Inaugural study of Responsible Investment in Ireland finds half of all Irish-located asset manager respondents have put in place a sustainability-themed strategy
- 81pc have a responsible investment policy in place
- 50pc are investing in sustainability themed activities to fight climate change
Irish-located asset managers are increasingly putting in place investment strategies that incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) frameworks and that have positive impacts on fighting climate change, according to report published today. (Mon).
The inaugural Responsible Investment: Irish State of Play Report 2018, commissioned by Sustainable & Responsible Investment Forum (SIF) Ireland and supported by Irish Life, surveyed 16 Irish domiciled Asset Managers that collectively manage €77 billion of funds.
The findings show that Responsible Investing is increasingly at the core of best-practice investment management in Ireland. The SIF Ireland survey points to a strong base of awareness among Irish-located asset managers and rising interest for sustainable investing.
The study was published to coincide with Climate Week Ireland, a programme of events organised by Sustainable Nation Ireland which aims to galvanise businesses to adopt a more proactive approach to securing and financing a sustainable future.
The SIF Ireland report is a first step in identifying and measuring the Irish industry as it pertains to Responsible Investment and ESG issues and will be completed on an annual basis through to 2020. It is expected that SIF Ireland will then participate in a Europe-wide study by Eurosif who every two years prepare a report on Responsible Investment across Europe. Ireland has not yet contributed to the Eurosif study, with the next due in 2020.
The SIF Ireland Responsible Investment: State of Play Report highlighted that 81% of those surveyed have a formal Responsible Investing policy in place within their organisation. Further to this, whilst 69% of those surveyed identified that they did not have a general exclusion policy in place, 63% stated that they do operate a fund specific exclusion policy. The most commonly identified exclusions were tobacco and weapons (the production of).
Highlighting a rising interest in sustainability themed investments, 50% of those surveyed identified that they operated a sustainability themed investment strategy, mainly relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency, the building sector, land use / forestry / agriculture, fossil fuels, sustainable transport, water management and finally waste management.
When asked whether they had adopted impact investment into their investment strategy, 25% of asset managers identified that they incorporated this, identifying microfinance, community investment, social business/entrepreneur fund and sustainable natural resources as areas of investment.
Commenting, Terence O’Rourke, SIF Ireland Chairman, said: “With the establishment of SIF Ireland in early 2017, Irish capital market participants now have a dedicated platform to support and promote national responsible investment activities. Today’s results point to the fact that responsible investing is becoming a must-do for Irish located asset managers, which is a major plus. With the strong base of data and market insight that the survey reveals, we can now further tailor our efforts towards accelerating public policy and market engagement with this agenda.”
The report was supported by Irish Life. Commenting, Sandra Rockett, Irish Life Investment Managers, Director of International Business, said:
“The Responsible Investment State of Play Report provides insight into the work already done by Irish asset managers in terms of integrating responsible investment practices into their portfolios. Sustainability and Responsible Investing is moving further up the corporate agenda, and with the momentum that is building this is an increasingly important issue for Ireland.”
Minister for Financial Services Michael D’Arcy welcomed the publication of the report. Commenting, he said:
“As Minister of State with responsibility for the implementation of the IFS2020 Strategy, I have placed a strong emphasis on the sustainable and responsible investment agenda as relates to the capital markets. The findings of this inaugural report point to strong base of activity as relates to responsible investment in Ireland, which I welcome. I look forward to supporting the continued growth of this sector in Ireland.”