Key SRI figures

SRI in France 

An increasingly popular approach that nevertheless remains in the minority

The Novethic Research Centre has been observing the growth of the market for socially responsible investing (SRI) for more than ten years. It conducts a survey every year with French asset management companies and institutional investors active in the SRI market in order to measure and analyse the main trends. 

According to Novethic, the French SRI market grew from 3.9 to 169.7 billion euros between 2003 and 2013.
Although the data is not exactly comparable, one can place these numbers alongside those furnished by the French asset management association, or Association Française de Gestion (AFG), which has estimated that the total asset management market in France stood at more than 3 trillion euros at the end of 2013.
Therefore, SRI represents between 5% and 6% of all assets under management in France.
 


Source : survey conducted by Novethic, 2014

Best in class, a French specialty

It is not easy to talk about SRI in general terms, because investment approaches may differ in terms of the nature, goals, and constraints of each investor. 

However, French SRI investors overwhelmingly tend to choose strategies that select securities on the basis of the environmental, social, and governance criteria (ESG) analysed.
These approaches, contrary to those that function by exclusion, strive to be positive in the sense that they wish to promote best ESG practices.
Investors thus try to select the best companies in each sector (the best in class approach) or in the global investment universe (the best in universe approach) for their portfolios using such ESG criteria.

Please note that “positive” and exclusionary approaches can be combined.
For example : by adopting a best in class approach while excluding companies convicted of violating human rights. 

When we look outside France, though, we see that best in class remains characteristic of the French market. 


Source : survey conducted by Novethic, 2014  

SRI in Europe

According to Eurosif’s latest SRI study (European SRI Study 2014), best in class-type approaches remain very much in the minority (approximately 2%) among European investors.

Outside France, socially responsible investors tend instead to use exclusionary approaches, whether they concern certain controversial types of business (for example, by excluding controversial weapons, the alcohol sector, etc.) or practices (“norms based screening”: corruption, discrimination, violations of fundamental rights, etc.).
 

and erafp ?
​We would stress again that investors can combine these two approaches.
For example, ERAFP has adopted a best in class approach, which has been supplemented since 2012 by a formalised type of shareholder commitment, also excludes from its investment universe :
  • companies involved in the development, manufacturing, or sale of anti-personnel mines and cluster bombs,
  • as well as bonds issued by governments of countries that have not abolished the death penalty, which engage in torture, or which use child soldiers.