm shift”. 

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