Little is known about the environmental and social (or sustainability) preferences of 13F institutional investors. In this paper, we propose a novel measure to quantify the portfolio-level sustainability of institutional investors. We show that portfolios of institutions with longer investment horizons exhibit higher sustainability and that risk-adjusted performance is positively related to sustainability, primarily through a reduction of portfolio risk. Using exogenous shocks to investor sustainability induced by natural disasters we provide evidence of a causal impact of sustainability on risk-adjusted performance. An instrumental variable strategy using geographic variation in constituency statutes further supports a causal interpretation of our results.

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