Most and least sustainable investment markets

Switzerland, Singapore and the US are the most sustainable investment markets in the world with companies listed in these countries delivering the most positive social and environmental benefits, research by Schroders claims.

However, at the other end, Indonesia, Russia and Thailand are the least sustainable markets.

The research was carried out using Schroders’ new tool SustainEx, and looked at 9,000 companies and ranked the world’s main stock markets according to their overall impact on society, putting a dollar value on their social and environmental impacts. The research has also considered sustainability by sector, with companies in the water, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals sectors providing the greatest social benefits, whereas gambling companies created the biggest social costs, relative to their importance in stock markets. Switzerland’s position at the top of the list was driven by the country’s high concentration of listed pharmaceutical and technology firms.

Andrew Howard, Schroders’ head of sustainable research, said: “Companies and countries are coming under growing pressure from regulators and society to consider their impacts on challenges like climate change, pollution and obesity. As those social tensions become more acute, it’s becoming more likely that these social and environmental externalities will have tangible financial costs.”

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