Research & Publications

The US SIF Foundation conducts research on a range of sustainable, responsible, and impact investment issues. A number of these reports are available below as free PDF downloads. Other US SIF publications can be ordered here.
Biennial Trends Reports

The US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends series offers the definitive overview of the institutions, organizations and money managers that consider environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. The most recent edition was published in November 2014. Click here to learn more

Other Reports

Unlocking ESG IntegrationUnlocking ESG Integration (2015)
The practice of ESG integration by money managers exploded between 2012 and 2014 from $614 billion to $4.74 trillion in US-domiciled assets. This report explores the rapid expansion of ESG integration in recent years and provides detailed profiles of 16 money managers that practice this strategy. We specifically look at investment techniques used, the ESG criteria applied and the asset classes involved. The report offers recommendations for money managers and the SRI industry to advance robust and transparent ESG integration practices. Download Free PDF.

Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014
The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014, a collaboration between members of the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance and the Japan Social Investment Forum, reveals that the global sustainable investment market has expanded dramatically in just two years, rising from US$13.3 trillion at the outset of 2012 to US$21.4 trillion at the start of 2014. Collating data from the market studies of regional sustainable investment forums for Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia, Japan and Australasia, the Review provides an overview of sustainable investing trends in these markets, and features a special focus on impact investing. Download Free PDF.

Investing to Advance WomenInvesting to Advance Women: A Guide for Individual & Institutional Investors (2014)
This guide
highlights investment vehicles and strategies, including shareholder engagement, in which investors can participate to increase economic opportunities for women in the United States and around the world. The guide reviews options across a range of asset classes and vehicles, including stocks, mutual funds, fixed income and cash instruments. Download Free PDF.

Confronting Corporate Money in Politics  (2014)
Confronting Corporate Money in Politics seeks to assist investors concerned about the growing and largely undisclosed flows of corporate money to influence elections and politics in the United States. The guide highlights practical strategies that investors can use to encourage corporations whose shares they own to disclose or curb their political expenditures. It also offers strategies for investors in mutual funds and bank accounts. In the realm of public policy, the guide suggests initiatives for investors to support.   Download Free PDF

Unleashing the Potential of US Foundation Endowments: Using Responsible Investment to Strengthen Endowment Oversight and Enhance Impact  (2014)
A growing number of foundations are investigating or pursuing sustainable, responsible, and impact investing approaches—often employing such terms as mission-related investing or impact investing. They are seeking to employ investment and shareowner strategies across their assets to help achieve positive societal outcomes and targeted financial returns. This report is designed for foundation staff and trustees who are interested in encouraging their institutions to align a broader portion of their assets under management with their programmatic goals or to factor environmental, social and governance issues into their investment decisions to help fulfill fiduciary duties.   Download Free PDF


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 The Impact of Sustainable and Responsible Investment (2013)
In this document you will find examples of the many kinds of impact the sustainable, responsible, and impact investment industry has had, including: Changing the Investment Industry and Adding Options for Investors; Improving Companies Through Active Ownership and Engagement; Helping Communities and Individual; and Influencing Public Policy and Developing Global Standard-Setting Organizations. Download Free PDF.

Investing to Curb Climate ChangeInvesting to Curb Climate Change: Institutional (2013)
This guide is designed for investors such as foundations, family offices, university endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, banks and registered investment companies. Individuals who are accredited investors will also find this a helpful source of information. This guide highlights strategies available for institutional investors to manage climate change risks in their investment portfolios and help generate solutions. The guide highlights strategies that investors can utilize across all asset classes, including private equity. The guide also outlines several public policy initiatives that will facilitate investments in clean energy and energy efficiency as well strategies for influencing organizations and institutions in their communities to adopt more climate-sensitive investment policies.  Download Free PDF.

Investing to Curb Climate Change for IndividualsInvesting to Curb Climate Change: Individuals (2013)
This guide seeks to meet the increasing interest of a wide range of investors in using their investment dollars to address the risks of climate change and to help generate solutions. The guide highlights strategies that retail investors can use not only to address climate change within their own holdings of stocks, mutual funds, fixed income and cash instruments, but also to encourage institutions in their communities to adopt more climate-sensitive investment policies. The guide also suggests several public policy initiatives investors can support to facilitate investments in clean energy and energy efficiency.  Download Free PDF

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Expanding the Market for Community Investment in the USExpanding the Market for Community Investment in the United States (2013)
A report that draws on best practices from the field, recommending ways to attract new accredited and institutional investments, as well as to develop products that are accessible enough to retail investors.  US SIF Foundation led the project in collaboration with the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University and Milken Institute. 
Download Free PDF

The Emerging Markets Disclosure ProjectLessons Learned: The Emerging Markets Disclosure Project 2008-2012 (2012)
The Emerging Market Disclosure Project (EMDP), a five-year international initiative led by representatives from Boston Common Asset Management, Calvert Investments, US SIF and with advisory support from the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) worked to assess and improve corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG or sustainability) reporting in emerging markets.  Readers will find a culmination of the group's baseline studies and advocacy work in Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and South Korea. Download Free PDF

Options and Innovations in Community InvestingOptions & Innovations in Community Investing (2012)
Based on current practice among fund managers, wealth advisors and consultants, this guide offers investors a practical guide to community investing. Readers will find resource links and options by asset class as well as an analysis of key issues that may influence the future of community development finance. Download Free PDF

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Sustainability Trends in US Alternative Investments (2011)
In recent years, the market of alternative investment funds engaged in sustainable, responsible, and impact investing has expanded rapidly. This report provides a detailed snapshot of private equity and venture capital funds, property investment funds and hedge funds based in the United States that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria in fund management. It documents the growth in their numbers and assets from 2010 to 2011, and examines the networks and field-building organizations that have helped to facilitate growth in this field. Download Free Executive Summary  | Order Full Report

Opportunities for Sustainable and Responsible Investing in US Defined Contribution Plans (2011)
This report finds that the number of defined contribution (DC) retirement plans in the United States offering a sustainable, responsible, and impact investing (SRI) choice could double in the next two to three years, based on a survey of hundreds of plan sponsors. The report includes a resource guide for plan sponsors interested in adding an SRI option. Order Full Report

Resource Guide for Plan Sponsors (2011)
This step-by-step guide assists plan sponsors considering the addition of a sustainable, responsible, and impact investment (SRI) option to their defined contribution (DC) retirement plan. The steps outlined in this guide will help sponsors demonstrate the feasibility of SRI as an investment option and address their situation-specific concerns about SRI. Download Free PDF
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Creating a Sustainable World: A Guide to Responsible Stewardship of Tribal Assets (2010)
A resource guide on how American Indian financial portfolios can integrate sustainable, responsible, and impact investment strategies into the management of tribal and other Native organizational assets. Download Free PDF

Investment Consultants and Responsible Investing: Current Practices and Outlook in the United States (2009)
This report analyzes the results from a survey of US investment consultants about their clients' interest in investment strategies that consider corporate environmental, social or governance criteria in addition to traditional financial analysis, and how they are responding. Download Free PDF

Community Investing Toolkit for the Faith Community (2009)
The faith-based toolkit is an introductory guide to community investing featuring quick and efficient ways for faith-based investors to get involved in community investing. Download Free PDF  | Order Printed Version
Mission in the Marketplace (2009)
A resource guide for foundations to manage risk and leverage their investment assets more fully with their core philanthropic purpose, while creating lasting value.  Download Free PDF | Order Printed Version

Global Research and Resources
For a listing of responsible investment resources around the world, please view our Global SRI page.