The Social Investment Organisation (SIO) in Canada has confirmed that the country’s socially responsible investment (SRI) sector has witnessed a 16% growth in just two years.
According to its review of the sector, which it publishes every two years, some $600.9 billion (£380.8 billion) is now invested using SRI guidelines – up from $517.9 billion in 2010.
This compares to a 9% growth of total assets under management.
“While SRI is showing that it is recovering alongside traditional investments, we believe that there is still a great deal of potential growth yet to be realised”, the report says.
“Today, there is a much broader acceptance among fund managers and individual investors about the growing importance of environmental, social and governance factors to investment returns.”
The encouraging Canadian growth figures appear to match research conducted by the European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif) in November, which found that sustainable investments made by high net-worth individuals in Europe had increased by almost 60% in the same timescale – compared to just an 18% rise in the total wealth in this demographic.
The $600.9 billion figure means SRI assets now make up a fifth of the Canadian market – an improvement since 2010, when it accounted for 19%.
The report adds, “In the coming years, there will be increasing adoption of ESG [environmental, social and corporate governance] measures by mainstream investors and increasing convergence of the mainstream and socially responsible investors.
“Today, there is a clear opportunity for our industry to demonstrate that doing the right thing has never been more clearly linked to doing well.”