What future for socially responsible investing?

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What future for socially responsible investing? This question guided the main debate at an event organised by ECMI on January 15th. The panel of discussants offered their views on how to further unlock a growing segment in finance, which seeks to achieve strong financial returns for investors while also addressing various societal challenges.

The terminology of socially responsible investing is still evolving, and criteria such as investment strategies, societal outcomes or the depth and quality of ESG (environmental, social, corporate governance) factors are not applied homogeneously. Markets for sustainable investments, such as green bonds, vaccine bonds and social housing bonds, have become increasingly attractive in recent years, with the emergence of different models of fund-raising. At EU level, the framework for two new funding vehicles - EuSEF (European Social Entrepreneurship Funds) and ELTIF (European Long-Term Investment Funds) - was recently proposed.