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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 31, Issue 2, 2012

EABIS Decennial Issue

Harry Hummels
Pages 331-348
DOI: 10.5840/bpej201231216

Coming Out of the Investors’ Cave?
Making Sense of Responsible Investing in Europe in the New Millennium

Responsible Investing is on the rise. In ten years time, what started as an ideologically motivated practice by often religiously inspired investors has become a mainstream activity. Through the Principles for Responsible Investing a large group of institutional investors representing tens of trillions of dollars have become involved in and transformed the practice. A major change refers to a change in definition and the disappearance of ethics, which was replaced by a focus on governance. However, society is not taking unethical investments practices lightly. It increasingly confronts investors with potential (ethical) consequences of the investments and calls for impact measurement: what is the social, ethical and environmental impact of the investments?