The ethical stature of the property industry has seen massive improvements recently, as the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) revealed that more than half of all professionally managed investments in the country are now deemed responsible investments.
The industry saw a record of $866 billion responsible investments, accounting 55% of all professionally managed assets in Australia, up from $622 billion in 2016, according to RIAA’s Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2018. After about two decades of progress, responsible investment in Australia finally hit a major milestone this year
“We are now at a stage whereby issues such as climate change, human rights, corporate culture, diversity and a whole range of other important sustainability issues are right at the forefront of consideration by Australia’s finance community,” said Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA.
O’Connor said that the positive result was driven by mainstream investment funds being altered to incorporate responsible investment, such as incorporating negative screening, systematically assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, as well as engaging directly on these issues to influence corporate Australia.
Further, this information suggests that Australians give a high level of value to the idea that their investments are properly transacted, so long as they do not sacrifice financial performance.
Moving forward, O’Connor hopes to see more investors capitalising responsibly. “While it’s hugely positive to see responsible investment now with the lion’s share, our aspiration is to see this number grow as the understanding of ESG factors on positive portfolio performance increases,” said O’Connor.
The Responsible Investment Association Australasia is an industry body representing responsible, ethical and impact investors across Australia and New Zealand.
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