The 2016 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report by the Responsible Investment Association of Australia (RIAA) has revealed that nearly half of Australia’s investments are being invested responsibly.
Based on data supplied by 69 asset managers, super funds, financial advisers, banks and community investment managers, the report has found that responsible funds under management reached $633.2 billion in 2015.
Impact investments in Australia in particular, have grown by 74 per cent to $3.7 billion in 2015 compared to $2.1 billion in 2014.
There has also been a steady increase in green bonds in the last two years, as more Australian investors seek opportunities to invest in low carbon assets.
Signalling a growing appetite among investors for social and environmental impact products the report findings highlight the broadening of responsible investment in Australia.
Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA says “it’s hard to miss the significant step-up in the way the finance community has taken a much more responsible, ethical ownership approach to the assets and companies that they’re invested in”.
The report also saw continued growth of existing impact investment funds which included both non-banking institutions who have been issuers of these products, and banking institutions that have participated through impact products largely with a focus on microfinance, social impact or affordable housing.
“Responsible and ethical investment is now completely integrated within the financial sector. In fact, we welcome a time in the future where the differentiators of mainstream and responsible are redundant, as this will be the accepted and demanded way of investing.”