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Which countries are most interested in sustainable investments?

Photo credit: Thawornnurak / Shutterstock

Following a turbulent start to the 2020s, many of us are viewing our finances in an entirely different light. In fact, saving for the future is now a top priority, and many of us are choosing to invest our money into ‘green’ investments, offering both financial return in the long-term and a positive impact on society.

Interested to find out which sustainable investments are most popular around the world, energy saving site SaveOnEnergy created their own mini sustainable investors index* to identify which countries are most and least interested in making sustainable investments, which investment is searched for the most worldwide, and which countries are most likely to go against their personal beliefs to make a profit.

Which countries make the most and least searches for sustainable investments globally?

To find out which countries make the most and least investments around the world, we analysed Google search data from 31 different countries for the following sustainable investments:

  • Environmental investments

  • ESG investments

  • Ethical investments

  • Governance investments

  • Green investments

  • Impact investments

  • Social investments

  • Socially responsible investments

  • SRI investment

  • Value-based investments

The results:

The top 5 countries most interested in sustainable investments

1. United States

The United States is most concerned about making sustainable investments, with the country making 483,000 searches for sustainable investments per year – 324,000 more than the country in second place!

Even though their population of 328,200,000 will have contributed to this high figure, our analysis found that the United States, nonetheless, made 1,472 online searches for sustainable investments per one million population (122 per month), which is the third-highest of all 31 countries we studied worldwide.

2. Japan

Japan has the second highest number of searches for sustainable investments, on average, globally. With a population of 126,500,000, the country makes 1,257 searches for sustainable investments every year on average, per one million people in their country (104 per month).

By comparison, despite the United States having 201,700,000 more people in their country, Japanese residents make just 215 less searches per one million people!

3. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom makes the third highest number of searches per year, on average, for sustainable investments – 111,120 in total.

When compared with the UK’s population size of 66,650,000, Brits make 1,667 online searches for sustainable investments per one million people per year (138 per month). This figure is the second-highest rate per million of all 31 countries studied and, despite having a smaller population, Brits make 410 more searches per one million people than our allies across the pond (US).

4. Russia

Russia is the fourth most concerned with sustainable developments since our analysis revealed that there are 65,640 online searches for ‘sustainable investments’ in the country, on average, every year.

Since Russia has a population of 144,500,000 people, this means that Russians make 454 online searches for sustainable investments per one million people, or 37 per month.

5. Australia

Next in fifth place is Australia, with our analysis finding that Aussies make 28,560 online searches, on average, for sustainable investments each year.

When compared to their population of 24,990,000, Australians make 1,143 searches for sustainable investments per one million people each year (95 per month) – the sixth highest amount per one million people across all 31 countries studied.

You might also like: Which European countries are most interested in saving the planet?

Photo credit: structuresxx / Shutterstock

The top 5 countries least interested in sustainable investments

1. Portugal

Having made just 600 online searches for sustainable investments per year, on average, according to our research, Portugal is least interested in making sustainable investments of all 31countries studied.

When bearing in mind the country has a population of 10,280,000, Portuguese residents make just 58 searches for sustainable investments are made per one million people, on average, each year. To put that into perspective, that’s around four per month, and 482,400 less than the United States in first place!

2. Chile

Following behind Portugal is Chile, who make 1,080 searches for sustainable investments on average each year, ranking them among the countries least interested in making a sustainable investment.

With the country having a population of 18,730,000, our research found that residents make just 58 online searches per one million people – the same as Portugal.

3. Thailand and South Korea

Thailand and South Korea are the third least interested countries when it comes to making sustainable investments, as both countries search for sustainable investments 1,680 times every year on average.

To break it down further, Thailand has a population of 69,430,000 and South Korea has a population of 51,640,000, which means that they make 24 and 33 searches, respectively, each year per one million people.

4. The United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, and Mexico

The United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, and Mexico come in fourth, with all three countries making 2,040 online searches for sustainable investments on average each year. Taking each of these countries’ population into consideration, this means that each country makes the following number of searches per one million people, each year, on average:

  • United Arab Emirates – 212 searches per one million people

  • Taiwan – 86 searches per one million people

  • Mexico – 16 searches per one million people

5. Poland

With the country making 2,400 online annual searches for sustainable investments on average, Poland places as the fifth least interested country when it comes to making sustainable investments.

When bearing in mind the country’s population size of 37,970,000, residents of this country make 63 online searches per one million people – equivalent to five searches per month.

To find out which sustainable investment is the most popular, we collated the number of sustainable investment searches made in each country per year, on average to find the most popular investments around the world.

The top five are as follows:

  1. Impact investments – 4,200 searches

  2. ESG investments - 33,000 searches

  3. Ethical investments - 10,200 searches

  4. Green investments - 5,400 searches

  5. Impact investments - 4,200 searches

Which countries put money above values?

Of all 31 countries we studied around the world, we sought to find out which nations are most likely to go against their own personal beliefs and make an investment. We analysed a report from asset management firm Schroders and found that these are the top three countries putting money above values:

1.       The United States and Singapore (67%)

2.       Thailand (68%)

3.       South Korea (69%)

*Methodology:

  1. SaveOnEnergy analysed the latest report by asset management firm Schroders on sustainable investors to establish whether investors in 31 countries across the world would, or would not, invest against their own personal beliefs. Simply put, they would compromise their personal beliefs for higher returns.

  2. Once the list of countries was established from the Schroders report, SaveOnEnergy utilised online analytics tool Ahrefs to see how many people per month, in each of the 31 countries, are searching for sustainable investments.

  3. Searches in relation to sustainable investment for each country included: environmental investment, ESG investment, ethical investment, governance investment, green investment, impact investment, social investment, socially responsible investment, SRI investment, sustainable investment, and value-based investment.

  4. It should be noted that there is a variation in the way people search a term which means the same thing, for instance for environmental investment – people search: environmental investing, environmental investments, and environmental investment. This was taken into account to get the most accurate results possible.

  5. To further increase the accuracy and reliability of results, SaveOnEnergy translated each of the searches into each country's local language when gathering search results.

  6. Once the average monthly online search volumes for each of these related search terms were gathered for each country, they were added together to provide an overall value for the average number of ‘sustainable investment’ online searches per month in each country.

  7. The per month figure in relation to the overall ‘sustainable investment’ monthly search volume was multiplied by 12 to show the overall average number of online searches being made about ‘sustainable investment’ in each country per year.

  8. Once this was done for each of the countries, the countries were ranked from highest to lowest.

  9. For further analysis, SaveOnEnergy found the population figures for each of the 31 countries and calculated the number of online searches each year made about ‘sustainable investment’ per one million of each country’s overall population.

  10. Data was collated on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd December 2020 and all figures used from Ahrefs are average estimates.