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What Is SRI?
By Tyler Collins

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact (SRI) investing is based on the principle of directing capital for the betterment of both people and planet, while seeking competitive returns. In other words, SRI investing considers the three P’s: People, Planet, and Profit.

SRI has grown tremendously in recent years, now comprising one out of every nine dollars under professional management in the U.S., according to the US SIF Foundation’s 2013 Trends Report.

Infographic: SRI Industry At A Glance.

Although widely considered a recent trend, sustainable and responsible investing can be traced back to John Wesley’s 1735 sermon on “The Use of Money” that outlined the basic tenets of social investing.

It was during the 1970s that SRI began to rapidly develop with the First Earth Day Celebration (1970), PAX World launching the first SRI mutual fund (1971), founding of First Community Development Bank (1973), and authors Jeremy Rifkin and Randy Barber catalyzing SRI investment by pension funds (1978).

The growth continued in the following decade with the founding of Trillium Asset Management (1982); the creation of the MacBride Principles in Ireland (1984); and the development of the Social Investment Forum (1985, now US SIF).

Just one year before the end of Apartheid in 1991, First Affirmative produced the first SRI Conference, the Domini Social Index was created (MSCI KLD 400), and TIAA-CREF launched the Social Choice Account.

Culminating from such rapid and momentous growth, the first US SIF Trends Report in 1995 measured $639 billion in SRI assets—a fraction of the $3.74 trillion in SRI assets under management in 2012.

As SRI continues its rapid growth, responsible investors are incorporating analysis of environmental, social, governance (ESG) factors as an integral part of the process of identifying companies as suitable for sustainable, responsible impact investment portfolios.

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is [also] bad economics.”

First Affirmative is proud to be a part of the solution!

For more information, or to find a qualified financial advisor, visit: http://www.firstaffirmative.com/find-an-advisor/

Mention of specific companies or securities should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Posted: May 30, 2013