SRI PROFESSIONALS SURVEY: MAJORITY OF RETAIL, INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS INTERESTED IN “FOSSIL FUEL-FREE PORTFOLIOS”
63 Percent of SRI Professionals Expect Climate-Prompted Fossil Fuel Divestment in Next 10 Years
NEW YORK CITY AND COLORADO SPRINGS – May 16, 2013 – Over half of sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investment industry professionals say that retail investors (65 percent) and institutional investors (53 percent) are currently expressing interest in fossil fuel-free portfolios in the face of growing signs of climate change, according to First Affirmative Financial Network’s Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey.
Released in anticipation of the 24th annual SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com) October 28-30, 2013 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the online survey was conducted by First Affirmative Financial Network between April 22 and May 8, 2013. More than 2,000 SRI industry professionals were asked to weigh-in on 12 questions regarding fossil fuel-free portfolios and related investor concerns. The survey was completed by 466 licensed investment professionals, asset managers, investors, and representatives of SRI investment companies, community development financial institutions, and social research/proxy voting organizations.
Other key survey findings include:
· 77 percent see growing risks for investors associated with fossil fuel company holdings in their investment portfolios.
· 30 percent of those surveyed either already do – or are getting ready to – offer fossil-fuel free portfolios to investors.
· 63 percent believe that investors will in the next 10 years start divesting in meaningful numbers from fossil-fuel companies due to climate change implications of such energy sources.
First Affirmative President Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said: “The survey findings strongly suggest that fossil fuel free investing is one of the SRI industry’s next big issues. Ours is an incredibly dynamic field, and as we develop the agenda for the 24th annual SRI Conference in October, we are working hard to present speakers and sessions focused on the most timely, important, and pressing topics. Fossil fuel free investing is already becoming a nationwide movement, and it’s likely to gain momentum as the impacts of climate destabilization are felt far and wide.
In addition, the survey also found that:
· 67 percent of respondents believe that 2013 is the right time for investors to assess and perhaps alter their approach to investing in traditional energy companies.
· 40 percent of those surveyed worry about increased diversification risk in fossil fuel free portfolios, in their role as a fiduciary to clients.
· 24 percent of those surveyed said they would be able to adequately replace the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel companies in portfolios they managed/advised with holdings that exhibit similar risk/return characteristics.
The full survey findings are available online at http://184.108.40.206/sricfossilfuelsurvey.pdf.