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Responsibly invested assets reach $6.57tn in US



Sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing assets have grown by 76% in the US between 2012 and 2014, a report from the US SIF Foundation, the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in the US, has revealed.

The biennial report – US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends 2014 – found that assets managed with SRI strategies now account for more than one out of every six dollars under professional management in the US. This adds up to $6.57 trillion (£4.17tn), compared to the $3.74 trillion (£2.37tn) counted in 2012.

“The findings released today clearly demonstrate that investment decisions using sustainable, responsible and impact investing strategies are on the rise,” said Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF and the US SIF Foundation.

“Sustainable investment strategies are being applied across asset classes to promote corporate social responsibility, build long-term value for companies and their stakeholders, and foster businesses that will yield community and environmental benefits.”

Much of the growth has been attributed to the expansion of investment funds that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the decision making process. Over the two-year period, assets managed by investments firms considering ESG issues has grown more than three-fold.

Institutional investors, including pension funds, religious institutions and educational endowments, were also found to be increasingly applying ESG criteria to investment decisions.

During the survey one of the biggest concerns highlighted by money mangers and institutional investors was climate change, affecting $276 billion (£175bn) and $552 billion (£350bn) respectively. For the first time the report also tracked fossil fuel divestment polices, which now impacts ten of billions of dollars in assets.

The fossil fuel divestment campaign began in the US but has now spread to other countries, including the UK. In response educational institutions, religious groups, and charities have committed to cutting dirty energy sources out of their investment portfolios.

Photo: Tax Credits via Flickr 

Further reading:

Why impact investment could soon be a trillion-dollar industry

Growing risk around fossil fuels, say 75% of US sustainable investment industry

63% of UK investors want to be offered sustainable investment options

Responsible investment still being viewed as detrimental to returns

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2014


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