Beats | August 9, 2017

The sustainability stance (against Trump)

The team at


What Barack Obama did for gun stocks, Donald Trump appears to be doing for funds that track environmental, social and governance, or ESG, performance. The president is undoing environmental regulations, pulling out of the Paris climate agreement and rolling back transgender and immigrant rights. Investors appear to be going in the opposite direction.

Morningstar reports a four-fold increase in the use of environmental, social and governance, or ESG, data on its platform since Trump’s inauguration. To meet demand, fund managers have launched a dozen new ESG funds this year, bringing the total to around 200.

Already new flows of investor capital into these funds in just the first half of 2017 has topped net flows for 2014 or 2015 and are on pace to top 2016 inflows, the fund tracker reports.

“If anything, Trump in the White House is having a galvanising effect, as sustainable investors become more committed to the idea and draw even more into their ranks, as more people seek ways to counter Trumpism outside of the political sphere,” writes Morningstar’s Jon Hale.