Sustainable, responsible and ethical funds explained

SRI Styles Directory

Triangle Diag 2016 eThe Fund EcoMarket ‘SRI Styles’ segmentation system groups funds according to what they are designed to do –  from an ‘ethical or SRI’ perspective.

The styles group ‘ethically similar’ options together.

The aim of this is to help users to recognise the key similarities and differences that exist across the sustainable, responsible and ethical investment market, so that individual investor’s aims can be met more easily.

SRI Styles work on the basis that it is best to keep things simple – and to avoid industry jargon as far as possible… however for investors looking for a more precise approach Fund EcoMarket also offers additional filter options, text and links.

 Directory and links to individual ‘Styles’ pages

Funds which focus on ‘ethical/values based’ negative and/or positive screening based strategies:

  • Ethically Balanced funds combine a wide range of, sometimes complex, positive and negative ethical screening policies as part of their investment strategies and may apply ‘best in sector’ strategies – which means they may invest in most sectors.
  • Negative Ethical funds use clear, sometimes strict and extensive, negative ‘ethical’ screens as their core strategy.  They may avoid a significant number of areas on ethical grounds (eg armaments, tobacco, gambling) or may focus on avoiding a smaller number of areas.
  • Faith Based investments invest in line with specific religious principles (eg Shariah Law)

Funds which focus on ‘thematic’ strategies, often alongside screening strategies:

  • Sustainability Themed funds focus on sustainability related issues and opportunities as part of their investment strategy, often alongside ethical criteria. Their focus is often around longer term societal and environmental trends.
  • Environmental themed funds significantly integrate environmental issues into their investment strategies, sometimes alongside ethical avoidance criteria.   Their focus is often around longer term environmental and resource related issues.
  • Social Themed funds focus on ‘people issues’ (such as employment and basic necessities of life). Social themed fund managers focus significantly on societal benefits when analysing companies for investment.

Fund Management companies with clear strategies that bring ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and/or SRI (Sustainable and Responsible Investment) into their ‘across the board’ investment strategies:

  • ESG Integration is a ‘corporate level’ strategy, not a ‘fund’ strategy.  Fund managers with ESG integration strategies consider ‘Environmental, Social and Governance’ risks (and opportunities) as part of their investment research process for all funds – not just screened or themed funds.
  • Responsible Ownership is a ‘corporate level’ strategy, not a ‘fund’ strategy.  Fund managers with Responsible Ownership strategies work with the companies they invest in to encourage better environmental, social and governance practices – when change is in the best interest of (all) longer term investors.

The Fund EcoMarket database lists all regulated, retail, onshore funds (plus a few extras).  Our ESG and Responsible Ownership Fund Manager research is not, however, whole of market.

Fund EcoMarket does not (at present) list more specialist options such as pure (often unregulated – and typically only suited to wealthier investors) ‘Social investment’ or ‘Impact investments’.

Fund EcoMarket does, however, offer the option to search for funds which ‘Measure positive impacts’, within the ‘Policy’ filter.


This service is provided for information purposes only.  Please speak with a qualified financial adviser for further information.

We do not deal directly with investors and are not authorised to offer advice.