2021 marked another big year for Australia’s responsible investment sector. Momentum created by the unprecedented growth of the responsible investment market in 2020 continued, despite economic volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The year 2021 witnessed increased interest in responsible investment from the media, the public, regulators, and other stakeholders. While messages referring to record growth populated the headlines initially, attention later shifted to concerns around the quality of sustainability claims, or ‘greenwashing’, and the role of regulators. In a mixed landscape of ongoing heightened public interest and economic disruption, the sector continued to make progress.

This report details the size, growth, depth and performance of the Australian responsible investment market from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021, and compares these results with the broader Australian financial market.

To allow Australia’s responsible investment market to be compared with other regions, the classification of responsible investment practices used in this report is based on the seven approaches for responsible investment used by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA).

The findings of this research evidence further maturation and growth of Australia’s responsible investment sector. This reflects the rise and quickened pace of change internationally, as well as a determination by an ever-growing number of institutional investors to understand what they must do to thrive and position themselves as leaders in a new era of responsible investment.



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