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Climate and biodiversity top engagement priorities for Southeast Asia investors

Schroders study finds 30% most concerned about climate issues.
Climate change, A drying tree with air pollution and green grass with beautiful sunlight sky metaphor world nature disaster and global warming concept.

Climate and biodiversity issues are of greatest concern for investors in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, a Schroders report has found.

Schroders Global Investor Study 2022 found 30% of investors in these regions consider climate issues the most important engagement priority, followed by 23% ranking natural capital and biodiversity second.

The study was conducted between February and April this year of nearly 24,000 individuals who invest from 33 locations globally, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Age and education

The survey also found out of younger Southeast Asia investors, such as those aged 38-50, 78% said they are more likely to prioritise their principles and values when making investment decisions, although they also felt less equipped than expert investors with the knowledge to do so.

Among self-classified “expert” investors, 58% responded that their personal principles are “very important” to them, significantly higher than those who class themselves as intermediate and rudimentary investors.

“This study demonstrates that perhaps now more than ever before, investors of all levels of experience are increasingly wanting to express their views if companies are unable to justify their actions,” said Stuart Podmore, Schroders’ investment propositions director.

“If the pandemic has taught us nothing else, it is that companies, as well as governments, are under closer scrutiny than ever to mitigate ESG risks in a sustainable way.”

Where better knowledge on sustainable investing is available, the study also found Southeast Asian investors now feel more confident in accessing investments that might previously have been seen as off-limits.

In Southeast Asia, 51% of the investors surveyed feeling empowered to access digital assets, 49% of them are confident in investing in private equity, and 50% feel capable in investing in real estate.

This story was first published on ESG Clarity.

Part of Mark Allen.