Skip to main content
private pension

Sustainable Investing in Germany - How to start your portfolio the right way

Discover how to build a sustainable investment portfolio in Germany, including expert tips and recommendations for starting off on the right foot. Invest in a greener future.

Fabian Beining

Welcome to the world of sustainable investing in Germany!

If you're looking for ways to start your portfolio the right way, you've come to the right place. Sustainable investing, also known as socially responsible investing (SRI), is an investment strategy that focuses on not only generating financial returns but also making a positive impact on society and the environment.

In recent years, the demand for sustainable investment opportunities has been on the rise. Investors are becoming more aware of the social and environmental challenges we face and are actively seeking ways to align their investments with their values.

Germany, in particular, has seen significant growth in sustainable finance, driven by government support and increasing investor demand.

In this article, we will explore the trend of sustainable investing in 2023, the growth of sustainable finance in Germany, and key focus areas for sustainable investing in the coming year.

We will also delve into the challenges that sustainable investing faces in 2023 and provide insights into the evolution of ESG techniques, data, and regulations.

So, whether you're a seasoned investor looking to diversify your portfolio or a beginner seeking to make your first sustainable investment, this article will provide you with valuable information and guidance to help you navigate the world of sustainable investing in Germany. Let's get started!

Trend of Sustainable Investing in 2023

Sustainable investing is expected to continue as a trend in 2023, with investors actively seeking out sustainable investment opportunities.

With increasing awareness and concern about the environment, social issues, and corporate governance, sustainable investing has gained significant traction in recent years. The year 2023 is no exception, with the trend set to continue as investors look for ways to align their investments with their values. Here are some key points to understand the trend of sustainable investing in 2023:

  • Growing demand: There is a growing demand for investments that have a positive impact on society and the environment. Investors are increasingly looking for opportunities that not only generate financial returns but also contribute to solving global challenges.
  • Government support: Governments around the world, including Germany, have recognized the importance of sustainable finance and are taking steps to support its growth. For example, the German government has introduced several initiatives and regulations to encourage sustainable investing and increase transparency in the market.
  • Shift in investor mindset: Investors are shifting their mindset from viewing sustainability as a risk management tool to considering it as a value driver. They understand that companies that prioritize sustainability are likely to be more resilient in the face of environmental and social challenges.
  • Integration of ESG factors: Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are being increasingly integrated into investment decision-making processes. Investors are considering not only financial performance but also a company's performance in areas such as carbon emissions, diversity, and management practices.
  • Positive financial performance: Sustainable investments have shown that they can deliver competitive financial returns along with positive impact. Numerous studies have indicated that companies with strong ESG practices are more likely to outperform their peers in the long run.
  • Investment options: The range of sustainable investment options available to investors has significantly expanded in recent years. There are now sustainable investment funds, green bonds, and impact investing opportunities that cater to different investment preferences and risk appetites.
  • Investor activism: Investors are increasingly using their influence to drive change in companies' sustainability practices. Through shareholder engagement and voting, investors can push companies to improve their ESG performance and align with international standards.

Sustainable investing is not just a passing trend; it represents a shift in the way investments are made. Investors are recognizing the power they have to make a positive impact through their investment decisions. As the trend continues to grow in 2023, it presents exciting opportunities for individuals and institutions to invest in a more sustainable future.

For more information on sustainable investment funds for expats in Germany, check out Sustainable Investment Funds for Expats in Germany.

Growth of Sustainable Finance in Germany

Germany has emerged as a key player in the growth of sustainable finance. With increasing investor demand and government support, sustainable investments have seen significant growth in the country. Let's take a closer look at the factors contributing to this trend and how it is shaping the investment landscape in Germany.

Government Support and Investor Demand

Germany has been actively promoting sustainable finance through various initiatives and policies. The government has introduced frameworks and regulations that encourage the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions. This includes the Sustainable Finance Strategy introduced in 2019, which aims to mobilize capital towards sustainable investments.

Investor demand for sustainable investments has also been a driving force behind the growth of sustainable finance in Germany. Investors are increasingly recognizing the importance of aligning their investments with their values and are actively seeking out sustainable investment opportunities. This demand has led to an increase in the number of sustainable investment products available in the market, catering to a diverse range of investor preferences.

Impressive Growth Figures

The growth of sustainable finance in Germany can be seen through impressive figures and statistics. According to the Swiss Sustainable Finance Market Study 2023, sustainability-related investments dropped 19% to CHF 1.61 trillion. This indicates a substantial increase in sustainable investment activity in the country.

