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Book part
Publication date: 30 March 2017

Julia M. Puaschunder

The 2008/2009 World Financial Crisis underlined the importance of social responsibility for the sustainable functioning of economic markets. Heralding an age of novel…

Abstract

The 2008/2009 World Financial Crisis underlined the importance of social responsibility for the sustainable functioning of economic markets. Heralding an age of novel heterodox economic thinking, the call for integrating social facets into mainstream economic models has reached unprecedented momentum. Financial Social Responsibility bridges the finance world with society in socially conscientious investments. Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) integrates corporate social responsibility in investment choices. In the aftermath of the 2008/2009 World Financial Crisis, SRI is an idea whose time has come. Socially conscientious asset allocation styles add to expected yield and volatility of securities social, environmental, and institutional considerations. In screenings, shareholder advocacy, community investing, social venture capital funding and political divestiture, socially conscientious investors hone their interest to align financial profit maximization strategies with social concerns. In a long history of classic finance theory having blacked out moral and ethical considerations of investment decision making, our knowledge of socio-economic motives for SRI is limited. Apart from economic profitability calculus and strategic leadership advantages, this paper sheds light on socio-psychological motives underlying SRI. Altruism, need for innovation and entrepreneurial zest alongside utility derived from social status enhancement prospects and transparency may steer investors’ social conscientiousness. Self-enhancement and social expression of future-oriented SRI options may supplement profit maximization goals. Theoretically introducing potential SRI motives serves as a first step toward an empirical validation of Financial Social Responsibility to improve the interplay of financial markets and the real economy. The pursuit of crisis-robust and sustainable financial markets through strengthened Financial Social Responsibility targets at creating lasting societal value for this generation and the following.

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Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Carolina Herrera-Cano and Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez

The purpose of this study is to show how socially responsible investment (SRI) could represent a powerful tool (trust recovering in political and economic institutions) in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to show how socially responsible investment (SRI) could represent a powerful tool (trust recovering in political and economic institutions) in the case of failure or stagnation of economic and financial growth. The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate the current status of SRI in the context of the recent financial and economic crises. The main objective of this analysis is to consider the different benefits and challenges that this type of investment transactions bring into the international economy, and how SRI entrance could represent a major benefit not only for investors a different approach to corporate sustainability but as an important possibility in times of global economic and political crisis.

Methodology/approach

By analysing the literature about SRI, it has been developed a discussion regarding its benefits and obstacles in today’s financial scenario. By evaluating the performance of SRI in the context of the global financial crisis and the important opportunities regarding development, we would like to present the SRI as an important tool in today’s Post 2015 development agenda.

Findings

After revising the existent literature, it has been found that there are two important discussions in the field of SRI. The first one is related with the financial performance of SRI in contrast with the conventional investment funds while the second one is related with important considerations about the SRI in the context of the global financial crisis. After considering the arguments from the different authors, we address some conclusions regarding the importance of SRI in nowadays sustainable development discussion.

Practical implications

Due to failure in the traditional modus operandi of financial institutions and the recent global crises, investors, corporate executives and governments are increasingly paying more attention on the social, environmental and ethical behaviour of individual managers, shareholders and institutional investors. Therefore, it is being observed a shift and maturing process in SRI from an exclusive practice of few and specialised niche investment funds with minor financial implications and limited economic importance, to mainstream adopted by a growing number of institutional investors at the international level. This shift may influence companies and managers to adopt universal values and to assume a committed and strategic CSR agenda to respond to markets and societal expectations, in order to have guilt-free and sustainable investment and sustainable financial markets.

Originality/value

Within the context of the Post 2015 development agenda, the role of business and the private sector has become crucial for funding the new sustainable development goals (SDGs). This chapter not only discussed the relationship between SRI as an alternative to overcome financial crises and lack of sustainability in investment, but it does also conceptually demonstrates the potential of SRI to achieve the funding of the SDGs.

Details

Lessons from the Great Recession: At the Crossroads of Sustainability and Recovery
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-743-1

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2009

Jonas Nilsson

The purpose of this paper is to address reasons for consumer investment in socially responsible investment (SRI) profiled mutual funds. Specifically, the paper deals with…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address reasons for consumer investment in socially responsible investment (SRI) profiled mutual funds. Specifically, the paper deals with the relative influence of financial return and social responsibility on the decision to invest in SRI profiled mutual funds.

Design/methodology/approach

A cluster analytic approach was used where 563 SR‐investors were classified into different segments based on their perception of importance of financial return and social responsibility. Furthermore, discriminant analysis and chi2 tests were used to profile the segments.

Findings

Three segments of SR‐investors were formed. The “primarily concerned about profit” SR‐investors value financial return over social responsibility. The “primarily concerned about social responsibility” value social responsibility over financial return. The “socially responsible and return driven” SR‐investors value both return and social responsibility when deciding to invest in SRI. The segments displayed distinct differences with regard to various profiling variables.

