Religious value more important than environment in U.S. fund market

© Jakob Owens

Based on an analysis of the prospectuses of funds investing according to ESG criteria in the U.S. fund market the focus on religious values is more important than the environmental focus (ICI Research, 2022 Investment Company Fact Book, data end of 2021).

Investing according to ESG criteria: Total number of funds and AUM in USD billions 

2019: 489 funds and USD 263 billions
2020: 583 funds and USD 381 billions
2021: 740 funds and USD 529 billions

Religious values focus vs. environmental focus: Total number of funds 

2019: 141 religious vs. 53 environmental
2020: 152 religious vs. 59 environmental
2021: 169 religious vs. 108 environmental

Religious values focus vs. environmental focus: AUM in USD billions

2019: USD 105 billion religious vs. USD 11 billion environmental
2020: USD 119 billion religious vs. USD 32 billion environmental
2021: USD 150 billion religious vs. USD 48 billion environmental

“Religious values focus” as defined by ICI: “These funds invest in accordance with specific religious values.” It is worth noting that this category of funds is a well established group of funds within the wider universe of ESG funds representing 18,9 percent of total ESG AUM as per end of 2021 and still 3,1 x the AUM of funds with an environmental focus (vs. 3,7 x in 2020). More information on the breakdown and characteristics of funds with a religious values focus will be provided.


Source: ICI

All opinions expressed are those of the author and/or quoted sources. is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around ESG investing topics.