Global investors plan to double sustainable assets within five years, according to BlackRock's first Global Sustainable Investing Survey.
Despite unprecedented challenges related to COVID-19, demand for sustainable investing has accelerated, BlackRock found in its survey, which covers 425 BlackRock clients in 27 countries, representing $25 trillion in collective assets under management. Further, 20% of respondents said the pandemic would accelerate allocations to sustainable investments.
Mark McCombe, BlackRock chief client officer, said in a release that the "tectonic shift" comes from a convergence of political and regulatory pressures, technology advancements and client preferences. That shift is likely to be sustained for at least the next five years, with the most prominent growth in sustainable assets in Europe, but there is also growing prominence in the Americas and Asia, for varying reasons and priorities by region, the survey found.
Regardless of region, 88% of clients ranked climate risk as their top concern, with social issues like diversity and inclusion, and fair labor practices expected to grow in prominence in the next few years. More than half of the clients surveyed are concerned about the quality of ESG data and analytics.
The survey also covers ESG integration, data concerns and the biggest sustainability risks for clients.
Also Thursday, BlackRock updated sustainability actions it has taken in 2020 in 30 areas, including integrating ESG into active and advisory strategies covering $2.7 trillion in assets, new climate risk tools, and expanded sustainability metrics and partnerships. For 2021, BlackRock said that 244 carbon-intensive companies risk voting action unless they make "significant progress" on climate.