More money going to ethical investing

A significant sum of New Zealand’s capital is now being invested responsibly with early signs showing consumer demand is increasing following the rise. 

Responsible investments in New Zealand totalled nearly $78.7 billion in 2015, a growth of 28 percent.

The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), found the strong uptake in responsible investment is not only benefitting New Zealanders by underpinning strong investment strategies, but also contributing to a better environmental and social outlook.

The annual New Zealand Responsible Investment Benchmark report is now in its 15th year and is one of the most comprehensive reviews of the responsible investment sector in Australia and New Zealand. The RIAA is the industry body representing responsible investors throughout Australasia.

RIAA chief executive Simon O’Connor says the changes aren’t just a passing trend, but an evolution of the entire sector.

“Years of long-term investment benefits to investors who consider environmental, social and governance factors have quietly shifted a significant portion of the investment industry to invest responsibly.”

Early signs are that consumer demand is taking off with implications for advisers, banks, KiwiSaver providers and all parts of the sector, he says.

Simon O'Connor

Some of the biggest users of the responsible investment process in New Zealand include the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC

The $30 billion Super Fund also found core responsible investment grew by 17 percent to $1.6 billion.

Investors who have embraced the evolution had further good news. Responsible investment outperformed and returned greater benefits than their mainstream peers over the last ten years.

The strong performance highlights the opportunities to invest ethically and responsibly, O’Connor says.

“You can invest with confidence, aligning your money with your morals, and it’s not just a ‘well-intentioned’ philanthropic approach, it is generating great returns for savvy investors.”

With its continuing growth, responsible investing is obtaining a more sophisticated approach. More and more investors are adopting multiple responsible investment strategies.