The Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) has increased its focus on the internal governance, program requirements, criteria, and verification processes of responsible funds through its certification program.
RIAA has revised and strengthened its Responsible Investment Certification Program, designed to help consumers choose an investment option that suits their needs.
RIAA has also rewarded Australian Ethical the ‘Whole of Fund Certification' — the highest award level.
Australian Ethical managing director, Phil Vernon, said Australians were increasingly embracing ethical investing.
"Over the course of 2015 our funds under management grew by 35 per cent, inflows doubled and super fund member ship grew 11 per cent," he said.
"Super funds and asset managers are responding to the demand for responsible investment options, but there is a wide variation among the products on offer. Terms like ‘green', ‘ethical', ‘SRI' and ‘ESG' can mean different things, and unless they are certified, it's hard for investors to compare apples with apples."
"As the range of responsible investment products grows, it's important to have external validation of claims to be ethical or responsible. It gives consumers certainty about where they are investing their money."