The German Sustainable Finance Cluster, a network of institutions and organizations promoting sustainable finance, reported a growth of 20% in sustainable investments in Germany between 2019 and 2021. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years as sustainable investing becomes even more mainstream.

The Rise of Green Bonds

One significant development in sustainable finance in Germany is the rise of green bonds. Green bonds are fixed-income securities that are specifically issued to raise capital for environmentally friendly projects. These projects could include renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable infrastructure.

Germany has positioned itself as a market leader in green bond issuance. According to the Climate Bonds Initiative, Germany was the second-largest issuer of green bonds globally in 2022, with a total issuance of EUR 21.2 billion. This demonstrates the country's commitment to financing sustainable projects and transitioning towards a low-carbon economy.

Positive Impact on the Economy

The growth of sustainable finance in Germany not only benefits the environment but also has a positive impact on the economy. Sustainable investments create opportunities for companies operating in sectors such as renewable energy, clean technology, and sustainable infrastructure. These investments drive innovation, create jobs, and contribute to economic growth.

Moreover, sustainable finance attracts foreign capital and positions Germany as an attractive destination for sustainable investment. This influx of investment capital can further stimulate economic development and support the country's transition to a more sustainable future.


Germany's commitment to sustainable finance, coupled with increasing investor demand, has led to significant growth in sustainable investments. The support from the government, the rise of green bonds, and the positive impact on the economy are driving forces behind this trend. As sustainable investing continues to gain momentum, we can expect further growth in the coming years, making Germany a key player in the global sustainable finance landscape.

“Sustainable finance is not just a trend; it is an economic necessity. Germany recognizes this and has taken significant steps to promote and support sustainable investments. The growth we are witnessing in sustainable finance in Germany is a testament to the country's commitment to a more sustainable future.”

Economic Projections for Germany

When considering sustainable investing in Germany, it is important to take into account the economic projections for the country. These projections provide valuable insights into the potential growth and stability of the economy, which can influence investment decisions. Here are the key economic projections for Germany in the coming years:

  1. Stagnation in 2023: The economy in Germany is projected to stagnate in 2023, with a growth rate of around 0.5%. This is mainly due to the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on various industries. However, it is expected that Germany's economy will rebound in the subsequent years.
  2. Growth in 2024: Despite the projected stagnation in 2023, Germany is expected to experience a moderate growth rate in 2024. The growth rate is estimated to be around 1.3%, indicating a gradual recovery from the effects of the pandemic. This growth can create potential investment opportunities for sustainable investors.

It is important to note that economic projections are subject to change based on various factors such as government policies, global economic trends, and unforeseen events. Therefore, it is essential for investors to stay updated with the latest economic data and analyze the potential risks and rewards before making investment decisions.

In addition to economic projections, it is crucial for investors to consider other factors such as market trends, regulatory environment, and the impact of sustainable investing on the economy. By taking a holistic approach and considering all relevant factors, investors can make informed decisions and build a sustainable investment portfolio.

"The ability to see beyond short-term fluctuations in economic growth and focus on long-term potential is key for sustainable investing."

German Institutional Investors' Perspectives on ESG and Sustainability

When it comes to sustainable investing, German institutional investors are leading the way. A majority of these investors, around 83%, take into account environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria when making their investment decisions. This shows a strong commitment to sustainability and a recognition of the importance of considering ESG factors in the investment process.

German institutional investors understand that sustainable investing goes beyond just financial returns. They recognize that incorporating ESG criteria can mitigate risk, enhance long-term performance, and align investments with their values and societal goals. By considering factors such as climate change, human rights, labor standards, and corporate governance, they aim to build a more sustainable and responsible investment portfolio.

The focus on ESG and sustainability is not just a trend among German institutional investors, but a core part of their investment strategies. They have realized that by integrating ESG factors, they can gain a more holistic understanding of the companies they invest in and make more informed investment decisions.

The growing popularity of sustainable investing can be attributed to several reasons:

  1. Ethical considerations: German institutional investors are increasingly concerned about investing in companies that align with their ethical values. They want to support businesses that promote sustainable practices, social responsibility, and corporate governance.
  2. Risk management: Incorporating ESG criteria helps identify potential risks and opportunities that traditional financial analysis may overlook. By considering factors such as climate change, resource scarcity, and social impacts, investors can better manage their risk exposure and ensure the long-term viability of their investments.
  3. Investor demand: There is a growing demand from investors for sustainable investment opportunities. This demand is driven by a shift in societal values towards sustainability, as well as increased awareness of the impact of businesses on the environment and society. German institutional investors are responding to this demand by integrating ESG factors into their investment strategies.
  4. Regulatory environment: The German government has been actively promoting sustainable finance and integrating ESG considerations into regulations. This has further incentivized institutional investors to adopt sustainable investing practices.

