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Sustainability is transforming sectors globally, and the alternative investment sector is no exception. This sector, encompassing assets like art, gold, property, and classic cars, is seeing significant shifts due to increasing sustainability demands. We’ll delve into how sustainability is currently influencing these markets and explore future trends.

Current Sustainability Trends in Alternative Assets

Art: The art sector is increasingly embracing sustainability, focusing on ethical sourcing and supporting artists through Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. For example, art events and galleries are adopting more environmentally friendly practices, such as using sustainable materials and reducing waste​ (IMD Business School)​. Additionally, there’s growing support for artists from diverse backgrounds, promoting social sustainability within the art community.


Gold: The sustainability trend in the gold market is steering towards ethical sourcing and reducing environmental impact. Initiatives like the Responsible Gold Mining Principles are enhancing the sustainability of mining operations by improving labour rights, environmental protection, and community engagement​ (S&P Global)​.


Property: In the real estate sector, sustainability is a crucial factor driving investment. The adoption of green building standards and technologies is on the rise, motivated by regulatory changes and a growing demand for properties with lower environmental impacts​ (IMD Business School)​.


Classic Cars: The classic car market is adapting to sustainability through innovations such as electric vehicle conversions, which reduce emissions while preserving the cars’ aesthetic and historical value​ (Exploding Topics)​.

Evidence and Impact of Sustainability Trends

Technological advancements are crucial in tracking and improving sustainability metrics across these sectors. For instance, AI and environmental DNA technologies are helping companies meet stringent environmental standards and make informed decisions that align with sustainability goals​ (IMD Business School)​.


Regulatory pressures are also a significant driver. The EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive is a prime example, compelling companies to disclose their environmental impacts, thus pushing markets towards greater transparency and sustainability​ (IMD Business School)​.


Consumer and investor expectations have shifted markedly towards sustainable practices. This is evident in the increased valuation of assets that meet high sustainability standards, such as energy-efficient properties and ethically sourced gold​(S&P Global)​​ (Exploding Topics)​.


ESG Values in the Art Market

The art market’s ESG values are becoming increasingly relevant, with a notable focus on supporting sustainable practices among artists and galleries. This includes financial support for artists focusing on environmental themes and social issues, as well as investments in galleries that promote sustainability through their operations and exhibitions​ (IMD Business School)​.


The sustainability trend is fundamentally reshaping the alternative investment landscape. As the market continues to evolve, stakeholders are increasingly prioritising not only financial returns but also the social and environmental impact of their investments. This shift is setting new standards for investment and could define the future of the sector.


Investors and market participants must adapt to these changes to remain competitive and relevant in this evolving market context.


The integration of ESG values into investment strategies is proving to be more than a trend; it’s becoming a critical component of successful investment practices across all sectors, including alternative investments.


Why J.P. Morgan suggest allocating 15-30% of your portfolio to alternative investments.

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