Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Investors ‘need EC-funded training’ on SRI

December 2009

The European Commission has been urged to provide cash to train analysts and investors in evaluating companies’ social and environmental performance.

The call comes from the European Academy for Business in Society (Eabis), which maintains that action is urgently needed to bring investors and analysts up to speed on CSR issues, and that the commission’s intervention would help greatly.

It says the commission should emulate the Australian government by providing funds for training the financial community to increase understanding of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

In February the Australian government announced $AU2.5million ($2.3m, £1.4m, €1.5m) of funding over three years to establish a Responsible Investment Academy, offering responsible investment courses with diplomas. Eabis says there should be funding for a European equivalent of that academy ‘to provide training for analysts and investors in how to evaluate ESG performance’.

Eabis has just published the final report of a two-year research project in which it considered how companies and CSR proponents can encourage the investment community to take more interest in responsible investment data.

The report concludes that most investors, ‘in line with their education and the dominant economic worldview’, are skewed towards quantitative analysis and short-termism in their investment decisions. Tackling this is acknowledged as a ‘deep and structural challenge’ that could be helped by an EC-funded education programme.

European Academy for Business in Society | Europe | SRI

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