Growing signs of climate change may be the reason that more clients of some advisors are interested in portfolios without shares of fossil-fuel companies.
First Affirmative Financial Network’s Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey found that more than half of sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investment industry professionals say that retail and institutional investors are expressing interest in portfolios without such companies.
About 500 industry professionals responded to the survey. About 64 percent screen investments for environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria; 34 percent offer community investing; 21 percent offer impact investing; and 39 percent offer shareholder advocacy services.
The survey also shows that 77 percent see growing risks associated with fossil-fuel company holdings and 67 percent think this year is the time for investors to reconsider investing in traditional energy companies. Currently, only 22 percent of respondents manage portfolios that don't include any fossil-fuel companies. Eight percent have plans to offer such portfolios. About 41 percent don't manage such portfolios and 28 percent said portfolio management wasn't applicable to them.
“The survey findings strongly suggest that fossil fuel free investing is one of the SRI industry’s next big issues," said First Affirmative President Steve Schueth. First Affirmative also produces The SRI Conference, which this year will be October 28-30 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. Schueth added the company is working to present speakers on the topic at the conference.