Evaluating the governance of responsible investment institutions: an environmental and social perspective
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This article addresses some of the problems associated with the integration of environmental and social values into the activities of contemporary responsible investment institutions. The first of these relates to the current participation gap between internal and external interests in responsible investment decision-making. The second problem concerns the lack of certainty regarding the normative basis under which multi-stakeholders should participate in institutional governance. Thirdly, there is at present no analytical framework with which to evaluate the institutional quality of responsible investment within the context of the global economy. In response, and building upon existing research in the realms of international relations and environmental politics, the article uses a framework of principles, criteria and indicators to evaluate responsible investment institutions. The assumptions of this framework are tested against a small-scale attitudes survey regarding the governance quality of contemporary responsible investment institutions. Recognizing the shortcomings of such a small study, the article nevertheless finds a variety of perspectives, which indicate that the integration of multi-stakeholders in responsible investment institutions still has some way to go. The article concludes with some observations on the nature of stakeholder involvement in responsible investment, comments on the extent to which the environmental social aspects of governance can be said to be institutionally embedded, and offers some reflections on the contribution of such an approach to governance analysis as a method for evaluating the contribution of responsible investment institutions to advancing sustainable development.
Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment
© 2011 Earthscan. Published by Taylor and Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, Vol. 1(1), pp. 20-29, 2011. Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment is available online at: www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.