Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing espouses investors to invest in sustainable firms. With the increasing evidence pointing towards earth warming and the disastrous climatic changes, one would have thought that ESG investing would be on top of the agenda of both high net-worth as well as institutional investors leading to a change in the investment landscape.

However, the reality is something quite different. Despite the hype, recent studies show that money is not following the mouths of sustainable investors. A survey by Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management (CGWM), a British wealth manager, has found that, while 76% of UK High Net-worth Investors (HNWIs) believe in the idea of ESG investing, just 12% sought out companies and funds that are “well governed” and have a “respectable” environmental and social reputation. Thus, despite environmental concerns, activism through protests and launching petitions, the support for climate change is translating in to financial investing.

The proposed PhD research will examine the status of sustainable investing and reasons for the apathy when it comes to actually investing money into sustainable investments. Is the motivation for investing purely driven by the desire to earn high returns? Most studies cited above point out that returns from sustainable investment are not only on par with normal investments, some even outperform them. It is therefore worth asking the question: what is stopping investors from making all their investments sustainable?

Supervisors: Professor Sunil Poshakwale

Application Details: The PhD candidate should hold a minimum 2.1 class undergraduate degree in a related discipline and have passed, or be expected to have passed by autumn, a Master’s degree or equivalent research experience in a work setting. See admission and English language requirements.

Deadline: Expressions of interest alongside a CV are invited via email to sunil.poshakwale@cranfield.ac.uk.