Sustainable Financing and Investing Survey – Americas

Results from HSBC’s sustainable finance and investing survey in the Americas show a strong trend toward green and ESG options

Overview

Executive Summary
  • Participants in the Americas show great concern over climate change, with 47 per cent of issuers and 37 per cent of investors regarding it as the most important threat to humanity.
  • 63 per cent of investors in the Americas believe environmental and social considerations can improve performance and 71 per cent feel a responsibility to consider environmental, social and governance issues that might affect investment performance.
  • Issuers in the region are open to sustainable funding. 54 per cent who have yet to raise funds through green or socially responsible bonds indicate that they may do so in the future.

 

Key Findings

 

Home to some of the largest capital markets in the world, the Americas have the potential to exert great influence, and market participants in the region seem to be leaning decisively toward sustainable options. As of 2018, USD12 trillion assets in the US were held in sustainable vehicles, representing 25.7 per cent of total assets under management for the country. In Canada, this number jumps to USD1.7 trillion – 50.6 per cent of total assets under management. For both countries, green bonds form the majority of sustainable financial instruments.

The Americas stand out amongst the global cohort in their decisive views on environmental issues and sustainable finance. They are unmatched in their feelings on the urgency of climate change, with 47 per cent of issuers and 37 per cent of investors regarding climate change as the most important threat to humanity. In comparison, globally 29 per cent of issuers and 32 per cent of investors rate the urgency of climate change highly.

The strong sentiment doesn’t end with the urgency around an imperilled climate, rather, it is evidence of a dominant theme within the region of strong engagement with sustainability and social issues and a commitment to incorporating these factors into financing and investing strategies. Environmental and social issues are regarded as very important by nearly two-thirds of investors, 71 per cent of issuers and 80 per cent of companies in the region. To see the difference, consider the global average of investors – 48 per cent – and issuers – 62 per cent – who feel the same way.

What is driving strong environmental and social engagement in the Americas? Our survey results reveal that there are likely a number of factors at play in the region, including the influence of external stakeholders, the positive view of ESG-related returns and the perceived link between environmental and social engagement and the wider economy. Read more

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