A report by the Charity Finance Group has revealed that 51% of its members now have an ethical investment policy.
This is an increase from 46% in a similar survey carried out in 2009, and follows research published by UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association reporting that three in five adults with investments want charities to take a leadership role in responsible investment of assets.
According to the figures more than a quarter (26%) are now engaging directly or indirectly with the companies in which they invest, responding to the public’s expectation of them to take a leadership role in investment policies.
CFG CEO, Caron Bradshaw said: “The findings from our survey show that, although it is still a concern to some, charities are increasingly looking through the assumptions that ethical investment negatively impacts on the bottom line and responding to public expectations that they should invest responsibly.
“Ethical investment can deliver significant benefits to both the charity and wider society without negative impact on financial returns. A growing number of charities are not only adopting ethical investment policies, but also positively engaging with the companies they invest in.
“We’d encourage charities of all sizes to consider developing an ethical investment policy and I’m pleased with the guide produced by UKSIF in association with CFG for National Ethical Investment Week, which, with other guidance produced by CFG, can really help with this.”
Other key findings from the report also show that:
The most important reason for charities to seek to adopt and retain an ethical investment policy was avoiding conflict with the charity’s aims and activities
89% of respondent said that the current economic difficulties had not influenced their charity’s view of environmental, social and governance issues relating to investment
88% of respondents said trustees were an important driver of their decision to implement an EI policy, but Finance Directors were important in just 30% of respondent charities