Communicating sustainability impacts to financial consumers

Customers increasingly want their savings, pensions and investments to have a positive impact in addition to offering a competitive financial return. This trend is particularly pronounced amongst millennials: 83% in this age group state that sustainable investments is increasingly important to them. Enabling sustainable retail investment was included in the European Commission's Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, launched in March 2018. The growing demand for sustainable finance retail products presents a business opportunity for banks, pension providers and fintech companies. Nonetheless, most customers have not yet translated their preferences into their investment practices.

Lack of information on sustainable investment options is found as the main barrier, with a much smaller share of people citing a perception that sustainable options offer a lower financial return. Many do not know sustainable investment options are available to them, or how to access them. Customers must know that a sustainable option is available, easily understand the concrete positive impacts of the investments, and know how to compare the sustainability impacts across different sustainable finance offerings. The challenge: How might we better communicate to customers the contribution their investments make to the SDGs?