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Socially responsible investment

Socially responsible investment covers investment strategies that take into account environmental, social and corporate governance considerations. On this page you can access a range of articles, books and online resources providing quick links to guidance, reports and useful organisations working in this area.

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Featured eBook

Quantitative methods for ESG finance

An introduction to ESG finance from a quantitative analyst's perspective. Combines the theoretical and quantitative basis underlying risk factor investing and risk management with an in-depth discussion of ESG applications.

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Featured article

Sustainable investment - addressing the backlash

Sustainable investing has been criticised for its theoretical flaws, unverifiable targets and excessive management fees. Is this backlash justified, asks Govinda Finn.

Articles are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

eBooks

The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Quantitative methods for ESG finance

An introduction to ESG finance from a quantitative analyst's perspective. Combines the theoretical and quantitative basis underlying risk factor investing and risk management with an in-depth discussion of ESG applications.

Climate risk: Macro perspective

A chapter giving background information and definitions for climate change, as well as an overview of the regulatory response to climate change, climate change modelling, carbon risk and carbon pricing and climate risk in investment practice. Part of an introduction to ESG finance from a quantitative analyst's perspective.

ESG investing for dummies

Aims to educate potential environmental, social and governance (ESG) investors about the opportunities, but to also highlight the risks. This book helps readers understand the principles for building a diversified sustainable portfolio.

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Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use. 

Institutions see green in natural capital: But investors still cautious about strategies in blooming asset class

UK pension funds are exploring the blossoming opportunity for investment in projects and strategies that put nature at their heart to yield societal, environmental and economic benefits - so-called natural capital. Schroders' Institutional Investor Study 2023 of 770 global investors found that 26% of respondents expected to increase or significantly increase their allocation to natural capital over the next twelve months.

Navigating ESG litigation

Recent environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related UK court cases provide insights into the impact on corporate accountability. The article reports on the ripples generated by the UK's McGaughey & Davies v USSL ruling; a pivotal claim presented by the plaintiffs had asserted that USSL's directors transgressed their duties by failing to implement a strategy for departing from fossil fuel-related investments. Similar claims played out in the ClientEarth v Shell case.

ESG and the ratings narrative

After less than two years, Standard & Poor's is scrapping its environmental, social and governance (ESG) credit indicators and America's anti-ESG politicians are thrilled. But this may not be the win they think it is, says Marianne Gros.

The 'G' element in 'ESG' for commercial real estate

Bruce Turner explores our rapidly evolving understanding of ESG factors related to commercial real estate, and its challenges to market acceptance in either investment analysis or valuation. He also looks briefly at responses to ESG by professional valuers' associations in a still uncertain environment.

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Useful links

UK

Big Society Capital
Independent financial institution set up to help grow the UK social investment market. Web site includes information for charities and social enterprises on social investment.

Call for Input: Regulatory Barriers to Social Investments
Explains the different structures a social enterprise in the UK can have and asks for views about specific rules and policies which may be hindering investment for social purposes. Includes a section on steps and considerations for those looking to invest in a social enterprise. Published by the FCA in December 2015.

Charities Responsible Investment Network
The Network was established in Spring 2013; it enables charity and foundation investors to fulfil their charitable purposes through research, training and engagement with companies.

Charity SRI
An initiative of the EIRIS Foundation and UKSIF which 'encourages and assists charities and their trustees in the development of an ethical and socially responsible approach to their investments.' The website provides a range of publications, including Responsible Investment in Charity Pooled Funds 2021.

Institute of Business Ethics
Charitable organisation promoting ethical standards in management and industry. The website offers briefings on good practice guidance and an annual survey on UK attitudes to business ethics.

The Investment Association Guidelines on responsible investment disclosure
Guidelines published by the Association of British Insurers in 2007 (following the merger of ABI Investment Affairs with the IMA in 2014, the enlarged Investment Management Association, which was renamed The Investment Association in January 2015, has assumed responsibility for guidance previously issued by the ABI).

UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF)
Membership association for sustainable and responsible financial services whose web site includes a number of reports and publications.

International

Carbon Tracker Initiative
Independent financial think tank which carries out research into the impact of the energy transition on capital markets. Maps both risk and opportunity for investors on the move to a low-carbon future. Registration required for full access to reports.

European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif)
Eurosif is 'a pan-European network and think-tank whose mission is to develop Sustainability through European financial markets.' The Eurosif website includes a survey on the state of the European SRI market.

FTSE4GOOD
Index measuring the performance of companies demonstrating strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices.

Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
A nonprofit organisation dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. Its Knowledge Center includes key industry publications and GIIN-authored research.

Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group
The Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group (GSG) was established in August 2015 as the successor to the Social Impact Investment Taskforce set up by G8. It aims to catalyse a global social impact investment market across member countries. Web site includes social investment case studies.

International Platform on Sustainable Finance - IPSF Annual report November 2021
The IPSF is an international forum for public authorities; it aims to promote integrated markets for environmentally sustainable finance. Its  2020 annual report examines global trends and evolutions within sustainable finance in the COVID-19 context, as well as how to achieve alignment between sustainable finance investment assessment tools. 

International Sustainability Standards Board
The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) was set up by the IFRS Foundation in November 2021. The intention is for the ISSB to develop a global baseline of sustainability disclosure standards to provide information about companies’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities to investors and other capital market participants.

Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI)
PRI is a United Nations-backed initiative which has brought a network of international investors together to put into practice the Principles for Responsible Investment devised by the investment community.

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment 
A US membership network committed to investment practices that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria.

Unlocking the value of social investment
This edition of KPMG's Sustainable Insight presents results of 2012-13 global research on corporate and foundation approaches to measuring and reporting social investment. A framework to help companies improve the effectiveness of social programs is included.

Articles and books in the Library collection

Selected articles and books

A target for carbon-neutrality
STEP Journal, November 2019, pp.68-69
This article discusses the Net-Zero Carbon 10 target, and the growing importance of investing in a low-carbon future. 

What is impact investing and why is it gathering momentum?
Charity Finance, January 2019, pp.28-37
The author 'looks into a growing form of investment which has enthused both fund managers and social funders'. Headings in the article include: 'an ambigious area'- defining impact investing; example of an impact investment; assessing impact; and what impact investments are on offer?

Keep it small and local
Taxline, No.3. March 2015. pp.14-16.
Social investment tax relief (SITR) is a new relief for income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) introduced by Finance Act 2014. The objective is to encourage individual investment in small social enterprises. This article explains how social investment tax relief works.

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