The raise of Socially Responsible Investment

Temps de lecture : 10 min

The planet is burning but the financial world keeps turning.

The last few months have shaken the world and raised consciousness. How to invest, and get the most out of your savings while respecting your own personal values and ethic?

Sustainable or green investments are seen as a good start. Thematic investing has been around for many years. In the 90’s Robecco, a Dutch company, already proposed sectorial funds with underlying thematic. Nowadays, the thematic is mainly linked to the sustainable and/or socially responsible investments to meet customers’ expectations (who are more and more eco-conscious) while doing good deeds.
Although financial key players, such as Triodos Bank, have made sustainability their main purpose, the main traditional ones start definitely to go greener in their investment strategy.

For instance, in February 2019, Belfius launched its Cure Funds, a fund that invests in companies and organizations researching ways of fighting and curing cancers. They also have a Climate funds, and recently announced the very first funds for gender equalities in Belgium: Belfius Equities WO=MEN. For any of these 3 ethical funds, they give back 10% of the management fees earned to an NGO or association working to improve our society according to the commitments of the fund.

While last year, the AXA group announced a new more sustainable investment strategy: they disengaged their investments in the coal industry and increased their investments in green bonds.

In Belgium, the Central Labelling Agency (CLA) has created the label “Towards Sustainability” to ensure the sustainability and ethics of investments by all types of retail and institutional investors. It aims at educating the investors and helping them finding a suitable investment opportunity Their “quality standard aspires to increase the level of socially responsible and sustainable financial products, and to mainstream its principles towards traditional financial products.”

The Financité network (that brings together citizens and organizations to form a movement that tries to make the financial world a real factor of positive change) has published its sustainable investment barometer, and the investments keep increasing! Indeed, the total amount of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) in Belgium has reached €59,94 billion in Belgium for 2019. That represents an increase of 40% compared to 2018.

We forecast a positive evolution in this type of ethical investment.  Generating benefit while making the world a better place is the kind of initiative we wish to hear more and more.



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