Research limitations/implications

As respondents were generated from one SRI provider, it is possible that the respondents are not fully representative of all SR‐investors.

Practical implications

Since there are segments of SR‐investors that invest in SRI because of different reasons, there is an opportunity for SRI providers to target and adapt communication to certain segments.

Originality/value

For both academia and the SRI industry this study provides useful knowledge on how private SR‐investors handle the issue of financial return and social responsibility when investing in SRI. This understanding of the differing motivations of the SR‐investor also holds practical importance for developing appropriate marketing strategies within the SRI industry.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

William Dilla, Diane Janvrin, Jon Perkins and Robyn Raschke

Despite the increasing demand for socially responsible investments (SRIs) and the importance of information intermediaries in providing corporate social responsibility…

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite the increasing demand for socially responsible investments (SRIs) and the importance of information intermediaries in providing corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance information through SRI screens, relatively little is known about the relationship between nonprofessional investors’ views regarding SRI, their use of SRI screens and their actual SRI behavior. This study aims to distinguish between investor views about the importance of corporate environmental responsibility (environmental performance importance views) and whether they view environmentally responsible firms as yielding higher returns (environmental performance return views). It examines the association between these views, SRI screen use and reported SRI holdings.

Design/methodology/approach

Nonprofessional investor participants completed an online survey about their SRI investment views, screen use and investment behavior. The survey yielded 201 usable responses.

Findings

The strength of participants’ environmental performance importance and environmental performance return views is positively associated with their use of SRI screens and the proportion of their portfolios held in SRIs. SRI screen use only partially mediates the association between investors’ environmental performance importance and return views and their SRI holdings.

Research limitations/implications

The study does not precisely address what types of SRI screens nonprofessional investors may be using. It does not control for investors’ specific experience with SRIs, nor does it examine how or why investors come to believe that environmental responsibility may improve a company’s return potential.

Practical implications

The fact that SRI screen use only partially mediates the association between investors’ views and their SRI holdings suggests that either reliable, unfiltered CSR information is important for nonprofessional investors or some investors are choosing SRIs without obtaining adequate relevant information.

Social implications

The study’s findings confirm earlier research findings which show an association between investors’ pro-environmental views and their decision to invest in SRIs (Williams, 2007; Nilsson, 2008) and suggest that nonprofessional investors are becoming aware of the positive relation between environmental performance and firm value (Dhaliwal et al., 2011; Clarkson et al., 2013; Hawn et al., 2014; Matsumura et al., 2014).

Originality/value

This study simultaneously examines the influence of environmental performance importance (an “alternative” investment perspective) and environmental performance return (a “traditional” investment perspective) on investors’ SRI behavior.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Book part
Publication date: 2 September 2016

Bernard Paranque and Elias Erragragui

The objective of this chapter is twofold. It first explores the complementarities of Islamic investment with Socially Responsible Investment. Secondly, it examines the…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this chapter is twofold. It first explores the complementarities of Islamic investment with Socially Responsible Investment. Secondly, it examines the financial price, for investors, of being both shariah-compliant and socially responsible.

Methodology/approach

Using a value-weighted approach, we experiment the construction of a set of sharia-compliant stock portfolios with different Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance. We use the KLD ratings of 238 companies listed in U.S. stock market from 2007 to 2011. We measure and compare their performance using the model developed by Fama and French (1993) and extended by Carhart (1997).

Findings

The results indicate no adverse effect on returns due to the application of a double screening, Islamic and SRI, and show a substantially higher performance for positive governance screen during 2008–2011 periods. This outperformance cannot be explained by differences in investment style. Though, we observe significant outperformance for some ‘irresponsible’ portfolios involved in community and human rights controversies.

Research limitations/implications

The study only focuses on U.S. market. Future works should extend the experimentation to other markets.

Practical implications

This study provides a venue for Islamic funds managers to consider SRI screening as fully in line with shariah-compliance requirements, while preserving the performance of their portfolios.

Social implications

Potentially, the reconciliation of Islamic investment with positive SRI practices may foster the implementation of CSR policies by firms’ manager willing to attract Islamic investors.

Originality/value

With reference to the many studies emphasising the compatibility between CSR criteria and Islamic principles, this experimental study is the first to investigate the integration of a positive screening process designed to select companies based on their ESG performance in addition to a traditional shariah-compliant screening.

Details

Finance Reconsidered: New Perspectives for a Responsible and Sustainable Finance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-980-0

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Mark Anthony Camilleri

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…

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.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Book part
Publication date: 7 July 2014

Stephanie Giamporcaro and Suzette Viviers

The anti-apartheid movement represented a cornerstone for socially responsible investors in the 1970s and 1980s driven by the willingness to promote lasting social change…

Abstract

Purpose

The anti-apartheid movement represented a cornerstone for socially responsible investors in the 1970s and 1980s driven by the willingness to promote lasting social change. What happened next in terms of socially responsible investing (SRI) in the free South Africa? This chapter explores the local development of SRI in South Africa post-apartheid.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth literature review combined with a content analysis 73 SRI funds’ investment mandates were undertaken to investigate the local development of SRI in South Africa over the period 1992–2012.

