There has been considerable research on the relative performance of responsible investment versus traditional investment strategies. Most of this research suggests that taking into account material environmental, social and governance factors results in investment out-performance.

Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management

Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, together with the School of Business, Economics and Social Science at the University of Hamburg, undertook a definitive meta-study in 2015 which reviewed more than 2,000 research reports on ESG and corporate financial performance. It concluded that “the business case for ESG investing is empirically very well founded. Roughly 90% of studies find a nonnegative ESG–CFP relation. More importantly, the large majority of studies reports positive findings. We highlight that the positive ESG impact on CFP appears stable over time.”

Harvard Business School

In 2016, the Harvard Business School published 'Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality' which concluded that 'firms with good ratings on material sustainability issues significantly outperform firms with poor ratings on these issues. In contrast, firms with good ratings on immaterial sustainability issues do not significantly outperform firms with poor ratings on the same issues.'

Oxford University: Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

A 2015 meta-study by Oxford University's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment together with Arabesque Partners, 'From the stockholder to the stakeholder: how sustainability can drive financial performance', noted that:

  • 90% of the studies on the cost of capital show that sound sustainability standards lower the cost of capital of companies.
  • 88% of the research shows that solid ESG practices result in better operational performance of firms and
  • 80% of the studies show that stock price performance of companies is positively influenced by good sustainability practices.

Other research

For further analysis of the relationship between the application of sustainability and corporate governance factors and investment performance-related research, see SRI-CONNECT: Buzz search: General – Investment Performance

Overview

The Latin American Sustainable Investment Forum (LatinSIF) was created in 2013 and an initial summary of its activities was included in the GSIA 2016 report.

Other studies

For other studies on the size of the market in Latin America, see SRI-CONNECT buzz search: Research on SRI Market Size – Latin America

Overview

Responsible Investment Benchmark Report (RIAA | 2017)

The most comprehensive report on the size of the SRI market in Australia is the Responsible Investment Australasia (RIAA) report which is published every year.

The 2017 report estimates a 9% increase in the size of the market to $622bn, with the fastest growth happening in screening strategies.

Link to 2017 report here

Other studies

For other studies on the size of the market in Australia & New Zealand, see SRI-CONNECT buzz search: Research on SRI Market Size – Australia & New Zealand

Overview

The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016 used data from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business for markets in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to estimate SRI assets in those countries at $721bn, of which 94% was managed from South Africa.

Other reports

See SRI-CONNECT buzz search: Research on SRI Market Size – Africa

Overview

The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016 used data from PRI to estimate the market in Asia ex-Japan at $52.1bn, of which one third was in Sharia-compliant funds.

The Japan Sustainable Investment Forum (JSIF) provided data for the Japanese market, estimating $473.6bn of sustainable investments, the majority of which is focused on corporate engagement and shareholder action.

Other reports

See SRI-CONNECT buzz search: Research on SRI Market Size – Asia