Socially Responsible Investment in France
Business and Society, Forthcomig
Posted: 12 Dec 2013
Date Written: september 8, 2013
Socially responsible investment (SRI) in France is based on a “best in class” approach as opposed to the “exclusion” approaches used in other countries such as the United States or United Kingdom, where the rejection of sin stocks has been dominant historically. The objective of this research note is to examine whether the French SRI market, by focusing more on financial rather than on ethical considerations, compared with other countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, or even Sweden, may lead to a form of “mainstreaming” of SRI processes. The authors explore several convergent mechanisms. First, the authors analyze the importance of the mainstreaming issue in the history of SRI as well as in the contemporaneous debate in the academic literature on the links between financial and extra financial (SRI) performance. Second, the authors review the role played by ethical finance laws adopted in France in the early 2000s in the development of the SRI market. Finally, the authors discuss the results of a survey of French SRI analysts working both for large institutional investors and asset managers in France in 2009.
Keywords: socially responsible investments, France, mainstreaming, asset management, ESG performance
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