In early 2015, the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) released the Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014, which collated the results from the market studies of regional sustainable investment forums for Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia, 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 2016.
Globally, there are now $22.89 trillion of assets being professionally managed under responsible investment strategies, an increase of 25 percent since 2014. In all the regions except Europe, which tightened its definition of sustainable investing, sustainable investing’s market share has grown. In relative terms, responsible investment now stands at 26 percent of all professionally managed assets globally. Clearly, sustainable investing constitutes a major force across global financial markets.
From 2014 to 2016, the fastest growing region has been Japan, due to greater reporting and sustainable investing activity by Japanese institutional asset owners, followed by Australia/New Zealand and Canada. In terms of assets, the largest three regions were Europe, the United States and Canada, respectively.
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. These are collectively referred to as sustainable investing or SRI.