Throughout 2020 we have witnessed a huge increase in public support for sustainability and environmental improvement. We have all started to make small changes to the way we live – perhaps eating less meat or recycling our packaging for example.
On a national level we are moving towards the introduction of more sustainable sources of renewable energy. Even the cars we drive are changing, with the increase in popularity of hybrid models as part of a longer-term move towards fully electric-driven vehicles.
With such changes the era of sustainable investing has arrived.
Big changes from small moves
Incorporating sustainable investment into our bigger financial picture is an incremental but significant change which, as it becomes standard in the financial services industry in 2021, can have a substantial, cumulative effect on our environment for generations to come.
At Sutherland Independent we spoke earlier this year about increasing the availability of sustainable investing for our clients. Now we have followed up on that, consulting with a large number of our clients in a recent survey. The results have confirmed that there is real interest in using investments to promote positive outcomes, in addition to capital growth.
Thank you to all participants for your response
The responses were broadly in keeping with what we expected: a strong preference for sustainable investing options.
In fact, over three-quarters of those surveyed expressed either a ‘preference’ or a ‘strong preference’ for incorporating sustainable investment goals into their portfolios.
We also found that investing part of their portfolio in companies and sectors with good governance and controls, broad diversity and positive social and environmental impact was something that a full 85% of our client sample would either ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ with.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the clients we consulted said that their sustainability objectives were just as important to them as their overall financial planning objectives.
So, having listened to your feedback, where do we go from here?
Over the course of 2021, we will start to evaluate your level of interest in sustainable investments before discussing ways in which we could incorporate your preferences into your financial planning. We will also be carrying out some work on our model portfolios in light of the responses received, which will likely be a gradual process over the year.