A new survey from HANetf found that 36% of investors expect a "dramatic" swing towards gold funds with strong ESG credentials, while 54% predict a slight swing.
The research, which interviewed 100 institutional investors and wealth managers responsible for $67.1bn in AUM, found that investors' focus on where gold is sourced and mined is changing rapidly.
About 80% of investors surveyed reported that they expect an increase in focus on responsible and sustainable gold mining in the coming years.
Hector McNeil, co-CEO and co-founder of HANetf, said: "It is significant that gold investment vehicles which do not have strong ESG credentials face losing funds to those which are focused on ensuring gold is responsibly and sustainably mined.
"Professional investors increasingly recognise the need to focus on ESG in gold investments and can also see the business case for doing so."
McNeil pointed to HANetf's Responsibly Sourced Physical Gold ETC, launched in 2020, which is partially backed by recycled gold.
"Recycled gold is around 90% less carbon intensive than mined gold and our ESG-screened gold mining ETF helps encourage a dirty industry to become greener," he said.
"We look forward to seeing gold and gold investing continue to be brought in line with the values and ESG requirements of investors."