Sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) involves incorporating sustainable development factors such as environmental and social issues into investment decisions.
SRI has roots in South Africa’s apartheid past: in the 1980s, various institutional investors or asset owners in the USA and UK required funds to be ‘screened’ for investments in the country so that they could be excluded from investment portfolios. Stakeholder pressure ultimately led to divestment and the withdrawal of numerous companies from South Africa in the mid-80s.
Over the course of the last two decades there have been numerous developments in the field and the percentage of assets under management using SRI criteria has grown considerably. Different strategies to address investors’ concerns with environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors have emerged. Initiatives such as the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) have been developed to coordinate activity in the sector. However, there is still much confusion, especially among individual pension holders and retail investors, over what SRI is, how it works, and how they can play a role in building more sustainable capital markets.
This site, powered by Kigoda Consulting, aims to address this in some measure by explaining key concepts and central debates. It also provides options for individual investors to use to work towards ensuring that their pension and retail investments are supporting responsible and sustainable corporate practise.