Survey: Financial Professionals Offering Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolios Nearly Doubled From 2013 to 2015

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2015

SRI Conference Poll Confirms Strong Growth of Fossil-Free Focus, Interest in "Low Carbon" Investments

NEW YORK CITY AND COLORADO SPRINGS - April 30, 2015 - The number of investment professionals in the U.S. offering fossil fuel-free portfolios to investors nearly doubled-jumping from 22 percent to 42 percent of those polled-from 2013 to 2015 amid growing signs of retail and institutional investor interest in such choices, according to The SRI Conference 2015 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey released today by First Affirmative Financial Network.

The 2015 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey is being released in advance of the 26th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, the largest annual meeting of responsible investors and investment professionals in the U.S.  With a theme of "All In For Impact," The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com) takes place November 3-5, 2015 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Based on 510 responses primarily from the ranks of SRI investment professionals, the survey findings contain these highlights:

  • 73 percent of SRI professionals see 2015 as "the right time for investor to assess and perhaps alter" their investments in fossil fuels.
  • Two thirds of respondents (67 percent) indicated that retail investors want fossil-free investing choices.
  • The number of respondents indicating that institutional investors are interested in fossil fuel free investing rose from 49 percent in 2014 to 61 percent in the 2015 survey.
  • 77 percent of respondents believe that there are growing risks associated with investing in fossil fuel extractors/manufacturers.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said they believe "the movement to divest from fossil fuel extraction companies is expanding to include companies that produce largeā€¦ greenhouse gas emissions."
  • When SRI investment professionals divest of fossil fuel companies, the three places they are most likely to reallocate those investments are:  renewable energy companies (59 percent); "proportionately across the remaining portfolio (56 percent); and clean technology companies (52 percent).  (Respondents were allowed to provide multiple answers to this survey question.)
  • Many more survey respondents (61 percent) are concerned about "stranded asset" risks to investors created by climate change than those who are not (15 percent).  Only one in four respondents either don't know about or are unsure about this "carbon bubble" risk.

First Affirmative President Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said:  "Fossil fuel divestment has become a high priority for many socially conscious investors over the past couple of years.  The steady growth in the number of investment professionals offering fossil-fuel-free portfolios indicates that this trend is likely to continue for years to come.  Our new survey clearly reflects one of the real strengths of SRI, which adapts to and embraces major new issues as they arise for concerned investors."

The full survey findings are available online at http://bit.ly/1JbUPC8.

The SRI Conference 2015 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey was conducted in April 2015.  SRI industry professionals were asked to weigh-in on 15 questions regarding fossil-fuel-free investing and related investor concerns.  The survey was completed by 510 industry investment professionals, including advisors, asset managers, institutional investors, and representatives of SRI investment companies, community development financial institutions, and social research/proxy voting organizations.

ABOUT THE SRI CONFERENCE

Now in its 26th year, The SRI Conference (http://www.sriconference.com/) will take place November 3-5, 2015 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Leaders in the philanthropy and foundation worlds are invited to participate in the largest, longest-running annual meeting of responsible investors and investment professionals.  Early-bird registration is now open at http://www.sriconference.com/documents/registration-form.pdf or by contacting Krystala Kalil at 888-774-2663 or Krystala@SRIconference.com.

Conference participation is open to investment professionals, institutional investors, and related organizations and individuals who are working to direct the flow of investment capital in more positive, healthy, transformative ways-toward the creation of a truly sustainable future.  The conference experience features an outstanding series of educational sessions and a focused opportunity to network with hundreds of like-minded individuals, organizations, and industry leaders.

ABOUT FIRST AFFIRMATIVE FINANCIAL NETWORK

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. First Affirmative produces The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com).

MEDIA CONTACT:

Patrick Mitchell at 703-276-3266 or pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com.