Global Financial Crisis and the Emergence and Maturing of Socially Responsible Investments
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Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Purpose - The purpose of this study is to show how socially responsible investment (SRI) could represent a powerful tool (trust recovering in political and economic institutions) in the case of failure or stagnation of economic and financial growth. The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate the current status of SRI in the context of the recent financial and economic crises. The main objective of this analysis is to consider the different benefits and challenges that this type of investment transactions bring into the international economy, and how SRI entrance could represent a major benefit not only for investors a different approach to corporate sustainability but as an important possibility in times of global economic and political crisis. Methodology/approach - By analysing the literature about SRI, it has been developed a discussion regarding its benefits and obstacles in today's financial scenario. By evaluating the performance of SRI in the context of the global financial crisis and the important opportunities regarding development, we would like to present the SRI as an important tool in today's Post 2015 development agenda. Findings - After revising the existent literature, it has been found that there are two important discussions in the field of SRI. The first one is related with the financial performance of SRI in contrast with the conventional investment funds while the second one is related with important considerations about the SRI in the context of the global financial crisis. After considering the arguments from the different authors, we address some conclusions regarding the importance of SRI in nowadays sustainable development discussion. Practical implications - Due to failure in the traditional modus operandi of financial institutions and the recent global crises, investors, corporate executives and governments are increasingly paying more attention on the social, environmental and ethical behaviour of individual managers, shareholders and institutional investors. Therefore, it is being observed a shift and maturing process in SRI from an exclusive practice of few and specialised niche investment funds with minor financial implications and limited economic importance, to mainstream adopted by a growing number of institutional investors at the international level. This shift may influence companies and managers to adopt universal values and to assume a committed and strategic CSR agenda to respond to markets and societal expectations, in order to have guilt-free and sustainable investment and sustainable financial markets. Originality/value - Within the context of the Post 2015 development agenda, the role of business and the private sector has become crucial for funding the new sustainable development goals (SDGs). This chapter not only discussed the relationship between SRI as an alternative to overcome financial crises and lack of sustainability in investment, but it does also conceptually demonstrates the potential of SRI to achieve the funding of the SDGs. Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.