Scoring is based on 25 different elements with 10 related to governance, 10 to sustainability, and five to fund resilience. The 2023 report rated 200 state owned investors in 81 countries.
Earning 100% scores were Singapore government investment firm Temasek, with $298 billion in assets, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, with C$402 billion ($303 billion), and New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Auckland, with $39 billion.
Overall scores across all funds improved to 63% in 2023 from 59% last year.
"The improvement has been most apparent among sovereign funds, which are catching up quickly with pension funds; and around sustainability, as funds are increasing their impact activities and reporting them in a regular and meaningful way," the latest report said.
For the first GSR report in 2020, sovereign wealth funds averaged a score of 46% that in the latest report rose to 55%, despite new funds that can skew results.
"Sovereigns are improving their disclosure and their 'G' element has risen dramatically," although sustainability and resilience scores are still failing, the report said.
Among public pension funds, whose overall score rose to 71% from 69% a year ago, 2023 saw "an amazing push for sustainability" as more began issuing responsible investing reports or providing more information around ESG key metrics, the report said.
By region, funds in the Middle East saw the most improvement, with scores averaging 52% compared to 32% in 2020, the scorecard's first year.
One standout in the report was Saudi Arabia's $700 billion Public Investment Fund, which in November became the first SWF in the Middle East to announce aims to achieve net-zero emissions by year 2050.
The report highlights many countries with scores above 66% but said "the elite club does not include the USA, which falls short in both sustainability and resilience," along with Belgium, Italy and Japan.
Pressure to achieve sustainability goals is having an impact in the investment preferences of sovereign investors, the report said. Continuing a trend first noted in 2021, state investors invested more in renewable energy and other green assets than in oil, gas and mining. In the first half of 2023, that represented $16.2 billion invested in green energy, compared to $2.6 billion in traditional energy.