Aegon Asset Management collaborated with the research arm of Newsweek and recognized ESG academics Harry Hummels and Rob Bauer of Maastricht University on a global survey among 280 asset owners, asset managers and experts in the field of sustainable and responsible investment.
The key finding of the research is that ESG is now 'mainstream', though gaps remain between intent and implementation; also the Paris climate agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are identified as the key drivers behind further development of the field. Based on the survey outcomes and interviews with many leading ESG practitioners, the authors conclude that more investor-relevant ESG data is needed, and that the 'right' kind of regulations can support the further uptake of responsible investment. They also identified the need for ESG products and approaches across asset classes.
"Aegon Asset Management has long considered Responsible Investment to be a strategic priority. That's why we have made ESG training mandatory for all investment staff several years ago and we continue to work with them on a daily basis to improve our understanding in this area," says Harald Walkate, Global Head of Responsible Investment at Aegon Asset Management. Further detail on our Responsible Investment approach can be found in the 2017 version of the annual Responsible Investment report.