SRI Supercharged September!

With National Ethical Investment Week 2013 (NEIW13) starting this Sunday (13 October) the last fortnight or so has been pretty hectic, with UKSIF, EIRIS and Blue & Green Tomorrow all hosting major events.

Hot on the heels of the UKSIF AGM and annual lecture, presented by Alderman and incoming Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf CBE (and kindly hosted by Bloomberg), there was also the EIRIS 30th Anniversary celebration.

The EIRIS event marked the start of the EIRIS and the gathering of research work which facilitated the launch of the UKs first retail ethical fund a year later. The event highlighted the progress investors have made in their understanding of ‘Environmental, Social and Governance’ related risks and opportunities, which as a world leader in this field, EIRIS have played a significant role in encouraging.

This was the event from which I picked up the analogy that ‘ESG analysis needs to be to investment what health and safety is to engineering’ , a term which works well for SRI too – and helps to explain the importance of this area.

My favourite ‘memorable fact’ from the UKSIF lecture was hearing that there are now 483,000 people with solar panels on their roofs (courtesy of our friends at ‘Abundance Generation’). As one such person I am delighted to know that I am part of a group the membership of which now exceeds that of any UK political party! Food for thought for policy makers perhaps?

The EIRIS celebration was followed only a few short hours later by a new event for IFAs – courtesy of our friends at Blue & Green Tomorrow. The SRI ‘Adviser Bootcamp’.

This event was aimed squarely at awareness raising. The event offered ‘cradle to grave SRI overview’ with a range of speakers (including myself) . Speakers developed the SRI theme from a conceptual ‘why is this stuff important’ through to the practicalities of advising clients in this area, via the realities of an SRI market overview and fund management issues. The event was tremendously well received and further events are looking highly likely! Extracts from this event are now available on the Blue & Green Tomorrow website.

Taken together these events illustrate the wonderful health and dynamism of SRI today.

The challenge, it would seem, is in how to bring all these strands together and help grow those investments that can both bring both great returns and lasting change.

And this I guess is where the NEIW13 awareness raising campaign can help. If you have not done so already do check out the site to find out what’s on. And if you are an adviser it is not too late to download banners, look into the resource links or even to sign up to an event of two!

Looking forward to seeing you at an event or hearing from you if you are looking for client facing SRI support!

Julia Dreblow







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