By Kimberly Gladman, CFA, Ph.D.,
Director of Research and Risk Analytics
This week is an exciting one in the field of responsible
investment: it marks the launch of the Global
Sustainable Investment Association, a network linking the
professional associations for responsible investment in Europe, Canada, the US,
Asia, and Australasia. The organization's first contribution is a very valuable
review of global
sustainable investment, which shows that $13.6 trillion - representing 21.8% of
assets under management (AUM) in the regions studied - is invested using some
kind of responsible investment strategy. This may sound high to investors in
the US, where only about 11% of AUM meet that criterion - but the percentage is
driven up by the strong commitment to responsible investment in Europe, where
nearly half (49%) of all assets are invested using social or environmental
factors for security selection, corporate engagement, or both. The global
figure will also seem right on track to Canadians, who have 20% of their assets
under responsible investment mandates.
Together, Europe, the US, and Canada make up 96% of
global sustainable investment activity, with Europe alone accounting for just
shy of two-thirds-but there are fascinating developments underway in other
markets, including Japan and South Africa. The report provides detailed
accounts of trends in each region, which will reward our reading in the weeks
The headline figures, though, should put to rest any
lingering impression that responsible investment is a niche market.
Anything affecting one-fifth of AUM in the world's major markets can certainly
be considered part of the "mainstream".
Read more articles on corporate governance and other topics
at the GMI Blog
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