Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


SRI kitemark goes on export trail

June 2007

The Australian Ethical Investment Association (AEIA) is aiming to export a kitemark system for socially responsible investment products and services.

The kitemark has proved popular since its inception in September 2005 in Australia, where more than 30 service providers, among them investment managers and financial advisers, have now met the conditions for its use.

A financial adviser, for example, can be certified to use the mark after showing that he or she meets certain levels of disclosure and knowledge about SRI products, while a fund manager would have to meet requirements on research methods and transparency.

Doubts, however, have been raised about its suitability for markets outside Australasia. Eugene Ellman, executive director of the Canadian Social Investment Organisation, said his board has been considering its adoption, but there were concerns that a kitemark might position SRI solely as a niche market, and also about how the initiative would pay for itself. No final decision had been taken, but Ellman thought it ‘unlikely’ to win board approval.

The AEIA, an eight-year-old membership body for investment professionals in Australia and New Zealand, claims the labelling scheme is the world’s first for ethical investment products.

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