The Race to Harness ESG and Sustainability

Global investors report on ESG and sustainable investment practice.

page title

The Race to Harness ESG and Sustainability

Global investors report on ESG and sustainable investment practice.

June 10, 2021

Investment aligned to ESG and sustainable principles continues to soar. In a global survey conducted among 288 of BNY Mellon’s clients (representing asset managers, asset owners, alternative asset managers, banks, broker-dealers and insurance firms), we uncovered the ESG and sustainable investment practices market participants are adopting, and which ones they may remain committed into the future.

Are you an explainable AI company that we should know about?


Learn More [link to accelerator program page]

Interested in learning more about emerging technologies for the financial services industry? 


Sign-up for The Quarterly Update

Key Findings


  • A majority of respondents have adopted or will adopt more active methods of ESG implementation going forward. 75% of respondents said they would implement or continue to implement ESG integration over the next 3-5 years, compared to 46% who are integrating ESG today.
  • Passive approaches to investing sustainably, namely screening methods, seem likely to become a “minimum safeguard” in the future. 49% of surveyed participants said that they are likely to apply screening (negative, positive, norms-based) to some or all of their portfolios over the next 3-5 years. This figure remains flat when compared to the percentage rate of respondents implementing negative screening today.
  • Investors demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainable and impact investing, with 63% of respondents saying they will conduct or continue to conduct sustainability-themed or impact investing over the medium term.
  • Projected commitment to ESG integration over the next 3-5 years could signal more requirements for ESG disclosure within alternative asset classes. 75% of respondents said they are likely to implement, or continue implementing, ESG integration across one or multiple asset classes over this time frame, while 55% of respondents seek disclosures on ESG issues from the private investment entities/structures in which they invest.
  • Engagement is an important facet of the sustainable investment process. 69% of respondents actively engage with investee companies on sustainability issues.
  • The “lack of quality ESG-related data [available] to accurately inform investment decisions” is considered the greatest hindrance to ESG integration among survey participants. However, there is room for improvement and investors seek solutions to the problem. A small number of surveyed participants map investment information against taxonomies and ESG standards frameworks, while a greater number would consider using a solution to do so.
Business concept - high speed abstract MRT track of motion light for background in tokyo, japan

To learn more about BNY Mellon’s approach to Enterprise ESG and client solutions, see how we are putting the Future FirstSM.