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Study to reveal impact of market turmoil on SRI

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  • Study to reveal impact of market turmoil on SRI

GLOBAL - Global institutional asset owners and fund managers will be able to indicate what impact the credit crisis has had on their responsible and sustainable investment strategies with the launch today of the RI landscape 2009 survey.

In their second annual barometer of the responsible investment market,  IPE and Responsible Investor aim to gauge responses from one of the broadest institutional investor readerships worldwide as to whether it has become more important than ever to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in institutional investment, or if RI was a luxury enjoyed only during rising markets?

The survey will also probe what the role is for responsible investment at the heart of a systemic financial breakdown and how investors should be prepared for the rise of the so-called new green economy?

The IPE/RI Landscape is a unique annual snapshot of responsible and sustainable investment trends that aims to plot the changing contours of the market through insightful comparative data and incisive commentary from asset owners and asset managers based on their reactions to topical questions.

The findings of the RI Landscape 2009 survey will be published in a comprehensive report in June this year following a high-level roundtable of pension funds and asset managers to discuss the preliminary findings.

Last year's roundtable included speakers from PGGM, which manages over €88bn in assets for the Dutch healthcare pension fund Zorg en Welzijn, ERAFP, the €8.4bn French public service supplementary pension scheme, PensPlan, the €500m pension services provider of the semi-autonomous Trentino Alto Adige region in northern Italy, and the UK Pensions Protection Fund.

In the 2008 RI landscape, institutional asset owners, mostly pension funds and investment foundations managing over $1.5trn (€1.17trn) in assets, said they planned to increase their commitment to responsible investment by $137bn before the end of 2010.

The 73 asset owners who responded to the survey said they managed $1.24trn assets in adherence to responsible investment criteria, a figure they predict will rise to $1.38trn.

The numbers underlined the increasing shift to responsible investment by the world's biggest institutions, mirroring the success of initiatives such as the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, which has signatories, including fund managers, representing more than $17trn.

The RI Landscape 2008 Asset Owners survey, run jointly by IPE and Responsible Investor, is one of the widest ever direct global surveys of institutional investors.

Among the major findings of last year's survey, 46% of asset managers said their preferred RI approach was to engage with the companies they invest in for change.

The survey also revealed funds which are not investing in RI in 2008 were likely to opt for specialist ‘themed' investment funds such as renewable energy and clean technology, a future strategy highlighted by 53% of the respondents.

The survey is now open to IPE readers so if you would like to contribute to this year's study, click on the web link.

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