Amundi releases Singapore’s first Sustainability Profiler Investor Report
56% of Singapore investors surveyed are already in ESG investments, and have on average 31% of their investments in ESG solutions.
A new study released today by Amundi, Europe’s leading asset manager with €2,021 billion assets under management and a pioneer in responsible investment, paints a clear picture of the generational shift in attitudes toward ESG investing among younger Singapore investors (aged 21 to 34 years old).
The report reveals in detail the understanding, sentiments, and attitudes towards ESG investing among Singaporeans. Conducted in collaboration with The Business Times which provided input into the survey questions posed, the in-depth study, titled “The Business Times – Amundi ESG Investing Report”, interviewed more than 1,000 participants in Singapore who are currently investors or are open to investing in the future.
“The Business Times is pleased to partner Amundi to provide deeper insights into how investors think and act when it comes to ESG. We recognise how profoundly ESG will reshape businesses and markets, and as we step up our reporting of this important issue, we look forward to collaborating with more like-minded partners to move the needle,” said Wong Wei Kong, Editor of The Business Times.
Nearly eight out of 10 people surveyed were profiled as “Engaged” ESG investors (76%), showing strong interest and commitment to environmental and social causes on a daily basis, and by extension to their investment decisions. This figure is significantly higher among Gen Z 21-24 year-olds (93%) and Young Millennials 25-34 year-olds (82%). In particular, Gen Z are especially sensitive to social causes such as ‘Poverty’ and Young Millennials partial to ‘Inequality and discrimination’.
“The generational shift in attitudes toward ESG investing is clear among Singapore investors. In peeling back the layers of this observed high interest, we see that social causes like Poverty and Inequality are closer to the heart of our younger generation, and they are more likely to be translating this belief into action,” commented Albert Tse, CEO, South Asia at Amundi. “It’s high time that ESG investing is widely considered an actual tool to contribute to solving ongoing environmental and social changes. As a financial institution with a long history in responsible investing, Amundi has a role to play in joining hands with banks and other partners to construct and offer meaningful solutions toward impactful changes.”
The study found generational differences in attitude relating to ESG investments, with higher interest and actions observed among younger individual investors. These investors – belonging to the Gen Z and Young Millennials age group – were more interested in ESG investing (Gen Z: 82%, Young Millennials: 72%, average: 69%), and viewed it as of higher priority now as compared to pre-pandemic times (Gen Z: 79%, Young Millennials: 68%, average 61%).
Additionally, a gap still exists between sentiment and action. Four out of ten investors ‘significantly’ or ‘moderately’ increased investing in ESG investments as a result of higher perceived priority and interest – where significantly more Gen Z investors (55%) took action as compared to the average.
Similarly, in terms of drivers that motivate investors to make ESG investments, 73% of survey participants indicated Global Warming as one of the top three issues. In addition, Gen Z places significantly higher importance on ‘Poverty around the world’ (56%), while Young Millennials view ‘Inequalities and discrimination’ (45%), and Gen X/Baby Boomers (45 years-old and above) view ‘Water and natural resources management’ (60%) as more important.
Gen Z and Young Millennials were also more aware of ESG investments and the role of the financial sector in responsible investing as compared to the other two age groups surveyed, that is Older Millennials (35-44 year-olds) and Gen X/Baby Boomers. It was found that the Gen Z and Young Millennials respondents had taken more proactive steps in bridging the sentiment-action gap, including enquiring specifically about ESG investments (Gen Z: 67%, Young Millennials: 59%, average: 49%), and allocating a larger proportion of their total investments into ESG investments (Gen Z: 35%, Young Millennials: 34%, average: 31%).
The report also pointed to a distinct ‘say-do’ gap between Singapore retail investors’ sentiment and actions when it came to ESG investing.
In addition to a clear majority describing ESG investing as a priority (61%) and of higher interest (69%) compared to pre-pandemic, more than eight in 10 investors recognise the importance of ESG issues for investment solutions and companies to consider. Yet when it came to voting with their wallets, investors are willing to allocate only one-third (about 34%) of their portfolios into ESG investments, and just four in ten investors actually increased ESG investment activity since the pandemic.
Moreover, individual investors in Singapore generally still view financial investments primarily as a way to grow one’s savings (70%), and only 8% of respondents viewed it as a leverage to drive ongoing environmental and social changes.
“The survey findings indicate a growing understanding and awareness of responsible investing among investors in Singapore, especially among the younger generation. However, with results indicating a mismatch between perceived importance of ESG investing to catalyse environmental and social change and of its ability to provide value for investors, more can be done to spark concrete action,” Albert Tse observed.
The full findings of The Business Times – Amundi ESG Investing Report can be found here.