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Despite Brexit and Trump: Sustainable investment trend remains irreversible

oekom research stays in the fast lane

 

Munich/Germany, 25 January 2017 – The UK government’s recent announcement of a “hard Brexit” and expected policy changes in the USA are already giving cause for political and economic uncertainty at this early stage in the year. Past endeavours to forge global understanding have gone into reverse, giving rise to fears of national protectionism and increasing exploitation of the environment. More than ever before, the international community must press ahead with the 2016 sustainability goals and their global aim for a shared world, and staunchly commit to enduring sustainability. Last year’s positive guideposts – such as the EU Parliament’s November endorsement of directives requiring pension funds to consider ESG criteria, or the introduction of CSR reporting duties for businesses – must be built on and put into action. Such developments give the companies themselves, as well as investors, even better orientation on their investments’ alignment with concrete sustainability goals. Continually improving growth figures and forecasts published by Eurosif, USSIF, FNG and other industry associations confirm this momentum is now irreversible.

This positive impetus also impacted oekom research’s business performance last year, as its analyst and account-management teams grew sharply, and new offices in London and New York gave it a much more visible international market presence. The oekom Universe also continued to grow (now covering 6,200 issuers), the rating methodology was further refined and new products were launched onto the market. ESG Impact Services is one such example – an innovative product for investors seeking portfolio alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The market is increasingly recognising the agency’s high-quality ratings and acknowledged this last year with numerous distinctions. oekom research’s client base also grew significantly, with more than 160 asset managers and asset owners in 13 countries now incorporating its research regularly into their investment decisions. As such, oekom research’s analyses currently influence around EUR 1.5 trillion  of assets under management.

“Despite – or perhaps precisely because of – recent key events such as Brexit or remaining uncertainty about the USA’s future political and economic policies, sustainable investment is becoming more impactful than ever before,” says oekom research CEO, Robert Haßler. “The growth we’ve seen here over the past years shows the lever is working. Investors now understand: Sustainability can have a positive impact on the yield risk, and they can make a true contribution towards a better world. This has meanwhile become a market in its own right and the growth juggernaut has become unstoppable,” he continues.

The outlook for 2017 accordingly remains encouraging and positive: Germany holds this year’s G20 presidency and a number of national and international taskforces have started investigating the key question: How, overall, will the global financial system have to be modified to better stimulate climate-friendly and sustainable investing, and create better underlying conditions for green bonds?

This considerable market momentum will also impact oekom research’s future business development: “The team will continue to grow in 2017 and breach the 100-mark in March. Thanks to our customers’ positive response, we’ll continue extending our lead in various ESG market segments over the coming year,” concludes Robert Haßler.

 

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