The sustainable investing market is witnessing remarkable growth. The field, however, has been challenged by greenwashing claims and a lack of consistency in identifying what, exactly, makes an investment “sustainable”. 

Sustainability or “green” taxonomies developed by governments, international bodies and non-governmental organizations can help by identifying specific assets, activities or projects that meet defined thresholds and metrics that quantify sustainability. 

This review first provides a brief overview of some of the key existing and developing taxonomies around the world. Analysis follows of ways asset managers are already leveraging taxonomies in their businesses, based on a review of publicly available responsible investment reports. Finally, certain challenges that asset managers may encounter are highlighted, as these systems develop and interest in sustainable investing continues to grow.

The authors would like to thank Nupur Agrawal for her support and assistance in preparing this article.