Thursday 5 November 2020

Webinar: Inquire Europe sponsored research


Dr. Paul Smeets will present on what motivates people to behave pro-socially through sustainable investments.

“Get real: individuals prefer more sustainable investments”

Authors: Rob Bauer, Tobias Ruof and Paul Smeets (Maastricht University)

Date: 8 December 2020

Time: 16:00 CET

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In two survey experiments, the researchers address to what extent people are willing to place their pension savings in sustainable investments to promote sustainability. In the first experiment, pension fund members were given the opportunity to vote on the fund’s engagement strategy. A majority of members voted for increased and intensified engagement based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the second experiment, members provided feedback on the implementation process of the fund, and support for the updated engagement strategy remained strong. Members also supported the fund’s decision to implement an additional screen for equity portfolios based on SDGs. The results reveal that backing for sustainable investments is largely based on a person's social preferences. 

About the presentor

Dr. Paul Smeets

Professor of Philanthropy and Sustainable Finance, Maastricht University

Professor Smeets investigates what motivates individuals to behave pro-socially through donations and sustainable investments. He also conducts research into how to maximize the positive effects of philanthropy and sustainable finance for enhancing well-being in society. Smeets holds a professor chair at the University of Maastricht, as the youngest professor of the university. The chair is a cooperation with the Elisabeth Strouven Foundation. He has been an advisor to the European Commission, the ministry of finance, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Defense.