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Eurosif Study Shows Growth in SRI
By Tyler Collins

Marking their 10th anniversary, Eurosif has recently released the 5th European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Study, the organization’s fifth report of the SRI industry in European markets.

Although the Study notes the difficulty of finding consensus around a single definition of SRI across Europe, it seeks to identify commonalities among different sustainable investment practices. There are a few key changes in the European SRI Study 2012 from past reports, including a focus on the trends affecting individual responsible investment strategies, and a review of the European impact investing market.

There are seven key strategies included in the report:

  • Sustainability themed investment
  • Best-in-Class investment selection
  • Norms-based screening
  • Exclusion of holdings from investment universe
  • Integration of ESG factors in financial analysis
  • Engagement and voting on sustainability matters
  • Impact investment

The study shows that all responsible investment strategies have gained market share, with four of the seven having grown more than 35% per year since 2009. Although the growth is not uniform across the various European markets, the fastest growing strategy is Norms-based screening, with Exclusions and Best-in-Class also ranking highly.

With the rapid growth of “Impact Investing” as an investment philosophy, European and national politicians have begun to strongly pursue initiatives aimed at strengthening the segment. Eurosif estimates the current European market of Impact Investing at €8.75 billion.

Eurosif considers the economic crisis in much of Europe to present numerous opportunities for SRI. This comes at a time when financial regulations seek to reconcile financial markets and create infrastructure for sustainable, long-term economic growth. The majority of respondents to the 2012 study saw regulatory drivers as one of the leading growth catalysts for SRI in Europe, in conjunction with institutional investors.

Posted: October 17, 2012