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Most socially responsible investment funds are outperforming the average for their asset class in both short- and longer-term returns, according to a report from the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).

The report indicated that data from industry research firm Fundata found that overall, about 75% of Canadian responsible investment (RI) funds outperformed the asset class average for both the second quarter of 2019, and for the 12 months ending June 30.

Over those quarterly and one-year periods, all of the RI funds in the global equity balanced category outperformed the average, 88% of global equity funds beat the average, whereas only about two thirds of Canadian equity balanced funds beat their average, the report noted.

Across longer time periods, the proportion of outperformers declined, but remained over half.

The report says that almost two thirds of RI funds beat the average for three- and five-year time periods, and 58% were above average over a 10-year period.

Still, with a majority of RI funds beating their category average even over longer timelines, the RIA said that the results highlight “the long-term value of incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions.”