The belief that sustainable and responsible investing (SRI) lowers returns is losing ground. A number of foundations have shown that, if carefully implemented, the returns can be as high and the risks no greater than with traditional investment. At the same time, there is a younger generation both of foundation staff and of those setting up foundations that is more in tune with the idea of SRI.
In short, even though they should not hastily embrace it, it is time for foundations to extend a friendly hand to SRI. This is the upshot of a new report produced by Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, entitled 360 Degrees for Mission. The report adduces these lessons from an exploration of the approach of eight European foundations who are in the vanguard of SRI, among them Fonds 1818, Fondazione Cariplo, Fondation de Luxembourg, the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt and Mistra itself.