Impact Investing, SRI & ESG Investing: Market Trends, Data & Stats 2020

This is a collection of findings relating to impact investing, SRI and ESG Investing from published reports and white papers by leading financial institutions JP Morgan, GIIN, KPMG, and others. Note that a few links are from third-party sources.

We are sharing them to help journalists or researchers with their research – hence, do link to this page, because it helps to make our effort known.

Impact Investing

Market size

  • In 2020 GIIN annual survey, the global market size of impact investing was estimated at $715 billion. Source
  • Between 2013 and 2019, impact investing market has grown at 27% CAGR from $25.4 billion to $715 billion. Source: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5] & [6]
  • In 2020, Asset managers represented 70% of the impact investment market, while 17% are foundations. Source
  • Europe (WNS Europe) impact investment allocation is the fastest growing at 25% CAGR after Asia (East and Southeast) at 23% CAGR from 2015 to 2019. Source
  • WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) is the fastest growing sector with annual growth rate of 33% from 2015 to 2019. Source
  • In India, 37% of private equity funds manage over USD 100 million in impact investment. Source


  • 81% of respondents considered impact investing is an efficient way to meet their impact goals. Source
  • 87% of respondents considered they have a mission to pursue impact through their investments. Source
  • 87% of respondents considered impact investing was central to their commitment as responsible investors. Source
  • 60% of respondents target both social and environmental impact, while 34% target only social impact and just 6% focus solely on environmental impact objectives. Source
  • Over two-thirds of respondents (68%) address climate change through their impact investments. Source


  • In 2020, 88% of investors reported meeting or exceeding their financial expectations. Source
  • In 2020, two-third of impact investors aim to achieve risk-adjusted, market returns. Source
  • In India, small private equity funds (under $100M) generated on average 8.9% annual returns. Source
  • The average private equity deal size on impact investment was USD 2.8 million in 2019. Source
  • Financial services as an impact investing sector grew at 33% from 2015 to 2019. Source
  • The average private equity impact funds generated 5.8% annual returns per year. Source


  • SDGs is the most commonly used IMM resouces at 73% after IRIS Catalog of Metrics at 46% in 2020. Source
  • 89% of investors used external systems, tools and frameworks for IMM, compared to 11% one decade ago. Source
  • 66% of investors reported Impact Washing as the greatest challlenge facing the industry over the next five years. Source

ESG / SRI Investing


  • The broadly defined ESG market is expected to reach $45 trillion in AUM in 2020. Source
  • In 2019, assets in EGS ETFs more than doubled to $80B. Source
  • Europe and North America account for more than 90% of the ESG market. Source
  • ESG investing — or strategies that take a company’s environmental, social and governance factors into consideration — grew to more than $30 trillion in 2018, and some estimates say it could reach $50 trillion over the next two decades. Source
  • In 2019, Sustainable Stock Exchanges reached over 50,000 companies through SSE Partner Exchange, representing a total market capitalisation of nearly $86 trillion. Source
  • In 2018, $11.6 trillion of all professionally managed assets—one $1 of every $4 invested in the United States—were under ESG investment strategies. Source
  • In 2019, Ireland became the world’s first country to divest from fossil fuels from its national investment fund. Source

To meet the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F), about $90tn of investment is needed by 2030.



  • 84% of individual investors wanted the ability to tailor their investment to match their values. Source
  • 71% of general population believe their investment decisions can influence the amount of climate change caused by human activities. Source
  • 51% of non-ESG investors would like for their advisers to discuss ESG investments with them. Source
  • 67% of UK investors said sustainable investing was important to them – and were willing to hold sustainable investments for two years longer than the average investor. Source
  • 90% of women believe making a positive impact on society is important. Source
  • Female investors are almost twice as likely than male investors to consider both returns and positive impact when deciding on investments. Source


  • 49% of millennial millionaires make their investments based on social factors. Source
  • 2x Millennials are twice as likely as older generations to want their pension to be invested responsibly. Source
  • $58.7 trillion of wealth will transfer primarily to women and millennials over the next 35 years. Source
  • U.S. households will pass $68tn in assets to their children over the next 3 decades, reported in 2019. Source
  • 45% of wealthy millennials want to use their funds to help others and consider social responsibility a factor in making investment decisions. Source
  • In 2018, 60% of millennials considered impact investing to be very or somewhat important. Source
  • In 2019, 95% of millennials expressed interest in sustainable investing, and 85% from general population. Source
  • 89% of millennials believe their investment decisions can create economic growth that lifts people out of poverty. Source
  • 83% of general population believe their investment decisions can create economic growth that lifts people out of poverty. Source
  • 85% of millennials believe their investment decisions can influence the amount of climate change caused by human activities. Source
  • 91% of Millennial respondents expressed interest in an impact report that tracks social and environmental return on their sustainable investments. Source

Retail Investors

  • Over 8 in 10 individual investors believe that corporate ESG practices can potentially lead to higher profitability and may be better long-term investments. Source
  • 88% of individual investors believe that it is possible to balance financial gains with a focus on social and environmental impact. Source
  • Two-thirds of respondents (65%) cited lack of available financial products as a barrier to adopting sustainable investing. Source
  • Public equity was the only asset class that a majority of respondents could identify as having quality sustainable investing strategies. Source

Institutional Investors & Funds

  • In 2020, 55 % of ESG-oriented hedge funds continue to target alpha returns, while managing fat-tailed far‑off risks. Source
  • In 2020, 15% of hedge fund managers have embedded ESG factors across their strategies. Source
  • In 2020, 63% of hedge fund managers indicated that progress was hampered by lack of robust templates, consistent definitions and reliable data. Source
  • In 2020, 44% of institutional investors reported ESG-oriented hedge funds can deliver alpha and also manage fat-tailed far-off risks. Source
  • In 2020, 34% of institutional investors considered ESG is material to the financial performance of investee companies. Source
  • In 2020, 75% of institutional investors considered too early to decide whether sustainable investing delivers double bottom-line outcomes. Source
  • In 2020, 49% of institutional investors reported lack of consistent quality data is a challenge in the adoption process. Source
  • In 2020, 85% of institutional investors are the biggest driver of demand for ESG-oriented hedge funds. Source

Corporate Companies

  • In 2017, 93% of the G250 companies issue corporate responsibility reports. Source
  • In 2019, 55% of CEOs believe that their organizations must look beyond purely financial growth if we are to achieve long-term, sustainable success. Source
  • In 2019, 71% of CEOs feel it is their personal responsibility to ensure that the organization’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies reflect the values of their customers. Source

Green Bonds

  • The climate-aligned bond market is $1.45 trillion. Source
  • By 2017, over $155 billion worth of public and corporate green bonds had been issued. Source
  • In 2020, the green bonds market is valued at 192.9bn. Source
  • Fannie Mae is the largest green bond issuer in 2019 with $22.8bn under Green Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS). Source
  • KfW, the German state-owned development bank, was the second largest green bond issuer at $9bn value. Source
  • Green bonds represent just a little more than 1 percent of the $53 trillion global bond market. Source
  • $521bn worth of cumulative green bond issuance from 2007-2018. US leading at $118.6bn, followed by China ($77.5bn) and France ($56.7 bn). Source

Learning to start your trading journey? Then read here, here, and here.