Eurosif Report 2012

02 November 2012

The European SRI Study 2012 shows that all responsible investment strategies surveyed have outgrown the market, and four out of six have grown by more than 35% per annum since 2009. The combined growth of all strategies at European level continues to outpace the overall investment market, demonstrating the continuous appetite by investors to take into account Environmental, Social and Governance factors, despite (or maybe due to) the ongoing economic and market turmoil.

Beyond the European averages, national markets continue to vary considerably in terms of growth, use of strategies, asset allocation and whether the investment is retail or institutional. There is no homogenous market for SRI in Europe. In fact, as Eurosif undertook a thorough review of SRI classifications and definitions to better reflect the innovative and evolving nature of the industry before launching the new survey, it became clear that the judgement of whether something is ‘SRI’ is very much coloured by the cultural and historical diversity of Europe. At this stage, no consensus on a unified definition of SRI exists within Europe, regardless of whether that definition focuses on the processes used, societal outcomes sought or the depth and quality of ESG analysis applied. For investors, in particular retail investors, this represents a challenge to understanding the various product offerings. For providers (asset managers), this also represents a challenge as different national markets may require various product strategies to be deployed depending on local investor preferences.

The present Study therefore presents SRI strategies individually, rather than imposing SRI aggregates which may not suit local market condition. It continues to focus exclusively on the self-reporting of asset managers and self-managing asset owners. It includes both retail and institutional assets. The methodology of the study has to the greatest extent possible been retained from previous years.