Green Economy

Published on February 26th, 2015 | by Joshua S Hill


Global Sustainable Investment Reaches $21.4 Trillion

February 26th, 2015 by  

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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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

  • Matt

    Joshua, have to agree with other “posters”, this PR needed a bit more digging. What are they counting? With all the PV/wind going up in China/Japan how could Asia be only 0.2%? First order guess is that it is total BS and your story should have been something along the that lines. Can you give some context to prove or disprove that it report is trash.

  • jburt56

    At around $2 per watt for solar farms $20 trillion should have bought 10 TW.

  • JamesWimberley

    This seems to be the total of greenwashed capital. If it were for real, they could call off the Paris conference as no longer needed.

    • onesecond

      Yeah, there seems to be something wrong with these numbers. The entire world GDP is around 80 trillion dollars. On the other hand that means only a quarter of current economic activity is sustainable or assessed as sustainable.

      • Martin

        Maybe there is some truth to these numbers, because a lot of economic activity around RE systems and investment is from Europe. But why is Asia is only 0.2 %?
        Also what is their definition of sustainable investment?

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