A study by the US Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF) has found that of the $33.3 trillion invested in assets across the country in 2011, 11.23% is done so sustainably.
This amounts to $3.74 trillion, and is further proof that retail and institutional investors are increasingly capitalising on the many benefits associated with sustainable investment. The total is a 22% increase on the 2009 figure, and means that over one in 10 dollars are invested in line with socially responsible investment (SRI) strategies across the US.
The 2012 Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States also found that $636 billion is invested to tackle environmental issues – a 43% rise on 2009 numbers – with climate change now on the radar of 23% of institutional asset owners.
“The 2012 Trends report demonstrates that we are moving closer to a sustainable and equitable economy”, said Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF.
“From the growth in mutual funds that consider environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria and increased investment in community development banks and credit unions to increasingly large votes on shareholder proposals and the availability of sustainable investment options across asset classes, SRI strategies are on the rise in the United States.
“We are pleased that this report details many important and interrelated trends that indicate that sustainable and responsible investing will continue its impressive growth and impact.”
In the UK, £10.95 billion worth of green and ethical retail funds currently make up 1.83% of overall funds under management. Figures released by responsible investment research firm EIRIS during National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) last month showed that while this is a 3.4% decrease on the June 2011 share, it marks a £7 billion growth in the last decade.
A report by the European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif) last week mirrors the positive growth of the US responsible investment sector. The organisation found that over the past two years, sustainable investments made by high net-worth individuals in Europe have increased by almost two-thirds – compared to just an 18% rise in the total wealth in this demographic.
Blue & Green Tomorrow’s recent Guide to Sustainable Investment, which was written and published in line with NEIW, delves into detail about the many advantages of incorporating environmental and social issues into your investment portfolio.