A new guide Responsible Investment Approaches to Non-equity Investments has been published to help charities take advantage of the diverse range of non-equity responsible investment options now available. The guide, launched by the EIRIS Foundation and UKSIF (the UK Social Investment Forum), explores non-equity responsible investment opportunities in asset classes such as cash deposits, bonds, property, private equity and hedge funds.
Traditionally, many charities wishing to bring their investments in line with their values have focused on equity investments, and may not have been aware of the responsible investment opportunities that exist beyond equities. The guide explores other innovative investment options available such as:
Venture capital funds that invest only in environmental technology or environmentally friendly projects
Government bond funds that screen investments according to issues such as democracy, human rights and environmental sustainability
Funds of hedge funds that apply SRI criteria
Deposit accounts with mission-focused financial institutions that support environmental projects or the charity sector
Investments in property developments in regeneration areas for use by charities
Peter Webster, Chief Executive at EIRIS said, We are very pleased to see the growth in non-equity responsible investment options for charities. But we recognise that some charities find it difficult to access these options due to their structure, risk profile and the minimum levels of investment required. We hope that fund managers will do more to remove these barriers and we encourage them to develop a broader range of funds to meet the needs of charity investors.
Penny Shepherd MBE, Chief Executive of UKSIF and chair of the EIRIS/UKSIF Charity Project, said This research draws attention to the burgeoning responsible investment sector and shows that using
investments for social and environmental as well as financial returns is no longer limited to equity investments. We encourage charity investors to take advantage of the opportunities currently available and to talk to fund managers about the development of new funds.
Mark Mansley, Head of Institutional Advisory Services at Rathbone Greenbank Investments and a member of the Charity Project’s advisory group said We welcome this research, which comes at a time when more charity trustees are starting to realise that they can use their investments
to further rather than counter their charitys activities. We hope that this guide will spark greater interest in, and demand for, responsible investment