Investor interest around environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors is at an all-time high, but research shows that asset managers’ engagement with corporate boards – and with their own stakeholders – over climate change still has a long way to go.

Consultancy Redington’s Responsible Investment Survey 2020, published in September, revealed that as many as 39% of respondents couldn’t offer examples of engagement with companies’ leadership over specific climate-related issues. Redington surveyed 104 asset managers across a number of markets, from the US to Australia, covering a total of 192 investment strategies and with a total of $10tn in assets under management.

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Moreover, although more than three quarters of respondents said that climate factors played a role in investment decisions, only 60% could provide examples of when these factors swayed decisions over the purchase or sale of an asset.

In many cases, firms hadn’t quite engaged with stakeholders themselves: only 28% of asset managers surveyed had adopted the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures guidelines, which reveal an organisation’s exposure to climate-related risks.