Canadian socially responsible investment assets up by 16%: SIO Review 2012

SRI Review 2012

A new report by the Social Investment Organization shows that socially responsible investment (SRI) assets in Canada continue to climb, showing growth in virtually every major market segment and outpacing growth of total assets under management.

Download report at [PDF].

The Canadian SRI Review 2012 shows that assets managed under sustainable and socially responsible guidelines in Canada grew by 16% between June 30, 2010 (the effective date of the last report) and December 31, 2011. By comparison, total assets under management grew by 9% in the same time period.

The report shows that total assets managed under SRI guidelines is $600.9 billion, up from $517.9 billion. At $600.9 billion, this represents 20% of assets under management in the financial industry, up from 19% of the market in 2010. The two areas that showed the most growth are in the pension fund sector and impact investing.

“While SRI is showing that it is recovering alongside traditional investments, we believe that there is still a great deal of potential growth yet to be realized,” states the report. “Today, there is a much broader acceptance among fund managers and individual investors about the growing importance of environmental, social and governance factors to investment returns.”

At the same time, the report states that both the ongoing impacts felt from the financial scandals of 2008 as well as the ongoing debate about climate change are prompting Canadians to look for investment alternatives. “There is a clear opportunity for our industry to demonstrate that doing the right thing has never been more clearly linked to doing well.”

The authors also report that impact investing assets have grown to a total of $5.3 billion, or a 20% increase since the last review in 2010. The report divides impact investing assets into seven major categories: Aboriginal focused funds, Community Futures Development Corporations, credit unions, community loan funds and social venture capital, foundations (mission investments only), international impact investments by Canadian organizations, and impact investment in Quebec.

The full report and the news release with quotes from the sponsors are available here:

Download report now [PDF].

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