Insights / Research BriefJul 13, 2020

Investors Remain Focused on Sustainability During the COVID-19 Crisis

Lubos Pastor, M. Blair Vorsatz
When investors move their money during the crisis, they favor funds with high sustainability ratings and funds that apply portfolio exclusion criteria.

While active funds as a whole experience outflows during the crisis, funds that apply exclusion criteria in their investment process receive net inflows. Funds with higher sustainability ratings from Morningstar also receive larger flows, driven especially by environmental concerns.  The pre-crisis trend of flows toward sustainability-oriented funds thus continues during the COVID-19 crisis. The fact that investors retain their commitment to sustainability during a major crisis suggests they have come to view sustainability as a necessity rather than a luxury good.