Tuesday
May 10
2016

More Than Half of Surveyed SRI Financial Professionals Are Offering Fossil Fuel-Free Portfolios to Investors

For the first time ever, more than half (51 percent) of surveyed SRI financial professionals are offering fossil fuel-free portfolios to investors, up sharply from 22 percent in 2013 and 42 percent last year, according to The SRI Conference 2016 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey released today by First Affirmative Financial Network.

The 4th annual edition of the survey is being released in advance of the 27th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, the longest-running annual meeting of responsible investors and investment professionals in the U.S.  The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com) takes place November 9–11, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Denver.

Based on 391 responses from the ranks of SRI investment professionals, the survey findings contain these highlights:

  • For the first time since the annual survey began in 2013, over half (51 percent) of respondents are currently managing “portfolios that are 100 percent free of fossil fuel extraction companies.”  (This key benchmarked finding has risen annually: from 22 percent in 2013, 36 percent in 2014 and 42 percent in 2015.)
  • 77 percent of SRI professionals see 2016 as “the right time for investor to assess and perhaps alter” their investments in fossil fuels. (This is up from 73 percent in 2015.)
  • More than two thirds of respondents (69 percent) indicated that retail investors want fossil-free investing choices. (This is up from 67 percent in 2015.)
  • The number of respondents indicating that institutional investors are interested in fossil-free investing rose from 49 percent in 2014 to 61 percent in the 2015 to 68 percent in the 2016 survey.
  • More than two thirds (68 percent) are concerned about “stranded asset” risks to investors created by climate change, compared to 61 percent in 2015.
  • 79 percent of respondents believe that there are growing risks associated with investing in fossil fuel extractors/manufacturers.  (This is up slightly from 77 percent in 2015.)
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said they believe “the movement to divest from fossil fuel extraction companies is expanding to include companies that produce large… greenhouse gas emissions.”  (This level was unchanged from 2015.)
  • When SRI investment professionals divest of fossil fuel companies, the three places they are most likely to reallocate those investments are:  renewable energy companies (59 percent); “proportionately across the remaining portfolio” (64 percent); and clean technology companies (52 percent).  Respondents were allowed to provide multiple answers to this survey question.

First Affirmative President, Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said: “Fossil fuel divestment continues to gain speed as a priority for many socially conscious investors.  The steady growth in the number of investment professionals offering fossil-fuel-free portfolios indicates that this trend is likely to continue for years to come.  Our new survey clearly reflects one of the real strengths of SRI investing, which adapts to and embraces major new issues of concern for responsible investors as they arise.”

The full survey findings are available online at http://blog.firstaffirmative.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/finalreport050516.pdf.  Surveys for the three previous years may be found at:  2013 (http://216.30.191.148/sricfossilfuelsurvey.pdf); 2014 (http://bit.ly/1NjXbWI); and 2015 (http://bit.ly/1JbUPC8).

The SRI Conference 2016 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey was conducted in April 2016.  SRI industry professionals were asked to weigh-in on 15 questions regarding fossil-fuel-free investing and related investor concerns.  The survey was taken by 391 industry investment professionals, including advisors, asset managers, institutional investors, and representatives of SRI investment companies, community development financial institutions, and social research/proxy voting organizations.

ABOUT THE SRI CONFERENCE
The 27th annual SRI Conference will be held November 9–11, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Denver, CO. The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com) is the premier annual forum for investors and investment professionals engaged in sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing. Conference participation includes investment professionals, institutional investors, and related organizations.  The SRI Conference features educational sessions and focused opportunities to network with hundreds of like-minded individuals, organizations, and leaders in the field of Sustainable, Responsible, Impact investing.

The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com) is produced by First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC (http://www.firstaffirmative.com), an independent Registered Investment Advisor (SEC File #801-56587) offering investment consulting and asset management services through a nationwide network of investment professionals who specialize in serving socially conscious, impact-oriented investors.

Source: Press Release (link opens in a new window)

Categories
Investing
Tags
climate change, impact investing