Cognito, the global agency specialising in financial communications, released the “ESG Investing and the Media” report to help asset managers hone their communications around their ESG efforts and better position themselves in the media. Key findings were that financial publications are not interested in individual, product-related ESG investment news and journalists are quick to spot greenwashing.  

Additionally, journalists want hard, transparent data and objective information alongside thought leadership, the report found. And when individual products are mentioned, they’re interested in hearing about innovative products, such as low-carbon benchmarks.

The research also indicated that the number of articles on sustainable investing increased by 75% from 2019 to 2020, and that communications professionals at asset managers think journalists lack ESG knowledge and understand little about investment funds’ green strategies.

In the sweeping report, the agency talked to journalists from Europe, Asia, and the US about firms’ ESG communications. Alongside this, Cognito researched what content asset managers publish about ESG, how financial media report on the topic, analysing over 4,000 articles from leading financial publications, and how firms’ communications departments view the ESG media landscape.

Richard Neve, Managing Director of Cognito Amsterdam, said the following about why the firm produced the report: “When it comes to fund investing, the media’s focus has shifted significantly over the past two years from return and risk to sustainability. There is hardly any investment fund that does not place its own strategy for sustainability, environmental and social policy at the center of the communication strategy. All funds want to profile themselves with their contribution to society, instead of ‘just’ the return for the investors.”

Read more about the report, and download it free, here.