Quarter of investors plump for sustainability funds in Sweden

A survey jointly conducted by the Swedish Investment Fund Association together with Prospera Kantar Sifo suggests that one in four local investors are picking funds with sustainability objectives.

The rate is even higher for women – 29% – while it is lower than the mean for men – 20% – the findings show.

The survey has found that half of the women who have selected such funds say that the most important reason to to exclude placing money in certain types of companies, industries or business that they find unethical.

Among men the most important reason cited is that they believe placing their money this way will have a positive effect on the environment, working conditions and human rights – some 40% of the men who invested in such funds gave this reason.

Some 16% answered that they had made their choice in expectation of better return as their primary reason. Better return is cited by twice as many men as women as their primary reason for selecting such funds.

That contrasts with some 14% who believe that a fund focused on sustainability will not have any impact on return. More men, 14%, than women, 5%, believe that return will be reduced.

Fredrik Nordström, chief executive of the Swedish Investment Fund Association, said the findings were important in light of  the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These pose significant challenges, but the companies that provide solutions will be able to generate value, he said.

The findings are also important in terms of recognising that men and women approach sustainability funds for different reasons, he added.

Law that came into force earlier this year means that investors in funds available in Sweden must provide improved information about their work on sustainability, in respect of portfolio management and ESG factors – including respect for human rights and combating corruption.

This, together with developments such as the launch of the Nordic Swan labeling of funds is set to make it easier to select funds with sustainability objectives in future, Nordström said.

To read the full research (in Swedish) click here: http://fondbolagen.se/sv/Studier/Studier/

Jonathan Boyd
Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing Ltd, and Editor of InvestmentEurope. Jonathan has over two decades of media experience in Japan, Australia, Canada and the UK. Over the past 17 years he has been based in London writing about funds and investments. From editing the newsletter of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Japan in the 1990s he now focuses on Nordic markets for InvestmentEurope. Jonathan was awarded Editor of the Year at the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) Independent Publisher Awards 2017. Shortlisted for the same in 2016, he was also shortlisted in 2017 and 2015 for the broader PPA Awards category Editor of the Year (Business Media).

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