US Retail Investors Support ESG

Research by GlobeScan, in collaboration with InfluenceMap, an independent think tank producing data-driven analysis on how business and finance are impacting the climate crisis, reveals that US retail investors show strong support for considering environmental and social issues​. The survey of nearly 5,000 retail investors (defined as those who own and invest in stocks, bonds, funds, or who participate in company or government pension or retirement schemes) in ten countries and territories (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, UK, and the USA) was conducted in July and August of 2023. ​

Findings show that despite the ongoing backlash against ESG and the intense politicization of this agenda ahead of the presidential elections, US retail investors are mostly convinced of the importance of their investment funds to consider protecting nature and wildlife, reducing economic inequality, and addressing climate change. Support is strongest for protecting nature and wildlife, with 43 percent of retail investors saying this is “very important” while another 39 percent say it is “somewhat important.” American shareholders also express similarly high levels of agreement on the importance of considering economic inequality and climate change when investing. However, a minority of US retail investors disagree with their investments considering these environmental and social factors. Most notably, opposition is strongest on climate change which shows how politicized the issue of climate change has become in the US.


The research clearly shows that US retail investors continue to widely support the ESG agenda despite the ongoing backlash against it. However, the USA also has the highest proportion of people among the ten markets we surveyed who deem these issues to be “not at all important.” Opposition to the sustainability agenda prevails only among a small but vocal minority of US retail investors.

Read more in our report People and Planet Are Sound Investments: Shareholder Views on Climate Change, Nature, and Economic Inequality

Survey Question: How important is it that your investments consider each of the following issues?​

Source: GlobeScan Radar Trends Report (survey of 29,565 people in the general public across 31 countries and territories in July ‒ August 2023)