Over half of sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investment industry professionals say that retail investors (65 percent) and institutional investors (53 percent) are currently expressing interest in fossil fuel-free portfolios in the face of growing signs of climate change, according to First Affirmative Financial Network’s Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey.
Released in anticipation of the 24th annual SRI Conference October 28-30, 2013 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the online survey was conducted by First Affirmative Financial Network between April 22 and May 8, 2013. More than 2,000 SRI industry professionals were asked to weigh-in on 12 questions regarding fossil fuel-free portfolios and related investor concerns. The survey was completed by 466 licensed investment professionals, asset managers, investors, and representatives of SRI investment companies, community development financial institutions, and social research/proxy voting organizations.
Other key survey findings include:
- 77 percent see growing risks for investors associated with fossil fuel company holdings in their investment portfolios.
- 30 percent of those surveyed either already do – or are getting ready to – offer fossil-fuel free portfolios to investors.
- 63 percent believe that investors will in the next 10 years start divesting in meaningful numbers from fossil-fuel companies due to climate change implications of such energy sources.
First Affirmative President Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said:
The survey findings strongly suggest that fossil fuel free investing is one of the SRI industry’s next big issues. Ours is an incredibly dynamic field, and as we develop the agenda for the 24th annual SRI Conference in October, we are working hard to present speakers and sessions focused on the most timely, important, and pressing topics. Fossil fuel free investing is already becoming a nationwide movement, and it’s likely to gain momentum as the impacts of climate destabilization are felt far and wide.
In addition, the survey also found that:
- 67 percent of respondents believe that 2013 is the right time for investors to assess and perhaps alter their approach to investing in traditional energy companies.
- 40 percent of those surveyed worry about increased diversification risk in fossil fuel free portfolios, in their role as a fiduciary to clients.
- 24 percent of those surveyed said they would be able to adequately replace the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel companies in portfolios they managed/advised with holdings that exhibit similar risk/return characteristics.
The 24th annual SRI Conference, the leading North American forum for investors and investment professionals involved in sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing, will be October 28-30, 2013 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Please contact Krystala Kalil, at 888-774-2663 or .
First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (SEC File #801-56587) offering investment consulting and asset management services through a nationwide network of investment professionals who specialize in serving socially conscious investors.
Normally, I am opposed to divestment because when good people sell they are no longer there to monitor and change the direction of management. Management and entrenched boards are often delighted to see “troublemakers” divest. However, I’m coming around on fossil fuel.
Oil companies are still looking for more hydrocarbons even though we already have more than 5 times enough to bring the planet to ruin. If I had grandchildren, I’d want them to grow up in a salubrious environment. When the population wakes up and takes back control of our governments, much of the hydrocarbon reserves will essentially become “stranded assets” that will lose value because it is too costly in terms of climate change to burn them. It is far better to use current resources to invest in green technology that will move us forward.
See also, My Notes from Ceres Conference 2013.