The fourth edition of this biennial report continues to be the only report collating results from the market studies of regional sustainable investment forums from Europe, the United States, Japan, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand. It provides a snapshot of sustainable investing in these markets at the start of 2018 by drawing on the in-depth regional and national reports from GSIA members—Eurosif, Japan Sustainable Investment Forum (JSIF), Responsible Investment Association Australasia, RIA Canada and US SIF.
This report also includes data on the African sustainable investing market, from the African Investing for Impact Barometer, and on Latin America from the Principles for Responsible Investment.
In early 2017, the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) released the Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016, which collated the results from the market studies of regional sustainable investment forums for Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia and New Zealand. In the period since the last report was released, the global sustainable investment market has continued to grow, and in most of the regions covered by GSIA’s member organizations, its share of professionally managed assets has also grown. This report summarizes the status of sustainable and responsible investing in these markets at the start of 2018.
Generally in this report, when discussing the global tally of sustainable investing assets and how they break down by region or strategy, the assets are presented in US dollars. To show trends within each region over time, however, we present assets in the local currencies so as not to introduce exchange rate fluctuations.
Sustainable investing is an investment approach that considers environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in portfolio selection and management. For the purpose of this global report and for articulating our shared work in the broadest way, GSIA uses an inclusive definition of sustainable investing, without drawing distinctions between this and related terms such as responsible investing and socially responsible investing. This report primarily uses the term sustainable investing.
Globally, sustainable investing assets in the five major markets stood at $30.7 trillion at the start of 2018, a 34 percent increase in two years. In all the regions except Europe, sustainable investing’s market share has also grown. Responsible investment now commands a sizable share of professionally managed assets in each region, ranging from 18 percent in Japan to 63 percent in Australia and New Zealand. Clearly, sustainable investing constitutes a major force across global financial markets.
From 2016 to 2018, the fastest growing region has been Japan, followed by Australia/New Zealand and Canada. These were also the three fastest growing regions in the previous two-year period. The largest three regions— based on the value of their sustainable investing assets—were Europe, the United States and Japan.