European investors and issuers embrace new roles and responsibilities.
While capital market participants’ powerful embrace of sustainability is a global movement, European investors and issuers are at the forefront of it, often demonstrating to their peers in other regions what change can look like.
This year, our European respondents, and particularly investors, are showing their global leadership on green and sustainability matters across several different areas.
For instance, not only are European issuers and investors leading their peers in the global race to carbon neutrality (24% and 38% of them, respectively, have already made a net zero commitment), the region’s asset allocators and owners are also way out in front of their global peers in implementing a firm-wide policy on responsible investing or ESG issues (91% have done so – up from 43% last year – compared to the global average 59%).
At a country level, French issuers (24%) are ahead of their German peers in setting targets (16%), but they trail investors in both countries; about 40% of allocators and owners in France and Germany say they have made a commitment.
Interestingly, some 88% of European investors – the highest percentage of any region – say nothing is holding them back from pursuing ESG investing more fully and broadly (up from 54% last year), which suggests their leadership in this area could extend even further.
In addition to this, there is strong, broad-based engagement and commitment among European respondents to environmental and social concerns – 97% of issuers and investors in the region say they are important to their organisation, which is a regional high. And in the past 12 months, half of them say they have also increased their attention to both of these issues, notably more than their peers in all other regions.