In non-U.S. markets — Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia/New Zealand — the 2022 figure reflects a 20% increase since the Global Sustainable Investment Review 2020. While the absolute value of sustainable investing assets grew in those regions to $21.9 trillion, all but Europe increased the proportion of sustainable investing assets relative to total managed assets as well, the 2022 review found.
All 2022 assets were reported as of Dec. 31, 2021.
The U.S. figures show a dramatic drop — to $8.4 trillion in 2022 from $17 trillion in 2020 — due to methodology changes made by alliance member US Sustainable Investment Forum to address greenwashing concerns, a US SIF spokeswoman said.
Tighter definitions of what can be called sustainable also led to a roughly 5% drop in assets in Europe, according to a GSIA news release.
The 2022 review found that investors are increasingly using corporate engagement and shareholder action to drive corporate change and to reduce sustainability-related investment risks.
James Alexander, chairman of GSIA and CEO of the U.K. Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, said in the news release that "the global sustainable finance industry is continuing to mature" as more disclosure and labeling regimes are introduced or proposed.
The 2022 review includes several policy recommendations to increase investment opportunities in the net-zero transition, improve global alignment on sustainable finance regulations, enhance data sharing, and focus more on nature and biodiversity risks and opportunities.
GSIA supports a global baseline for strengthened corporate sustainability disclosures, ESG ratings and benchmarks to help investors.
Maria Lettini, CEO of GSIA member US SIF, said in the release that while the U.S. addresses "our own nuanced local financial market challenges, we also support the incorporation of enhanced rigor and learnings from our peers across regions."
Simon O'Connor, CEO of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, another GSIA member, said in the release that the 2022 review "shows a clear story of a rapidly maturing industry, whereby standards have lifted across the world, to a point today where it is simply not sufficient to say you are doing responsible and sustainable investment, without being able to clearly articulate the real impact you are having."