US SIF: Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends Report

US SIF has published a new report on sustainable, responsible, and impact investing trends, noting a one-third increase:

The demand for sustainable and impact investing is growing—investors now consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors across $8.72 trillion of professionally managed assets, a 33 percent increase since 2014.

Money managers and institutional investors are scrutinizing an array of concerns—including climate change, weapons production, human rights and corporate political spending and lobbying—across a broader span of assets than in 2014. A diverse group of investors is seeking to achieve positive impacts through such strategies as corporate engagement or investing with an emphasis on community, sustainability or the advancement of women.

Client demand is one of the major drivers for money managers that introduce products that take ESG factors into account. Indeed, evidence of the growing interest in sustainable investing is the recent launch of services that issue ratings for thousands of mutual funds and exchange traded funds on the ESG profiles of their portfolio companies. A number of organizations are also assessing mutual funds and other investment firms on how they are voting their shares on ESG issues, and whether the voting policies are consistent with their professed ESG concerns. Meanwhile, a major policy win took place in October 2015, whenthe US Department of Labor issued a bulletin that facilitates the ability of private sector employers to add SRI fund options to retirement plans.

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