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Property funds win green tick

By Victoria Young
2 minute read

Two property funds from IFML are the first in the country to achieve SRI status.

Investa Funds Management Limited (IFML) is the first Australian property fund manager to receive Sustainable Responsible Investment (SRI) certification.

The Investa Diversified Office Fund (IDOF) and Investa Commercial Property Fund (ICPF) met the strict criteria of the world's only SRI Certification Program launched in Australia in 2005.

IFML had to take environmental, social, ethical and labour standards into account in the selection and management of buildings.

"The demand for SRI funds has grown as investors have become more aware of environmental, social and ethical issues," IFML group executive external funds Les Vance said.

"Investors can now diversify their portfolio without compromising their sustainability principles or their investment returns."

IDOF delivered a return of more than 33 per cent, while ICPF achieved a return of 15.53 per cent in the 12 months to March 30.

SRI and Ethical Investment funds under management in Australia grew 56 per cent in the financial year 2006, up from $7.67 billion to $11.98 billion according to the 2006 SRI Benchmarking Report for the Ethical Investment Association (EIA).

This figure has grown from $325 million in 2000.

EIA executive director Louise O'Halloran said: "The sustainability work undertaken by Investa in recent years is exemplary by world standards.

"This announcement heralds a broadening of the availability of SRI asset classes and greatly supports the growing number of individuals and advisers seeking a diversity of products which proactively manage environmental and social concerns."