Sustainable investors in it for the returns

Written by Good Money Girl on 24th Nov 2020

#modernvalues – a new campaign from Liontrust and Good With Money

 As revealed in his documentary ‘A Life On Our Planet’, leading environmentalist David Attenborough believes divesting from fossil fuels and choosing to invest sustainably is one of the most important decisions we can make today for the future of our planet.

 Our new #modernvalues research campaign, in partnership with Liontrust, has revealed that 100 per cent of Good with Money readers think sustainability is important in daily life. But how many of you are already investing sustainably? And what kind of returns are you getting?


Two in five (40 per cent) sustainable investors proactively choose to invest responsibly for the financial gain, reveals a new poll.

It represents a marked shift in recent years, where sustainable investors who may once have believed in an “ethical premium”, now know they can expect superior financial returns compared to investing in broader equity funds.

The data is based on results from a survey among Good With Money readers, conducted in partnership with Liontrust.

Sustainable funds outperform sector average

Indeed, Good With Money’s recent Good Investment Review, issued in partnership with 3D Investing, found that sustainable funds have outperformed the sector average over the last five years.

“The survey shows that people now understand that positive impact need not come at the expense of financial returns” – Simon Hildrey, Liontrust

The sustainable global equity funds monitored in the Review have delivered average returns of 85.23 per cent in the five years to October 2020 compared with 76.12 across all global equity funds.

Meanwhile, the sustainable UK equity funds monitored have returned an average of 25.76 per cent compared with 16.52 per cent across all UK equity funds.

Impact of coronavirus

Looking at 2020 and the impact of the coronavirus, in the eight months to October 2020, 80 per cent (12 out of15) of the sustainable UK equity funds analysed performed better than the market average, as did 41 out of the 56 (73 per cent) sustainable global funds.

Simon Hildrey, Chief Marketing Officer at Liontrust, said: “The survey shows that people now understand that positive impact need not come at the expense of financial returns. The Good Investment Review evidence supports this, demonstrating that investing sustainably has the potential to improve returns.

“The Liontrust Sustainable Investment team believes sustainable companies have better growth prospects and are more resilient than businesses not prioritising ESG, and these advantages remain underappreciated by the wider market.”

Positive returns and positive impact

As well as positive financial returns, making a positive impact for the planet is also a motivating factor for four fifths (79 per cent) of Good With Money readers surveyed, who say they choose to invest sustainably because they want to ‘do their bit’ for the planet. And 60 per cent say they are an environmentalist.

Only 15 per cent of Good With Money readers are not currently investing sustainably.

The main reason for not investing sustainably is that people find it confusing (12.5 per cent) or don’t understand it (7.5 per cent). No wonder, when there are so many other terms used to describe sustainable investment – such as ethical investment, impact investing and ESG investing. However, 15 per cent of those not currently investing sustainably say they plan to research the area further. Only five per cent say they don’t have enough money to invest sustainably.

What do you think?

Do you still believe profit and the planet’s future have to be mutually exclusive? Or do you consider yourself an environmentalist and believe they are now inextricably linked? Let us know using the #modernvalues hashtag on Instagram or Twitter.


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