US SIF Foundation Launches Research for 2012 Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States


‘Trends Report' Tracks Influence of Sustainable Investing Strategies in the United States, Set for November Release
WASHINGTON--US SIF Foundation, the public education and research arm of US SIF, the national nonprofit membership association for the sustainable and responsible investment industry, has launched the research process for its 2012 Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States. The organization is contacting more than 500 investment management and advisory firms, and more than 1,000 public plan sponsors, foundations, educational endowments, faith-based institutions and other institutional asset owners, in order to measure the development and influence of sustainable and responsible investing in the United States.
The ‘Trends Report' is 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.
“No other report provides a detailed breakdown of the professional assets under management—across all asset classes—that are engaged in these investing strategies,” said Meg Voorhes, deputy director and research director for US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.  “It plays a critical role in educating investors, companies, policymakers, the media and public about the sustainable and responsible investing practices of institutional investors and money managers.” 

The Trends 2012 data request form asks each money manager and institutional investor recipient, through a customized, confidential link, about:
  • The dollar value of its US-domiciled assets under management that were subject to environmental, social or governance (ESG) criteria, policies, or screens at year-end 2011.
  • For each of these plans or funds, the environmental (e.g., cleantech, climate change), community development (e.g., affordable housing, community relations), other social responsibility (e.g., labor, human rights) and corporate governance (e.g., executive pay) criteria considered.
  • The types of strategies it employs in considering ESG criteria (e.g., inclusion, exclusion or integration).
  • Whether it files or co-files shareholder resolutions at portfolio companies or engages them in private dialogue on ESG issues.
  • The reasons it considers environmental, social or governance criteria in investment selection and/or shareholder advocacy (e.g., to minimize risk over time, to respond to client or beneficiary demand). 

The 2012 edition of the report, expected to be released in November, will be the ninth edition in the Trends series.  The last edition of the report, published in 2010, showed that from the start of 2007 to the end of 2009, a three-year period when broad market indices such as the S&P 500 declined and the broader universe of professionally managed assets increased less than 1 percent, assets involved in sustainable and responsible investing increased more than 13 percent (from $2.71 trillion to $3.07 trillion). 
“While we are interested in determining whether sustainable and responsible investing strategies have continued to gain market share since 2010,” Voorhes said of her research team colleagues, “we also want to get a better picture of the new products and approaches in the field.  Many foundations and family offices, for example, are exploring alternative investments—especially in private equity, real estate and loan funds—with social impact, while major investment firms have announced new products and approaches that consider ‘ESG' criteria.”
The data collected by the research initiative will also be part of a global report on sustainable and responsible investing trends that US SIF Foundation will produce in partnership with sustainable investment membership organizations in major markets around the world.
Institutional investors and investment managers that wish to participate in the 2012 Trends Report initiative can contact [email protected] for a customized data request link. For additional information about the Trends Report, please contact Meg Voorhes at 202-872-5362 or [email protected].  For members of the media who would like additional information about the survey, please contact Megan Smith at 202-747-7820 or [email protected].
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US SIF Foundation undertakes educational and research activities in support of US SIF:  The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (  US SIF is the US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in sustainable and responsible investing. US SIF and its members advance investment practices that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. US SIF's members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, banks, credit unions, community development organizations, non-profit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners.
The 2012 Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States is being produced with a grant from Wallace Global Fund and additional support from Bloomberg, TIAA-CREF, Legg Mason, Neuberger Berman, Sentinel Investments, Trillium Asset Management, Walden Asset Management and Wespath Investment Management.  US SIF Foundation's research partner in the Trends Report project is the Tellus Institute, a Boston-based interdisciplinary, non-profit think tank. 

CONTACT: Megan Smith, 202-747-7820, or [email protected]