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 October 2018. Click here to learn more.|
Moving Forward with Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing: A Roadmap for Money Managers 2018
This roadmap is a comprehensive guide for money managers on how to incorporate sustainable, responsible and impact investing at their firms. It provides best practices and practical steps asset managers can take to develop and enhance sustainable investing strategies. The roadmap explains how to establish board and senior level oversight to meaningfully explore the process of addressing ESG issues in investment offerings. Other topics covered are identifying sources of ESG data, research and training; developing and implementing an ESG incorporation strategy and investor engagement strategy; measuring and managing impact; and participating in building the sustainable investment field. To access a free copy of the report click here.
Incorporating Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Into Your Practice: A Roadmap for Financial Advisors 2018
This roadmap details the steps financial advisors can take not only to get started in offering sustainable, responsible and impact investment services to clients, but also to deepen their SRI practices. The report provides essential background information and guides advisors in how to identify and add relevant products, introduce SRI to clients, update clients' Investment Policy Statements, handle asset allocation, communicate expertise, and monitor impact performance. To access a free copy of the report, click here.
Getting Started in Sustainable and Impact Investing: A Guide for Retail Investors 2017
This guide is a concise resource to help retail, non-accredited investors start investing for impact. It covers investment options, including mutual funds and ETFs, direct ownership of stocks, and community-oriented cash and fixed income products. It also provides information on how to get professional investment help from financial advisors or through robo-advisors that offer SRI options. The guide concludes with helpful resources to review. Download Free PDF.
Adding Sustainable and Responsible Investing Options to Defined Contribution Plans: A Resource Guide for Plan Sponsors 2017
Building upon increased interest in sustainable investment and recent changes to relevant ERISA guidance, this step-by-step guide assists plan sponsors considering the addition of a sustainable and responsible investment option to their defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. The five steps include increasing knowledge of SRI, gauging participants’ interest, discussing implementation, choosing funds and educating participants. Along with practical tips and suggestions, the guide provides links to additional resources plan sponsors can leverage. Download Free PDF.
Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016
Global sustainable investment assets reached $22.89 trillion at the beginning of 2016, a 25 percent increase from 2014, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016. Now in its third edition, the biennial study is the only report presenting results from Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia ex-Japan, Japan, and Australia and New Zealand. The report draws on in-depth regional and national reports from GSIA members—Eurosif, Responsible Investment Association Australasia, RIA Canada and US SIF—as well as data and insights from the Principles for Responsible Investment, JSIF (Japan), LatinSIF and the African Investing for Impact Barometer. Download free PDF.
This document provides examples of how the sustainable, responsible and impact investment industry has: changed the investment industry and added options for investors; improved companies through active ownership and engagement; aided communities and individuals; and influenced public policy and developed organizations to promote sustainable investment. Download Free PDF.
Family Offices and Investing for Impact (2016)
Abundant anecdotal evidence suggests that a growing number of family offices in the United States are exploring ways to invest for impact. This guide explains the reasons behind the upsurge in interest and highlights the investment strategies and sectors of interest that these families are exploring. Included are brief profiles of nine single family offices and multi-family offices that are investing for impact. Drawing on interviews with family offices and other industry professionals, we offer detailed recommendations and resources for family offices to get started in sustainable, responsible and impact investing across different asset classes. Download Free PDF.
Unlocking 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.
Investing to Advance Women: A Guide for Individual & Institutional Investors (2014)
This guidehighlights 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
Investing 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: 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
Expanding 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
Lessons 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 & 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
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
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)
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
Global Research and Resources
For a listing of responsible investment resources around the world, please view our Global SRI page.