In summary, German institutional investors are actively incorporating ESG and sustainability criteria into their investment decisions. They understand the importance of considering non-financial factors and the potential benefits it can bring to their investment portfolios. By aligning their investments with their values and societal goals, they are not only driving positive change but also positioning themselves for long-term success.

Key Focus Areas for Sustainable Investing in 2023

As sustainable investing continues to gain traction, there are several key focus areas that investors should pay attention to in 2023. These focus areas are crucial for aligning your investment portfolio with your values and making a positive impact on the planet. Let's dive into the key focus areas for sustainable investing in 2023:

Climate Change

Climate change remains one of the most pressing global issues, and it's no surprise that it is a key focus area for sustainable investing in 2023. As the world grapples with the consequences of rising temperatures and extreme weather events, investors are increasingly seeking out opportunities in renewable energy, clean technology, and companies that are committed to reducing their carbon footprint.

Investing in climate change solutions such as wind and solar energy companies can not only generate attractive returns but also contribute to a healthier planet. This focus area not only benefits the environment but also aligns with the growing demand for sustainable solutions.


Preserving biodiversity is another important area of focus for sustainable investors in 2023. With the alarming rate of deforestation, habitat destruction, and species extinction, investors are recognizing the need to support companies that prioritize biodiversity conservation.

Investing in companies that promote sustainable land management, protect endangered species, or develop sustainable agricultural practices can have a positive impact on biodiversity. By choosing to invest in companies that prioritize biodiversity conservation, you can contribute to protecting fragile ecosystems and safeguarding the world's natural heritage.

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery continues to be a grave human rights issue, and investors are increasingly recognizing the need to address this problem. Companies that have robust supply chain management systems and are committed to eradicating modern slavery are gaining attention from sustainable investors.

Investing in companies that prioritize fair labor practices and actively work to eliminate modern slavery from their supply chains can help promote social justice and human rights. By supporting these companies, investors can play a role in combating this global issue and creating a more equitable world.

Impact Investing

Impact investing, which aims to generate positive social and environmental outcomes alongside financial returns, is gaining momentum in the sustainable investing landscape. This focus area allows investors to make a tangible difference in areas such as education, healthcare, affordable housing, and clean water access.

Impact investing provides an opportunity to invest in companies or funds that have a clear social or environmental mission. By channeling your investment capital towards projects and businesses that align with your values and contribute to positive change, you can create a lasting impact.

In conclusion, sustainable investing in 2023 is set to focus on climate change, biodiversity, modern slavery, and impact investing. By considering these key areas, investors can align their investments with their values and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future. So, let's invest in a better world!

"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it." - Robert Swan

Evolution of ESG Techniques, Data, and Regulations

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) techniques, data, and regulations are expected to undergo significant evolution and play a more prominent role in sustainable investing in 2023. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Increasing Sophistication: ESG techniques and practices are expected to become more sophisticated and refined. Investors will increasingly focus on integrating ESG factors into their investment strategies, rather than treating them as separate considerations. This integration will help investors capture the full value of ESG investments and make more informed decisions.
  2. Improved Data Availability: As the demand for ESG investment grows, the availability and quality of ESG data are expected to improve. More companies are expected to disclose their ESG performance and metrics, making it easier for investors to assess the sustainability and impact of their investments. This increased transparency will enable investors to make more accurate assessments of companies' ESG practices.
  3. Standardization of ESG Metrics: There is a growing need for standardized ESG metrics across industries and regions. Currently, there is a lack of consistency in reporting practices, making it challenging for investors to compare and evaluate company performances. Efforts are underway to develop standardized frameworks, such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), to address this issue.
  4. Regulatory Frameworks: Governments and financial regulators are taking steps to enforce ESG requirements and integrate sustainability into the financial system. Regulations are expected to become more stringent and comprehensive, ensuring that companies and investors adhere to ESG principles. For example, the European Union's Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) sets out comprehensive rules on sustainability disclosures and obligations for financial market participants.
  5. Market Demand: Investor demand for sustainable investments is growing rapidly. This demand is expected to drive innovation in ESG techniques and data analysis. Financial institutions and asset managers are increasingly developing ESG-focused products and strategies to meet this demand. Additionally, the integration of ESG factors is becoming more prevalent in investment research and portfolio management.

