Interest in ESG cuts across the generation gap, according to a survey by Franklin Templeton.
An average of 88 per cent of respondents, including baby boomers, gen X, and gen Y, said that their superannuation fund should offer a responsible investment option, while an average of 59 per cent of respondents across all age groups said they would pay closer attention to their superannuation if their provider also reported on the environmental and social impact of their investments.
“What’s interesting about the investor preferences uncovered in this survey is that they appear to reflect a shift in the current landscape of responsible investments in Australia,” said Matthew Harrison, managing director of Franklin Templeton Australia.
“We’re seeing a growing appetite for responsible investments that aim to deliver a positive social or environmental impact alongside financial returns.”
Impact investing has also experienced growth of 72 per cent between 2017 and 2018, to a total of $13.8 billion in assets.
“What these findings seem to be telling us is that people are not apathetic about their retirement finance and communicating with people about how their investments might address environmental and social concerns may be a good avenue to strengthen member engagement,” Mr Harrison said.
“While there is growing discussion at the board room level about ESG issues and investing for impact, it is likely there is more that can be done to ‘join the dots’ for everyday Australians so they better understand the role their money can play.
“We believe asset managers, super fund providers and financial advisers all have a crucial role to play in this.”
Franklin Templeton conducted the survey in Australia for the first time in May 2019, with more than 2,000 Australians aged 18 or older participating.