U.S. Sustainable Investing Rises 76 Percent from 2012

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The New Year appears all set to begin on a high note in terms of sustainable, responsible and impact investing in the US. If the trends of the last two years are any indicator, investment decisions using sustainable, responsible and impact investing strategies are strongly on the rise. These are the findings of the US SIF Foundation’s latest biennial survey, the Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends 2014.

According to the report, sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) assets have expanded 76 percent in two years – from $3.74 trillion at the start of 2012 to $6.57 trillion at the start of 2014. In effect, assets managed with SRI strategies now account for more than one out of every six dollars under professional management in the US. Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF, said that sustainable investment strategies are being applied across asset classes to promote CSR, build long-term value, and support businesses that have a positive impact on the community and the environment.

The investment funds offered by money managers increasingly incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment decision-making, which accounts for much of this growth. The assets managed by investment firms considering ESG issues grew more than three-fold from $1.4 trillion in 2012 to $4.8 trillion at the start of 2014. Additionally, the assets to which institutional owners, such as pension funds and foundations apply ESG criteria have grown by 77 percent to $4.04 trillion during the same period.

As a part of the survey, a subset of 119 money managers was asked why they offer ESG products. More than 80 percent in the group cited client demand as the top factor. At the same time, over 70 percent also said they considered ESG factors to fulfill their or their clients’ mission to improve returns and to manage risk. The report also revealed that from 2012 to 2014, the number of private equity and other alternative investment funds considering ESG factors grew from 301 with $132 billion in assets, to 336 with $224 billion in assets.

Donors and sponsors to 2014 Trends included Bloomberg, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Wallace Global Fund, Calvert Investments, CBIS, Neuberger Berman, Boston Common Asset Management, TIAA-CREF, Sentinel Investments, and Walden Asset Management, among others.

Source: USSIF

Image Credit: Flickr via markhillary