US Socially Responsible Investments Grow Faster Than Rest Over Last Decade, Report Finds

Socially responsible investment (SRI) assets grew faster than the entire universe of managed assets in the US during the last decade, according to the Social Investment Forum's fifth biennial report on SRI trends. Total socially responsible investment assets rose more

By None

Socially responsible investment (SRI) assets grew faster than the entire universe of managed assets in the US during the last decade, according to the Social Investment Forum’s fifth biennial report on SRI trends.

Total socially responsible investment assets rose more than 258% from $639 billion in 1995 to $2.29 trillion in 2005, while the broader universe of assets under professional management increased less than 249% from $7 trillion to $24.4 trillion over the same period.

According to the non-profit group’s report, the $2.29 trillion in total assets under management using one or more of the three core socially responsible investing strategies — screening, shareholder advocacy, and community investing – is up from a total of $2.16 trillion in 2003.

Among the signs of an ongoing growth from 2003 to 2005 in socially responsible investing are the following: an 18.5% increase in assets invested in SRI mutual funds; a 16% jump in social and corporate governance shareholder resolutions (and significantly higher levels of support for such proxy measures); and a 40% boost in funds invested in community investing.

“Socially and environmentally screened mutual funds have experienced substantial growth in their number and diversity of products as well as the social issues they consider,” said Tim Smith, president of the Social Investment Forum and senior vice president at Walden Asset Management. “Mainstream money managers are increasingly incorporating social, environmental and governance factors into their investing.”

Shareholders are also viewing as socially responsible investments as important, and are using their shares to sway the companies they have stake in make socially responsible investments.

“There has been real growth in the number of shareholder resolutions filed on social, environmental and corporate-governance issues and support for them rose dramatically over the last ten years,” Smith added. “And community investing is surging at a meteoric rate as an option for investors who want to see their assets make a direct and tangible difference in the US and around the world.”

«