Socially responsible investment holds steady

par Donna Glasgow | May 26 2009 08:23PM

Socially responsible investment has consolidated its market share in Canada over the past two years, according to a recent study by the Social Investment Organization (SIO).

The study, entitled the Canadian Socially Responsible Investment Review, estimates total SRI assets in Canada in 2008 at $609.23 billion. This represents a 21% increase from $503.61 billion in 2006.

The estimated share of total assets under management in Canada is 19.9%, comparable to the share in 2006 of 19.5%.

The study is based on a survey of SRI assets conducted every two years and sponsored by various fund companies.

"Socially responsible investors have maintained their confidence in SRI over the past two years, and there is growing interest in finding solutions to global social and environmental issues through investment," said Eugene Ellmen, Executive Director of the SIO. "We believe that SRI represents the leading edge of the investment industry and is well-poised to survive the current economic turmoil and come out of it ready for strong growth."

The findings include $555.06 billion in assets invested according to Broad SRI strategies, which are primarily based on a fiduciary analysis of the risk and return characteristics of environmental, social and governance issues. The increase from $446.22 billion two years earlier reflects asset growth by pension funds with existing responsible investment policies as well as a small increase in the number of pension plans and endowments with responsible investment policies.

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