Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


SRI returns ‘same as norm’

May 2002

Returns from socially responsible investment are neither better nor worse than those from mainstream investment, an academic study in Canada has concluded.

The study, by Paul Asmundson and Stephen Foerster of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, looked at the financial returns of five socially-screened mutual funds invested in Canadian equities with five-year performance histories, and at two with ten-year histories.

Asmundson and Foerster then compared the returns with the Toronto Stock Exchange 300 index. The researchers found that the SRI funds under-performed the benchmark, but that this under-performance was not statistically significant.

‘The results suggest that those who engage in SRI through investing in Canadian SRI mutual funds, on average, are neither giving up anything nor gaining anything in terms of financial returns,’ said the researchers, who published their findings in the Canadian investment review.


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