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The market for socially responsible investing: a review of the developments

Mark Anthony Camilleri (Department of Corporate Communication, Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta, Msida, Malta and Business School, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 29 April 2020

Issue publication date: 30 April 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explain how socially responsible investing (SRI) has evolved in the past few decades and sheds light on its latest developments. It describes different forms of SRI in the financial markets, and deliberates on the rationale for the utilization of positive and negative screenings of listed businesses and public organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive literature review suggests that the providers of financial capital are increasingly allocating funds toward positive impact and sustainable investments. Therefore, this descriptive paper provides a factual summary of the proliferation of SRI products in financial markets. Afterwards, it presents the opportunities and challenges facing the stakeholders of SRI.

Findings

This research presents a historic overview on the growth of SRI products in the financial services industry. It clarifies that the market for responsible investing has recently led to an increase in a number of stakeholders, including contractors, non-governmental organizations and research firms who are involved in the scrutinization of the businesses’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) behaviors.

Originality/value

This discursive contribution raises awareness on the screenings of positive impact and sustainable investments. The researcher contends that today’s socially responsible investors are increasingly analyzing the businesses’ non-financial performance, including their ESG credentials. In conclusion, this paper puts forward future research avenues in this promising field of study.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author thanks the editor and the reviewers of this journal for their constructive remarks and suggestions.Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.Funding: The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.Competing Interests: The author declares that he has no competing interests.

Citation

Camilleri, M.A. (2021), "The market for socially responsible investing: a review of the developments", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 412-428. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-06-2019-0194

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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