Only 1 in 10 in Southeast Asia are Making Green Investments, Survey

According to a survey carried out by Singapore-based consumer and data analytics firm Milieu Insight, 85% in Southeast Asia feel that their individual actions can collectively create a significant impact on the environment yet only 1 in 10 are investing in green sectors.

In conjunction with Earth Day 2023, Milieu Insight conducted a regional study to understand consumer interest in green finance. Waste management is the top priority sector for green investing, while Malaysia has the highest proportion of green investors among the countries surveyed.‍

The top three sectors for green investments were: Waste management (eg. recycling facilities) (57%), Renewable energy (eg. solar energy) (54%), and Green transportation (eg. electric vehicles) (50%).

Milieu said 85% of respondents believed that the choices of individual consumers can collectively create a significant impact on the environment and 54% have chosen to adopt more environment-friendly lifestyles such as reducing the use of plastics or recycling. But just 11% of respondents in Southeast Asia are actively making green investments.

Among the countries surveyed, Malaysia is at the forefront of the green finance movement with the highest proportion of green investors at 17%, while Thailand had the lowest at only 6%.

Of the respondents who have backed green investments, 70% have increased their allocation in the last 2 years, indicating an optimistic outlook toward contributing to a more sustainable future.

While 67% of respondents started investing in the environment because of concerns about protecting the environment for future generations, with 48% wanting to allocate some of their investment portfolio to purposeful projects, and 43% invested after being influenced by friends or family.

Renewable energy was the top investment sector in Thailand (74%) and Singapore (62%), with investors also attracted to green transportation (61%).

Investors cited the top motivators that would influence their decisions to allocate more funds towards green projects were: positive environmental impact (76%), improved market stability (48%), regulations on green reporting, higher financial returns and government incentives (39% each).

While the world becomes increasingly aware of the need to tackle climate change, more than half (53%) who have yet to invest said they are willing to do so in the future, and 41% remain uncertain about investing in the green sector.

This quantitative Earth Day survey was conducted with 4,800 respondents (N=800 per country) living across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam in March and April 2023.

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