Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) and Sustainable Investment Forums (SIF)
The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) is a Washington D.C.-based collaboration among sustainable investment organizations from countries and regions around the world: Eurosif, the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, the Responsible Investment Association of Canada, UKSIF, US SIF and VBDO.
These organizations have joined forces to expand investment practices that incorporate environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principles worldwide. They want to see sustainable and responsible investment practices become the norm, not the exception.
GSIA’s goals include supporting and improving its members’ visibility and impact worldwide, helping its members work synergistically, facilitating regional and international cross-border work among GSIA members, and providing advice and support to local and regional sustainable investment organizations.
GSIA defines sustainable investing as activities and strategies that exclude problematic investments, seek out best-in-class investments, integrate ESG factors, focus on sustainability and focus on impact investing aimed at solving social or environmental problems. GSIA also defines sustainable investing as using norms-based screening that holds investments to minimum standards based on international norms; focusing on community investing aimed at helping underserved communities and individuals and financing businesses with explicit social or environmental goals; and promoting corporate engagement and shareholder action.
GSIA produces a biennial sustainable investment review reporting on the progress of sustainable, responsible, and impact (SRI) investing around the world with a focus on countries or regions with notable developments. As of GSIA’s 2016 report, $22.89 trillion in assets worldwide were being professionally managed using responsible investment strategies. This sum represented 26 percent of all professionally managed assets worldwide. In Europe, 53 percent of professionally managed investments used responsible investment strategies.
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, US SIF, is a key member and secretariat of GSIA and a key advocate for socially responsible investing across all asset classes. US SIF members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund providers, investment research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing institutions, non-profit organizations, pension funds, foundations and other asset owners.
All members of US SIF work to promote sustainable, responsible impact investing that considers not just investment returns, but also the ESG impacts of those returns in an attempt to have a broadly positive impact on society while earning profitable returns. US SIF’s six key values are commitment, knowledge, collaboration, inclusion, accountability and optimism. The organization develops resources to better inform investors and the public about impact investing and collaborates with like-minded groups to advance its mission with a positive outlook.
US SIF promotes SRI investing through media outlets and social media. It also contributes to public policy making by holding meetings with members of Congress, White House staff, and regulatory agency staff on issues such as corporate political contributions, SRI options for federal employees, and community investing.
For investors and financial professionals, US SIF produces a mutual fund performance chart on its members’ funds using data from Bloomberg LP. US SIF also maintains an online chart of US SIF members that offer separate account management for institutional asset owners, family offices and high net worth individuals (HNWI) who want to invest in a sustainable and responsible way. Furthermore, US SIF holds an annual conference with presentations and working group meetings on sustainable investing topics such as gender lens investing, private prison companies and sustainability in private equity.
US SIF and its closely associated foundation earn the majority of their revenue from membership dues, but also receive revenue from events, grants, and donations. The foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, performs education, research and programming that advance US SIF’s mission. For example, the foundation operates a Center for Sustainable Investment Education that teaches investment professionals about sustainable and impact investing.