The evolution of ESG techniques, data, and regulations reflects the increasing recognition of the importance of sustainability in investment decision-making. As these areas continue to evolve, investors will have more tools and information at their disposal to evaluate and incorporate ESG factors into their investment strategies.

"ESG integration is key because environmental, social, and governance factors are very important risk factors in our portfolios." - Stefan Hofer, Chief Investment Officer, LGT Bank (source: Sustainable Investment Funds for Expats in Germany)

In summary, the evolution of ESG techniques, data, and regulations in 2023 will contribute to the mainstreaming of sustainable investing. Investors will have access to more sophisticated tools and standardized data, enabling them to make informed investment decisions that align with their values and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Investment in Sustainable Energy

Investing in sustainable energy is not only financially rewarding but also beneficial to the environment. As the world moves towards a greener future, sustainable energy investments have gained significant traction. In this section, we will explore the reasons why investing in sustainable energy is a wise decision and how you can get started.

Why Invest in Sustainable Energy?

Investing in sustainable energy offers several advantages, making it an attractive option for investors. Here are a few key reasons why you should consider investing in this sector:

  1. Environmental Impact: Sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change, and protect the environment. By investing in sustainable energy, you can contribute to a cleaner and healthier planet.
  2. Government Support: Many governments around the world are actively promoting and supporting renewable energy initiatives. They offer incentives such as tax credits, grants, and subsidies to encourage investment in sustainable energy. Taking advantage of these incentives can enhance your returns on investment.
  3. Long-Term Growth Potential: The demand for sustainable energy is rapidly increasing as countries aim to transition away from fossil fuels. This growing demand creates lucrative investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable energy capacity is expected to increase by 50% globally in the next five years.
  4. Stable Returns: Renewable energy projects often offer stable and predictable returns. Once a project is up and running, the cost of generating electricity from sustainable sources is relatively low, leading to consistent income streams for investors.

Getting Started in Sustainable Energy Investing

Now that you understand the benefits of investing in sustainable energy, here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Research and Educate Yourself: Gain a solid understanding of the different types of sustainable energy investments available. Research the latest trends, technologies, and market forecasts to make informed investment decisions.
  2. Seek Professional Advice: Consider consulting with a financial advisor or investment expert who specializes in sustainable energy. They can guide you through the investment process and help you find suitable opportunities that align with your financial goals.
  3. Diversify your Portfolio: As with any investment strategy, diversification is key. Allocate your investment capital across different sectors within the sustainable energy industry, such as solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal. This diversification can help mitigate risks and maximize returns.
  4. Invest in Renewable Energy Funds: If you prefer a more hands-off approach, consider investing in renewable energy funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These funds pool together investments from various individuals and invest in a diversified portfolio of sustainable energy projects. This option provides exposure to the renewable energy sector without the need for individual project selection.
  5. Stay Updated on Market Developments: Keep abreast of the latest news, technological advancements, and policy changes related to sustainable energy. This knowledge will help you identify emerging trends and seize investment opportunities.

Remember, sustainable energy investments are long-term commitments. It is important to assess your risk tolerance and financial goals before investing in this sector. While the potential for profits is significant, there are also risks involved, such as regulatory changes and project-specific risks. Conduct thorough due diligence and consult with professionals to make well-informed investment decisions.

Investing in sustainable energy not only offers the potential for financial returns but also contributes to a more sustainable and cleaner future. By actively participating in this sector, you play a vital role in accelerating the transition to a greener and more sustainable world.

"Investing in renewable energy is not only an opportunity to earn attractive returns, but also a way to drive positive change and contribute to a sustainable future."

Challenges to Sustainable Investing in 2023

As sustainable investing continues to gain momentum, there are several challenges that investors and the industry will face in 2023. These challenges include:

1. Regulation

  • The need for consistent and standardized regulations: The lack of uniform guidelines and regulations across different regions and countries can pose a challenge for sustainable investing. Investors may find it difficult to navigate through complex regulatory landscapes and ensure their investments align with their sustainability goals.
  • Legal risks for greenwashing: Greenwashing, which refers to misleading claims of environmental sustainability, has become a growing concern in the sustainable investing space. Regulators are cracking down on such practices, which may result in legal risks for companies that engage in greenwashing.

