It seems the investment world has grown a conscience, and it’s all down to new-fangled wealth.
A survey carried out by the European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif) forecasts that more than Euros 1,000bn (£805bn, $1,473bn) of wealthy people’s money will be in sustainable investments, such as timber, by 2012. This represents a near doubling of the absolute levels in 2007, as well as a proportionate increase from 8 per cent to 12 per cent of rich people’s wealth.
Wealthy people increasingly want to invest their money without harming the environment, possibly heralding the mainstream take-up of such investment principles. “Even those who aren’t actually doing it are talking about it,” said Matt Christensen, executive director of Eurosif, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Nearly three-quarters of the survey’s respondents reported an increased interest in sustainable investing in the last 12 months.
New money, either from people who have recently become wealthy, or new flows from established investors, is driving the boom in sustainable investment strategies such as forestry investments.
“Successful entrepreneurs of today are not the industrialists of yesterday,” according to one survey respondent. “They are younger and more interested in sustainable investments.”