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Global Sustainable Investment Reaches $21.4 Trillion

The second Global Sustainable Investment Review report published by the Global Sustainable Investment Association confirms that global sustainable investment reached $21.4 trillion at the outset of 2014, up from $13.3 trillion at the same time two years earlier.

GSIA-1The report, helpfully named exactly the same as the organization that exists “to deepen the impact and visibility of sustainable investment organizations,” was released this week, two years after its inaugural report pinned global investment levels at $13.3 trillion. Since then, global sustainable investment has increased to $21.4 trillion at the start of 2014, and now accounts for 30.2% of the professionally managed assets in the regions covered, up from 21.5% two years earlier.

The report collates investment figures from the market studies of regional sustainable investment forums for Europe, the US, Canada, Asia, Japan, Australasia, and Africa.

In the period studied, the fastest growing region was the United States, followed by Canada and Europe, accounting for a phenomenal 99% of global sustainable investing assets.

That being said, Europe still stands ahead as the leading sustainable investment region, with 63.7% of the global sustainable investments.


According to the report, sustainable investment encompasses the following activities and strategies:

  1. Negative/exclusionary screening
  2. Positive/best-in-class screening
  3. Norms-based screening
  4. Integration of ESG factors
  5. Sustainability-themed investing
  6. Impact/community investing
  7. Corporate engagement and shareholder action

The largest of these activities and strategies is negative screening/exclusions, totaling $14.4 trillion, followed by ESG integration at $12.9 trillion and corporate engagement/shareholder action at $7 trillion. But this can differ across regions as well: Negative screening is the largest strategy in Europe, however, ESG integration is preferred in the United States, Australia/New Zealand, and Asia, and corporate engagement and shareholder action is the preferred method in Canada.

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