Thirty-seven percent of U.S.-based asset owners incorporate environmental, social and governance risk factors into investment decision-making, up from 29% in 2015, said a report on Callan Associates’ most recent ESG survey.
Part of the year-over-year increase came from health-care employers, which reported a 62% adoption rate, Callan said.
Also noteworthy is that shortly after the 2015 survey was conducted, the Department of Labor issued guidance allowing pension fund fiduciaries to consider ESG factors in their decision-making so long as they don’t compromise risk or return.
Among plan types, endowments and foundations continue to be the highest adopters at 53% and 48%, respectively, in 2015, up from 37% and 39%, respectively, in 2015. Behind endowments and foundations were corporate funds at 30%, up from 15% in 2015, and public funds at 25%, down from 27%. Callan attributed the decrease for public funds to the fact that fewer public funds completed this year’s survey.
Among those that do not use ESG factors, 63% cited a lack of clarity over the value of incorporating ESG.
Callan surveyed 84 asset owners in September, representing a combined $843 billion assets.