Socially responsible investing (SRI), which is commonly defined as an investment approach that incorporates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, is becoming increasingly important in the asset management industry. Several not-for-profit organizations that monitor the evolution of this segment of the industry report impressive inflows. Worldwide the total assets under management based on some form of sustainable investment strategy amounted to USD 30.68 trillion in 2018, a 34% increase over the two previous years.
The topic is characterized by a high level of multi-dimensionality. Its relative novelty also implies scarcity of evidence on the implications of the ensuing choices. This results in a fertile ground for future research. As investors ranging from pension funds, private and public, to asset managers are under increasing pressure to deliver some solutions in this field, it results in a topic deeply anchored in the practice and subject to increasing demand for expertise and new research. Sustainable finance is therefore a highly appropriate topic for interaction between practice and academia.
The missions of the Center relative to sustainable finance are to create and disseminate knowledge on sustainable investment and policy recommendations. In this respect, it targets at standing right in the middle of the interaction between research and industry. Through both rigorous fundamental research and practical implication in the industry, it aims at supporting decision-makers in the asset management industry in addressing the right questions and tailoring the approach to the specificities and objectives of their organizations.