While overall, there is a clear drive towards sustainability and sustainable finance in Asia, there are times when the picture is more complex. Although Asian firms score highly on disclosure, for example, nearly one in five issuers report that the disclosures they make are excessive and the region also has the lowest share of issuers who expect to increase disclosures and are happy about it.
Similarly, as green finance accelerates in the region, led by mainland China, Asian issuers show high satisfaction with the instruments (>90 per cent) but over a third of Asian investors do not buy green, social or sustainable debt and do not expect to start.
There is still work to be done for a more thorough adoption of sustainability principles and green financing, but the groundwork is there. Not only are governments, central banks and financial authorities leading the way, but Asian issuers are beginning to feel a stronger pull from the industry as well.
To a greater extent than those in other regions, issuers in Asia feel their lenders and investors care about their environmental performance and impact on society. On the former, they assign their banks, bondholders, and shareholders the highest scores of any region (measured on the three most positive rankings of a five-point scale). They also award the highest proportion of top rankings to both their lenders and equity investors.
A similar pattern is clear from their assessment of engagement with social impact. They assign top rankings to all three groups of capital providers, as well as the highest three most positive ranking scores to both bond investors and shareholders.