Responsible Finance and Investment

According to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative, responsible investment is an approach to investment that explicitly acknowledges the relevance to the investor of environmental, social and governance factors, and of the long term health and stability of the market as a whole. It recognises that the generation of long term sustainable returns is dependent on stable, well functioning and well governed social, environmental andeconomic systems.

Over the coming weeks key teaching resources and reference material will be featured on this subpage. Please contact us if you have any feedback or suggestions at



Teaching Resources 

UN PRI Academic Network - Resources

The Principles for Responsible Investment Academic Network is a unique research community established to support the work of the PRI Initiative through research on responsible investing. It fosters a network of scholars, practitioners, policymakers and students interested in responsible investment issues and  provides freely accessible avenues for research, education and network-building on critical responsible investment issues.

On a quarterly basis, the Academic Network publishes the “RI Quarterly”, a publication which aims to provide investment professionals and others the latest research on responsible investment. Visit the website to download publications and learn more about the network activity. 

The Network also hosts The RI Knowledge Database - a platform designed to increase the availability of relevant resources and increase the knowledge base of Responsible Investment.


Responsible Investment Survey, Australasia

Each year since 2002 The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) has commissioned research into the size and growth of responsible investment in Australia and New Zealand. The objective of this research is to gather data on the various forms of responsible investment and to present analysis of growth in the sector in comparison with the total investment market.

The 2013 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report includes performance, growth, participation, initiatives and a special report on community finance and responsible banking. 


  • As at 31 December 2012, funds under management in responsible investment portfolios in Australia totalled $152 billion or 16% of total assets under management (TAUM) – including all ethical and socially responsible funds, as well as the funds managed under ESG integration that are rated as above average (2011: 13% of TAUM and $117 billion)
  • Core responsible investment funds are delivering better returns than both the benchmark and the average of all mainstream funds in all but one category across time periods (1, 3, 5 & 10 years) in three major investment categories – Australian equities, international equities and multi-sector growth funds.
  • The 5 year returns post-GFC has been stronger in all responsible fund categories compared with the benchmark and average mainstream funds.
  • In Australia, ESG Integration has proven to be the dominant method of responsible investment, representing 89% of the overall market total ($135 billion) having experienced 33% growth between 2011 and 2012.
  •  Ethical and socially responsible investment funds grew only a modest 4.2% during 2012 from $14.6 billion to $15.2 billion despite some of the strongest performance of funds in many years, typified by the best performing Australian equities fund in 2012 being an ethical fund.
  •  New Zealand is also a very strong responsible investment story this year, with funds in New Zealand managed responsibly totalling NZ$22.6 billion, a growth of 17% – a massive 38% of TAUM across the country


Responsible Investment Benchmarking Survey, Australasia (2.4 MB) Download
Download the full report.

Carbon Expo 2012 - Video Resources

Key Australian Conference for emissions intensive business and low-carbon economy product & service providers across Australasia. The event is hosted by leading carbon market industry associations the Carbon Market Institute and the Investor Group on Climate Change.

It includes -

  • Administrators of government and/or private sector market-based emissions reduction initiatives
  • Managers of carbon offset projects and carbon offset wholesalers & retailers (including forest sink offsets)
  • Businesses with significant corporate or product emissions reduction strategies
  • Businesses manufacturing or retailing low carbon and energy efficient technologies
  • Providers of carbon accounting, auditing & verification services
  • Providers of other carbon market advisory & facilitation services such as carbon pools, brokers, exchanges, carbon market legal advisers, and risk managers (insurers)
  • Research and education institutions active in carbon cycle R&D, low emissions technology development, and carbon market education

Download Speaker presentations on:

  1. Implications of carbon emissions & pricing for the food and agriculture sector
  2. Overcoming the climate change communication challenge
  3. Do you need a licence to participate in carbon markets?
  4. Emerging carbon economies in northern Australia – genuine win-wins or another iteration of the northern myth?
  5. Promoting CDM in Pacific island countries – experiences and lessons from UNEP
  6. Palm oil and climate change – a case study in the journey towards sustainable agriculture

And Videos on:

  1. Understanding Australia's clean energy legislative package
  2. Promoting CDM in Pacific island countries – experiences and lessons from UNEP
  3. Climate Change: The critical decade – a climate science update
  4. International policy and market context          
  5. Managing carbon: managing risk   
  6. Low carbon finance in Australia: do we finally have an integrated, credible, low-carbon co-financing model?
  7. International offsets – what’s the latest with CDM & REDD post 2012?
  8. The Carbon Farming Initiative – where are we at & should you invest?
  9. Australian Climate Change Minister’s address
  10. Linking carbon markets – the new paradigm for international climate change action?
  11. What next in the development of the Australian carbon market: institutional governance and future scheme development?
  12. Carbon markets under an alternative government
  13. The voluntary carbon market: more important now than ever
  14. Closing plenary:Will it stay or will it go ?

IGCC Climate Change Sector Guides for Investors

The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) is a collaboration of Australian and New Zealand investors focussing on the impact that climate change has on the financial value of investments.

These IGCC reports examine climate change risks and adaptation opportunities as well as energy cost and carbon risks and mitigation opportunities for three industry sectors.

Designed as guides for funds managers, ESG analysts and company analysts, the reports provide a first time, comprehensive analysis of climate change issues for integration into company analysis and engagement. The reports will help investors go beyond assessing disclosure practices and carbon prices in their analysis of climate change exposure.

Developed by lead author Dr Michael Smith of the Fenner School the Australian National University, in conjunction with IGCC’s Research Working Group. Cbus sponsored the development of these reports.


Sector Guides



Assessing Climate Change Risks and Opportunities: Mining and Minerals Processing sector
Click here to view Report
 Assessing Climate Change Risks 
and Opportunities for Investors: Oil and Gas Sector

Assessing Climate Change Risks
and Opportunities for Investors: Property and Construction Sector
Click here to view Report

Additional resources: