Half of asset managers have put sustainability-themed strategy in place - study

50pc are investing in sustainability-themed activities to fight climate change81pc have a responsible investment policy in place

L to R; Pictured at the launch of the SIF Ireland Responsible Investment: State of Play Report 2018, with ‘Fearless Girl’ in attendance, are: Ann Prendergast, Head of State Street Global Advisors Ireland; Stephen Nolan, CEO Sustainable Nation Ireland; Sandra Rockett, Director of Wealth and Corporate Distribution, Irish Life Investment Managers; Terence O’Rourke, chairman Sustainable & Responsible Investment Forum (SIF). Fearless Girl was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors and sculpted by Kristen Visbal.

Independent.ie Newsdesk

More and more Irish based asset managers are putting in place sustainability-themed investment strategies in a bid to fight climate change, a new report has revealed.

The report, commissioned by Sustainable & Responsible Investment Forum (SIF) Ireland and supported by Irish Life, surveyed Irish domiciled Asset Managers that collectively manage €77 billion worth of funds.

It found that so-called ‘responsible investing’ is increasingly at the core of best-practice investment management in Ireland.

The ‘Responsible Investment: State of Play report 2018’ was published to coincide with Climate Week Ireland. The event aims to galvanise businesses to adopt a more proactive approach to securing and financing a sustainable future.

According to the report, 81pc of those surveyed have a formal responsible investing policy in place within their organisation. While 69pc of respondents said they did not have a general exclusion policy in place.

63pc said that they do operate a fund with a specific exclusion policy.

Furthermore, 50pc of respondents said that they operated a sustainability themed investment strategy, mainly relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency, the building sector, land use / forestry / agriculture, fossil fuels, sustainable transport, water management and finally waste management.

When asked whether they had adopted impact investment into their investment strategy, 25pc of asset managers identified that they incorporated this, identifying microfinance, community investment, social business/entrepreneur fund and sustainable natural resources as areas of investment.

“With the establishment of SIF Ireland in early 2017, Irish capital market participants now have a dedicated platform to support and promote national responsible investment activities," SIF Ireland chairman Terence O’Rourke said.

"These results point to the fact that responsible investing is becoming a must-do for Irish located asset managers, which is a major plus. With the strong base of data and market insight that the survey reveals, we can now further tailor our efforts towards accelerating public policy and market engagement with this agenda,” he added.

Minister for Financial Services Michael D’Arcy welcomed the publication of the report.

“As Minister of State with responsibility for the implementation of the IFS2020 Strategy, I have placed a strong emphasis on the sustainable and responsible investment agenda as relates to the capital markets. The findings of this inaugural report point to strong base of activity as relates to responsible investment in Ireland, which I welcome. I look forward to supporting the continued growth of this sector in Ireland," he said.