2. Wider Climate Considerations

  • Addressing systemic risks: Climate change poses systemic risks to both the economy and financial markets. Sustainable investing needs to go beyond focusing on individual companies' environmental impacts and consider broader climate considerations. This includes recognizing and addressing the risks associated with climate change, such as extreme weather events and rising sea levels.
  • Increasing scrutiny and legal actions: As the focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors intensifies, so does the potential for litigation. Investors and stakeholders are holding companies accountable for their ESG performance, and any discrepancies or violations may lead to legal actions. This poses a reputational and financial risk for companies that fail to meet sustainability expectations.

Navigating these challenges requires proactive measures and a holistic approach to sustainable investing. Here are a few strategies to overcome these challenges:

  • Thorough due diligence: Conduct extensive research and due diligence to ensure that companies and investments align with your sustainability goals. Look for credible certifications and ratings that verify a company's sustainability claims.
  • Active engagement: Engage with companies and investment managers to advocate for improved ESG practices. Shareholder activism can be a powerful tool to influence companies and drive positive change.
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing: Stay updated on the latest trends, regulations, and best practices in sustainable investing. Join industry associations, attend conferences, and participate in forums to collaborate with like-minded individuals and learn from experts in the field.

By being aware of and proactively addressing these challenges, investors can navigate the sustainable investing landscape more effectively and drive positive change. Despite the obstacles, sustainable investing provides an opportunity to create long-term value while making a positive impact on the environment and society.

"Sustainable investing is not just about doing good; it's about doing well by considering environmental, social, and governance factors. By overcoming the challenges, we can make a meaningful difference in building a sustainable future."


In conclusion, sustainable investing is set to continue as a prominent trend in Germany in 2023 and beyond. The growth of sustainable finance in the country is driven by government support and increasing investor demand. Despite the projected economic stagnation in Germany, investors are actively seeking out sustainable investment opportunities.

German institutional investors are incorporating ESG and sustainability criteria into their investment decisions, further emphasizing the importance of sustainable investing. Key focus areas for sustainable investing in 2023 include climate change, biodiversity, modern slavery, and impact investing.

ESG techniques, data, and regulations are expected to evolve and become more sophisticated, playing a critical role in sustainable investing. Investment in sustainable energy is also expected to witness significant growth in the coming years.

However, there are challenges to sustainable investing in 2023, including regulation, wider climate considerations, and ESG-related litigation. These issues are shaping the sustainable finance agenda and require careful navigation by investors.

As an expat in Germany, building a sustainable investment portfolio can provide long-term financial stability and contribute positively to the environment and society. To get started on sustainable investing in Germany, consider reaching out to a trusted English-speaking financial advisor like Finanz2Go, who can guide you through the process and help you create a portfolio that aligns with your goals and values.

Building a sustainable portfolio not only allows you to invest in companies making a positive impact but also enables you to generate long-term returns. By investing responsibly, you have the opportunity to support businesses that prioritize sustainability and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Investing sustainably is not only a smart financial move but also a way to make a positive difference in the world. Take the first step today and begin your journey towards sustainable investing in Germany.

For more information and assistance with sustainable investment options for expats in Germany, visit Finanz2Go.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is sustainable investing? Sustainable investing, also known as socially responsible investing (SRI), is an investment approach that considers both financial return and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. It focuses on investing in companies and projects that have a positive impact on society and the environment.
  2. Why should I consider sustainable investing in Germany? Germany is renowned for its commitment to sustainability and clean energy. Investing in sustainable projects in Germany can not only contribute to a greener future but also provide financial returns as these sectors continue to grow and gain traction.
  3. How can I start my sustainable investing portfolio in Germany? To start your sustainable investing portfolio in Germany, you can follow these steps: 1. Educate yourself about sustainable investing and ESG factors, 2. Define your financial goals and risk tolerance, 3. Research and select sustainable investment opportunities or funds, 4. Open an investment account with a reputable broker or asset management company, 5. Monitor and review the performance of your portfolio regularly.
  4. Are there any specific sustainable investment options in Germany? Yes, Germany offers various sustainable investment options, including green bonds, renewable energy funds, ethical mutual funds, and impact investing platforms. These options allow investors to support eco-friendly projects and companies while earning potential financial returns.
  5. How can I ensure my sustainable investments align with my values? To ensure your sustainable investments align with your values, you should research and consider factors such as the company's ESG ratings, sustainability policies, and the specific causes or sectors it supports. Consulting with a financial advisor or using dedicated ESG investment platforms can also help in making informed decisions.