In addition to highlighting strong interest in social responsibly from investors, the study confirmed that Americans have particularly high expectations of financial services and insurance companies. Sixty-eight percent said knowing more about the social responsibility efforts of financial services companies would influence their decision to do business with them, and 63% expressed the same about insurance companies. Both of these responses surpassed interest in the specific environmental practices of these companies such as green practices and investing.
“While it is not completely surprising that socially responsible investing has risen to the forefront, the level of interest is surprising,” said Todd Hedtke, chief investment officer, Allianz Life. “Companies need to know that socially responsible practices are not a “nice to have,” they are table-stakes in the mind of the American investor.”
When it comes to taking action, Americans have very clear intent as well. Seventy-five percent of respondents support investing in companies that have taken positive actions when it comes to social responsibility.
While millennial interest in sustainability practices, particularly social responsibility, is well documented, the study found that the next generation of American investors places even more magnitude on social responsibility than previously thought.
“Companies have an obligation to drive social responsibility and they are in the best position to bring about large-scale change for the better,” added Hedtke. “Americans rightfully expect the companies they invest in to lead the charge and take tangible steps toward making our society a better place for all.”