Rise in European "green" investment charted

Socially responsible investment gaining ground but lacking transparency and political support

Green, social and ethical investment is "one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing activities in the investment funds industry" in Europe, according to a report from social investment research firm Siri Group and partners. But the current rate of progress will not be sustained, it warned, unless asset managers become more transparent and governments and NGOs help to raise the profile of these funds.

The study, which covers 13 European countries, found that the number of socially responsible investment (SRI) funds available to private investors increased by 58% to 251 between January 2000 and June 2001, a difficult period for asset management. Assets under SRI management increased by 36%, from euros 11.1bn at the end of 1999 to euros 15.1bn in mid-2001.

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