natural environment
stock_colors /

Sustainable funds’ assets under management doubled last year, and investor interest remains strong, a recent study from Mackenzie Investments suggests.

Nearly six in 10 (58%) respondents held sustainable investments or planned to in the next few years, the study found. And 71% of those who already held sustainable investments planned to increase their holdings.

The top area of investment focus was the environment/climate change (57%), followed by human rights (27%), fair labour practices (23%) and gender equality (19%).

A challenge for advisors and investors is that fund managers’ methods vary, which may require added due diligence.

While returns weren’t a focus of the Mackenzie study, investors were likely pleased with returns last year. Nearly half of sustainable funds (with sufficient data) outperformed their category peers, Morningstar reported. The funds tend to be priced attractively, because of a proliferation of indexed ETFs in the space.

Mackenzie’s study was conducted by Pollara between March 31 and April 7 with an online sample of 1,501 adult Canadians. Results were weighted by gender, age and region to be representative of the Canadian population. Online surveys can’t be assigned a margin of error because they don’t randomly sample the population.