New research has found that companies which invest on the basis of environmental concerns often receive higher returns.
The study from risk analysts Axioma tracked the performance of portfolios which had incorporated environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their investment strategies.
An estimated 80 per cent of leading companies now use ESG metrics to support their investments, up from only 20 percent in 2011.
Data was compiled on the performance of ESG investments over the past nine years for developed markets in Europe, Japan and the US. While the market was slow to start and sometimes underperformed, a notable change has occurred in the past three to five years.