Investors' desire to invest with their conscience, as well as their
money, is on the rise, according to a new report.
The report states that socially responsible investment assets rose more than 258% between 1995 and 2005, increasing from $639 billion to $2.29 trillion.
By comparison, the report notes, the broader universe of assets under professional management increased less than 249%, going from $7 trillion to $24.4 trillion over the same period.
The report was issued by the Social Investment Forum, a socially responsible investing advocacy group.
"Over the past decade, SRI has become a major force in the U.S. financial marketplace," says Tim Smith, president of the Social Investment Forum and senior vice-president at Walden Asset Management. "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. Mainstream money managers are increasingly incorporating social, environmental and governance factors into their investing."
According to the 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.
Between 2003 and 2005, according to the report, there was 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% increase in funds invested in community investing.
The report states that almost 10% of assets under professional management in the nation is involved in socially responsible investing.