AUSTRALIA - Investments taking environmental, social, ethical or governance issues into account outgrew mainstream investing by more than double last year, according to the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA).
Total funds under management invested in responsible investments grew 43% in the year to June 2007, from $13.52bn to $19.39bn.
Louise O'Halloran, director at RIAA said: "The growth and performance of responsible investment this year has once again been outstanding. But of equal importance are the market signals which are driving investors to take environmental, social, ethical and governance issues into account. It is about reducing risk, increasing returns, and it's also about meeting the expectations of society and the expression of personal values."
RIAA explained the main drivers were strong sharemarket returns, new investor inflows to existing and new products and ongoing growth in the level of superannuation assets.
In New Zealand responsible investment assets were estimated to be NZ$15bn, an increase on the 2006 figure of $37.2m.
This was largely attributed to new investment into the New Zealand Superannuation Fund ($13.3bn), and the adoption of a responsible investment policy by the ASB Community Trust ($1.1bn).
The report has also analysed the emerging practice by mainstream institutional investors to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into their day to day financial analysis, stock selection, company engagement and voting processes.
The total figure for funds invested using this practice amounted to $52.8bn.
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