(ANSA) – ROME, JUL 23 – Sustainable investments have seen “significant growth” in the last two years and, in March 2022, there are almost 5,000 European ESG funds (attentive to environmental, social and governance issues), with total of almost 2,300 billion dollars, up 40% compared to the first quarter of 2021. In Italy, at the end of the first quarter, the number of ESG funds was over 1,900 (they were 1,266 in March 2021), with assets promoted of 431 million euro (from 295 million), according to the Consob report ‘Main trends in terms of sustainable investments and crypto-assets’. In addition, the ESG indices returned at the end of May 2022 to levels higher than the pre-pandemic ones, after the decline recorded in the first months of 2020. And both in the euro area and in Italy, the ESG benchmarks show slightly higher performances than those of the entire market, even in a period of negative returns such as in the first months of 2022, and levels of volatility similar or slightly lower, against a composition that replicates that of the corresponding general index for at least 70%. (HANDLE).