Calvert Impact Capital survey finds that investors are finally walking the talk and investing for climate change, racial equity
Jul 27, 2022 | Bethesda, MD
Calvert Impact Capital announced the publication of its biennial Impact Investor Survey results, which found respondents reporting an increased number of impact investments in the last two years.
Every two years, Calvert Impact Capital conducts the investor survey to better understand the motivations of its investor base, the challenges they face in investing for impact, and how Calvert Impact Capital can serve them better. This survey is intended not only to inform the firm’s work, but also to provide feedback that the entire impact investing industry can utilize. Nearly 800 individuals participated, with respondents split between two cohorts, individuals and institutions already invested in Calvert Impact Capital’s Community Investment Note® (or advisors who have helped clients to invest) and individuals, institutions and advisors that have not invested.
One striking finding from the survey was the extent to which intentions are translating to actions. In the survey conducted two years ago, 70% of the respondents said they planned to increase their impact investments, but only 19% had made a recent impact investment. In the 2022 version, however, 66% of respondents said they planned to boost their impact investments, and more than half said they had recently invested to address climate change, 39% to address racial equity and justice, and 21% to mitigate the impact of COVID on communities. The 2022 findings also contrast with what Calvert Impact Capital found in 2018, where most respondents indicated that less than 5% of their total investment portfolios were allocated to impact investing.
There were also indications that the Community Investment Note serves as an on-ramp to impact investing, as more than half the investors said it was their first impact investment, while nearly two-thirds indicated they now have other impact investments.
“That’s probably what was most exciting to me,” said Calvert Impact Capital President and CEO Jennifer Pryce. “Investors are clearly treating the Community Investment Note as a core part of their portfolios while, over time, seeking out additional places to invest for impact. It’s an important validation point for us as we embark on new product creation, and it should be reassuring to the broader impact community that interest will continue to grow.”
Comparing this year’s findings to the 2020 report, trends remained consistent as Community Investment Note investors once again listed environmental sustainability, renewable energy, racial justice, gender equity, and affordable housing as their top reasons for investing.
The theme of taking action and investing in impact holds up among financial advisors, many of whom reported that they made an impact investment on behalf of their clients in the last two years.
- 80% of financial advisors reported they have made at least one new investment on behalf of their clients to address climate change since 2020
- 74% have made at least one new investment on behalf of their clients to address racial equity since 2020
The number of impact investments made across both respondent segments is expected to grow in the next two years. Investors and non-investors all reported plans to increase the impact investments in their portfolios.
Finally, the survey also asked respondents what barriers are keeping them from making additional impact investment and the most cited—by individuals, advisors and institutions—was ease of purchase. While the Community Investment Note is available to investors directly from Calvert Impact Capital starting at $20 and through brokerage accounts with a minimum of $1,000, this finding suggests the industry as a whole needs to focus on accessibility when designing impact investing products.
Additional information about the survey results can be found here.