ESG statistics: how does ESG impact business and investing?

1 min readLast updated February 29, 2024by Unbiased team

Delve deeper into the statistics surrounding Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investment and explore how these factors impact businesses and investing.


  • ESG propositions have a 63% positive impact on equity returns. 

  • Young investors are willing to give up 14% of their wealth to advance ESG issues. 

  • By 2025, ESG assets may constitute 50% of managed investments ($35 trillion). 

  • While 85% of asset managers prioritize ESG, 64% are concerned about transparency. 

How do investors perceive ESG? 

ESG investing is a holistic approach that considers not only the financial performance of a company but also its impact on the environment, society, and its governance structure.  

This multifaceted framework aims to assess a company's sustainability, ethical practices, and overall contribution to the long-term well-being of society.  

In recent years, environmental, social, and governance investment considerations have become integral to decision-making. This reflects a broader recognition that financial success should not come at the expense of ethical and environmental responsibility. 

Contrary to the misconception that prioritizing ESG compromises returns, over 2,000 studies reveal a positive correlation.  

This perception is gaining traction globally. Despite variations across countries, with some experiencing slower adoption rates, the overarching trend is clear – investing in ESG is fast becoming a valued option. 

This shifting perspective towards ESG investing is most noticeable in young investors.  

Those holding more than $250,000 in wealth have expressed a remarkable willingness to give up 14% of their wealth to advance ESG issues, underscoring a significant generational shift in values.  

What impact does environmental, social, and governance have on the future of investing? 

The impact of environmental, social, and corporate governance on the future of investing is profound and far-reaching, with projections indicating a seismic shift in the investment landscape.  

By 2025, assets subject to ESG mandates may constitute 50% of the overall value of professionally managed investments, reaching a staggering $35 trillion.  

In Europe, where ESG has gained significant traction, 72% of asset owners receiving ESG-related reports from managers express a preference for standardized reporting. This desire for consistency in reporting reflects the need for transparency and a standardized framework to evaluate ESG performance across different investments. 

Interestingly, despite the growing awareness and agreement on the importance of sustainability factors, there is a significant gap in the actual allocation of funds towards sustainability-themed investments.  

  • An ESG investing statistics survey by asset manager Schroders revealed that more than 60% of Americans agree that investment funds should consider sustainability factors.  

  • Yet, only 15% say they put money in sustainably themed investments. 

How does ESG affect companies and their practices? 

The impact of investing in ESG extends beyond the realm of finance. It also serves as a regulatory and motivational force that encourages companies to conduct their business more sustainably and ethically.  

External pressures from investors and consumers do not just drive this shift. It is increasingly becoming an integral part of corporate identity and long-term strategic planning.  

The fact that Statista ESG statistics show that eight out of 10 business leaders display a positive attitude towards environmental, social, and corporate governance initiatives is not merely a public relations strategy; it is a reflection of a fundamental shift in how companies perceive their role in society. 

However, this environmental, social, and corporate governance transformation is not without its challenges: 

  • 85% of asset managers acknowledge ESG investing as a high priority for their companies. 

  • 64% express concerns about a lack of transparency and corporate disclosure regarding ESG activities. 

These stats indicate that, while companies are embracing the idea of investing in ESG, there is still work to be done in terms of ensuring accountability and providing clear and comprehensive information about their sustainability practices. 

Where does the majority of ESG investing happen? 

According to Bankrate, the vast majority of ESG fund assets are held in Europe, where sustainable funds account for 20% of overall fund assets.  

European investors and asset owners have been at the forefront of embracing sustainable and responsible investing, driven by both regulatory requirements and a growing awareness of the long-term benefits of ESG integration. 

In contrast, the United States presents a different landscape, with some Republican lawmakers arguing that ESG investing imposes unnecessary constraints on corporations and undermines financial returns.  

This ideological divide is reflected in the political sphere, as evidenced by the House Financial Services Committee's approval of multiple anti-ESG bills in 2023. 

Get expert financial advice 

ESG statistics underscore the transformative power of ESG in shaping the future of business and investing. The positive correlation between ESG propositions and equity returns, coupled with the growing acceptance of ESG principles by investors and business leaders, highlights a paradigm shift towards sustainability and ethical practices. 

As you navigate this evolving landscape, it's crucial to seek expert financial advice. 

A qualified financial advisor can provide personalized guidance and help you align your investments with your values while maximizing financial returns.  

Unbiased helps you find a financial advisor so that you can manage your money and your investments successfully.  

Connect with a financial advisor today. 


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.