SRI: Institutional investors prioritise returns


European investors are taking a pragmatic approach towards renewables which favours performance over SRI factors, according to the latest survey conducted by alternative asset manager Aquila Capital.

Almost two third (63%) of respondents cited portfolio returns as key driver for investments in renewable infrastructure, whereas only 6% did so for environmental or ethical investments.

Another incentive was diversification and inflation hedging, which was identified by 12% and 9% or respondents respectively.

According to Aquila Capital, appetite for SRI investments is set to grow, with 52% of European institutions having exposure towards infrastructure and 69% of respondents expecting to increase their exposure over the next three years.

Roman Rosslenbroich, CEO of Aquila Capital, commented, “This research clearly shows that investors are drawn to renewables by the attractive returns they can offer. The findings reflect our own experience: we are seeing increased demand for renewable infrastructure from institutional investors, as reflected by our €500 million hydropower partnership with APG formed this summer.

“This is a rapidly evolving sector that is exposed to political and regulatory pressures and therefore requires a highly active asset management approach,” Rosslenbroich added.

The Aquila Capital survey was conducted among 64 institutional investors.