Reports are a mainstay of the industry. There are those types that are generated to provide funders with a description of the work performed on various projects, and there are those that are fully research oriented. It is the latter that constitutes the majority of truly significant reports produced in the field. These major research reports are usually produced by lead SRI agencies, notably the national trade associations, who also see to it that publicity accompanies their publication.

Three good examples include two by the SIF in the US: '1997 Report on Responsible Investing Trends in the United States', and 'Tobacco's Changing Context: A Challenge and Opportunity for Institutional Investors', and one by the SIO in Canada: 'Canadian Industry Report Series'.

1997 Report on Responsible Investing Trends in the United States

"Social investing in the United States surged impressively from 1995 to 1997, both in terms of screened portfolios under professional management and shareholder advocacy efforts. In examining the health of socially and environmentally responsible investing in the two years since its last study in 1995, the Social Investment Forum found:

Responsible investing tops the $1 trillion mark. For the first time ever, more than $1 trillion in assets are under management in the U.S. in socially and environmentally responsible portfolios, which have grown from $639 billion in 1995 to $1.185 trillion in 1997.

Growth of socially screened portfolios significantly outpaced the broad market. Between January 1, 1995 and January 1, 1997, total assets under management in screened portfolios for socially aware investors rose 227 percent from $162 billion to $529 billion. Over the same period, institutional tax-exempt assets under management in the U.S. grew by 84 percent (including both market appreciation and cash inflows), according to Pensions & Investments.

The number of responsibly invested mutual funds has nearly tripled in the past two years. In 1995, the Social Investment Forum identified 55 mutual funds as employing social and/or environmental criteria as a part of their formal, publicly stated investment policy. Today, that number has risen to 144, a gain of 162 percent. The surge in responsibly invested mutual funds is attributed, in large part, to the move against investments profiting from the sale of tobacco products led by such groups as the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Kids. Other factors include: growing demand from socially concerned investors and improved data collection for purposes of the 1997 study.

Tobacco is now the common denominator for virtually all socially aware investors. Over 97 percent of managers running screened portfolios and 84 percent of all socially screened assets avoid investing in tobacco companies. Other screens include: gambling, 72 percent; weapons, 69 percent; alcohol, 68 percent; birth control/abortion, 50 percent; environment, 37 percent; labor 25 percent; human rights, 23 percent; and animal welfare, 7 percent.

Nearly 90 percent of responsibly invested funds are managed with three or more screens. In numbers almost identical to those contained in the 1995 study, the Social Investment Forum found that about a third of the managers listed in the 1997 Nelson's Directory of Investment Managers identify themselves as running portfolios with social screens. Similarly, 88 percent of these managers employ three or more screens, about the same as the 90 percent found to be using multiple screens in the 1995 study.

Three quarter of a trillion dollars is controlled by investors who play an active role in shareholder advocacy. Institutional investors leveraged assets valued at $736 billion in the form of shareholder resolutions, voted their proxies on the basis of formal policies embodying socially responsible goals, and/or actively worked with publicly traded companies to encourage more responsible behavior.

Community investing holds its own. Community-based investments totaling $4 billion are focused on local development initiatives, affordable housing and small business lending in many of the neediest urban and rural areas of the country.

Nearly one out of every 10 dollars under management in the U.S. today is part of a responsibly invested portfolio. A total of 710 major investing institutions (including pension funds, mutual fund families, community development funds, and foundations) were found to be involved in socially responsible investing in one way or another with assets totaling $1.185 trillion. This broad figure accounts for roughly 9 percent of the $13.7 trillion in investment assets under professional management in the U.S., according to the 1997 Nelson's Directory of Investment Managers."

Tobacco's Changing Context: A Challenge and Opportunity for Institutional Investors

"Today, more and more institutional investors find themselves wondering if it may finally be time for them to "kick" the tobacco habit. Faced with a deluge of ethical, legal and economic warning signs, prudent institutional investors are under increasing pressure to make decisions about the appropriateness of tobacco in an investment portfolio. This report offers a detailed look at the challenges and opportunities facing institutional investors as they grapple with investment policy questions about tobacco.

The authors of this report are the Social Investment Forum, the national non-profit membership organization representing the social investment industry, and Co-op America, a national non-profit consumer and business education organization helping Americans create a better future through their purchasing and investing choices. The Social Investment Forum and Co-op America were also in partnership with the sponsors of this report, Calvert Group, First Affirmative Financial Network, Franklin Research & Development Co., and The National Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids have prepared Tobacco's Changing Context to assist institutional investors and fiduciaries with the facts in the controversy surrounding the tobacco industry. The authors and sponsors believe there is no neutral ground in this issue.

The conclusions from this report are clear: With the increasing financial, legal and ethical problems facing the tobacco industry, it is imperative that all institutional investors review their tobacco investment policies and formulate a response. Most importantly, all investors can formulate a response to tobacco. This report will show them how."

Canadian Industry Report Series

"A series of Reports reviewing the social and environmental factors shaping the future of the Forestry, Electric Power, and Mining Industries in Canada.

The SIO Report Series analyses the social and environmental impacts on three key Canadian industries: Mining (1997), Electric Power (1996), and Forest Products (1995).

SIO research provides a fair and balanced perspective on the social and environmental challenges faced by each industry today and in the future. Each Report Series is comprised of three separate reports.

previous page buttontop of page button

table of contents

home page of Rory O'Brien

Maintained by Rory O'Brien
Last update of this page June 19, 1999