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Socially Responsible Investment

A nine page special report in today's Australian Financial Review (AFR) states that ethical investment with its environmental and social concern, is the fastest growing investment trend.

Like beauty, ethics are in the eye of the beholder. Religious bodies have for some time had guidelines based on scripture and beliefs which have governed how their assets are managed and finance provided. In several countries in Asia "Shariah" law governs how much of the country's finance and investment operates. The recent growth worldwide is more to do with environmental activism and handing over to individuals some say in how retirement savings are invested.

SRI is now recognised in Australian legislation for the first time. The Financial Services Reform Act which comes into force from 11 March 2002, requires managed investment products to disclose "the extent, if any, to which labour standards, environmental, social or ethical considerations are taken into account in selection, retention or realisation of the investment". Similar legislation was introduced in the United Kingdom in July 2000.

Posted Wednesday, 27 February 2002

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