The sustainable agenda

Everybody’s talking about it. And this year it looks set to dominate agendas again throughout the funds industry: how to invest sustainably. 

As the world looks to secure a better future, sustainability is the megatrend that permeates sectors.

In the last quarter of 2020, ESG led the way in the European ETF industry, drawing the lion’s share of inflows as overall ETF assets passed the €1 trillion milestone, according to data from Morningstar.

Across the pond, where ESG investing has historically lagged Europe, sustainability is also back on the agenda following Joe Biden’s election as the next US president last November.

A $2 trillion green plan should lead to substantial increases in the use of green energy, and ESG investing could receive a large boost as a result, The Lens has learned in recent conversations with industry experts.

The US is the second largest contributor to global CO2 emissions behind China. Any positive changes on its green agenda will surely be felt further afield. 

During his time as president, Donald Trump shunned climate science and sustainability, backing coal and fossil fuels instead. Joe Biden, set to be inaugurated on January 20, is already planning to re-join the Paris Agreement.

This year may have gotten off to a rocky start, with a riot at the US Capitol setting the benchmark, but already there is much to look forward to in the asset management world, in the sustainable space and beyond.