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New Report Reveals Investors Are Avoiding Fossil Fuels, Supporting Clean Tech

By Kristin Hunt

According to new findings from the US SIF Foundation, investors are striving to make their portfolios a little greener. The organization, which pushes for sustainable investment practices, reports that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are now considered in $12 trillion in assets — or 26 percent of the U.S. assets under professional management.

Now, what does that mean in practice? Essentially investors — meaning an individual with a money manager or an institution like a company or school — can advocate for certain issues by incorporating ESG factors into their funds, plans, or portfolios. Want to support gun control reform? There’s an ESG criteria for that. Interested in achieving equal pay? There’s an ESG focus on that, too. Asset managers promote these interests by supporting sectors, companies, or projects pushing for positive change in that arena — and by avoiding groups that are doing harm. 

The health of the planet is an increasingly popular ESG criteria, according the US SIF Foundation’s 2018 trends report. At the beginning of 2018, money managers noted that they had incorporated environmental factors into $10.4 trillion in assets under management. And while the majority of those assets were managed under a very general environmental criteria, some focused on specific issues.