Findings

Mechanisms of local divergence and global convergence have both shaped the phenomenon of SRI in South Africa. SRI in South Africa represents a melting-pot of societal values anchored in a local developmental and transformative political vision, some local and global Islamic religious values, and worldwide SRI and CSR homogenisation trends.

Originality/value

This chapter is the first attempt to outline the mechanisms of local divergence and global convergence that have moulded SRI in a democratic South Africa.

Details

Socially Responsible Investment in the 21st Century: Does it Make a Difference for Society?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-467-1

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 7 July 2014

Tessa Hebb, Céline Louche and Heather Hachigian

The objective of this chapter is twofold. It first introduces the theme of the book. There are many ways of looking at socially responsible investment (SRI). It can be…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this chapter is twofold. It first introduces the theme of the book. There are many ways of looking at socially responsible investment (SRI). It can be viewed as a financial product where the financial performance is the outmost important aspect and cannot be compromised. Or it can be regarded as a force for change to promote and stimulate a more sustainable development. In this chapter we provide a literature review on SRI especially on the notion of the impact and how it has been addressed so far in the literature. The second objective of the chapter is to provide an overview of the volume by introducing each chapter.

Methodology

This chapter reviews the literature on SRI as well as the chapters included in this volume.

Findings

If SRI is about making a change toward sustainability, we ought to study its societal and environmental impacts. Although scholar articles on SRI have gained importance in the two last decades, very little is known on its impact. Research has developed from a narrow concern with negative screening and divestment in isolated cases to a rigorous analysis of its financial performance across a range of ethical and ESG issues. While we have identified some studies that are beginning to explore the potential impact of SRI for society, this remains a crucial area to explore.

Originality/value of the chapter

The chapter contributes to the debates on the societal impact of SRI, a debate that needs to be continued even if or just because it raises some fundamental questions that are complex and difficult but also necessary to advance SRI.

Details

Socially Responsible Investment in the 21st Century: Does it Make a Difference for Society?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-467-1

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Amarjit Gill and Neil Mathur

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between religious beliefs and socially responsible investment in the Indian agricultural industry.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between religious beliefs and socially responsible investment in the Indian agricultural industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Owners of small agribusiness firms from India were interviewed regarding their perceptions of religious beliefs and socially responsible investment in the agricultural industry.

Findings

The survey indicates that while religious beliefs and internal financing sources increase perceived socially responsible investment, the higher cost of debt capital decreases perceived socially responsible investment in the Indian agricultural industry. The higher level of internal financing sources, however, decreases the perceived cost of debt capital which may increase socially responsible investment in the Indian agricultural industry.

Research limitations/implications

This is a co-relational study that investigated the association between religious beliefs and socially responsible investment. There is not necessarily a causal relationship between the two. The findings of this study may only be generalized to firms similar to those that were included in this research.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on the factors that increase socially responsible investment in the agricultural industry. The study also provides critical policy recommendations to minimize managerial implications. The findings may be useful for financial managers, agribusiness owners (farmers), investors, agribusiness management consultants, and other stakeholders.

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2012

Henry Schaefer, Christian Gromer and Adriana Neligan

Socially responsible property investments (SRPI) are seen as the emerging trend in socially responsible investing. The purpose of this paper is to raise the question of…

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1597

Abstract

Purpose

Socially responsible property investments (SRPI) are seen as the emerging trend in socially responsible investing. The purpose of this paper is to raise the question of whether this trend is also valid for Germany. The results presented in this article are based on an explorative study among German institutional investors in the year 2007.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors see the reasons behind the trend of sustainable building in the climate change and the resulting awareness of the investors on this topic. Likewise, the authors also see that more investors, predominantly institutional investors, are focusing on the emerging market for socially responsible investments (SRI). Considering these and the diversified portfolios of the institutional investors which usually include property investments, the authors are investigating the demand of these investors for SRPI in Germany. The investigation is based on an empirical study carried out in 2007 which should be understood as a prolonged insight into the investment preferences of German institutional investors towards SRI, in general, and SRPI, in particular.

Findings

The authors found that the market for SRPI is not growing as a result of an increased interest in SRPI as an emerging asset class, but rather as a consequence of a moderate growth in the property market. Some institutional investors find severe intransparencies in this emerging segment, while others do not perceive this new asset class as an attractive investment opportunity.

Practical implications

The empirical study sheds light on the willingness of German institutional investors to invest in SRI with special reference to SRPI.

Originality/value

The empirical study shows the willingness of institutional investors which already invested in SRI to invest in SRPI, as well as the reluctance of investors with no experience in SRI to invest in SRPI.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

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