Charity interest in ethical investment doubles over last two years, survey suggests

The number of charities ramping up their focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in their investments has more than doubled over the last two years, research is suggesting.

A survey of charities found that this year 30% have shifted to ESG considerations, compared to 13% in 2019 and 16% in 2017.

This move has seen charities switch from negative screening of their investments to focusing on ESG.

But fewer charities are including ESG or ethical investment criteria in their investment policy statements. This year 69% of charities included this commitment in their policy statement, compared to 77% in 2019.

The findings have emerged in a survey of more than 370 charities by wealth manager Brewin Dolphin.

This also found that almost two thirds (64%) of charities have recently debated or revised their investment policies in the light of the Covid health crisis.

In addition, a third of charities regard the pandemic’s impact on their income as a concern.

“This shows that the charity sector is learning to live with Covid and its impact,” said Brewin Dolphin head of charity development Ruth Murphy.

Earlier this year more than a quarter of charities called on the Charity Commission to broaden the scope of its advice on responsible investments to include wider considerations around ESG.

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