Sustainable investments have seen an extraordinary growth during the past 50 years and more, and the importance of ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) is today widely aknowledged by the entire society.

Investors, rating agencies and financial institutions are including ESG factors in their evaluation processes, making non-financial performances increasingly important; in fact, sustainability is proven to bring a concrete competitive advantage to organizations that are able to leverage on a structured sustainability strategy supported by proper technologies.

Here are 8 interesting facts you (maybe) didn’t know about the history of ESG and sustainable investments.

  • Social responsible investments were born in the 60’s
    when investors started refusing to buy unethical stocks, such as those from companies involved in the South African apartheid regime.

  • Kofi Annan drove the first modern initiative around Sustainable Investments
    launching the Principle for Responsible Investments (PRI) in 2005

  • In 2015, all UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
    committing to achieve 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030

  • More than 170 new regulatory measures
    were proposed during 2018

  • There has been a 160% increase
    in the number of regulatory measures, comparing 2018 vs. 2017

  • 80% of these new regulatory measures
    are targeted toward institutional investors

  • 60% of companies believes
    their business will be significantly affected by ESG issues within the next five years, according to KPMG

  • Global sustainable investments are growing at an incredible rate:
    a total amount of more than 30,800 billions USD in 2018, according to the 2018 Global Sustainable Investment Review by GSIA

If you are curious to learn more, we suggest you to read our Guide to Sustainability Reporting, where we dive deeper on the topic: you’ll find a quite detailed summary of global standards and frameworks for sustainability reporting, top ESG challenges and business priorities, and information systems that can support organizations in their sustainability initiatives.