Socially responsible investing is an element of the concept of corporate social responsibility. Socially responsible investing (SRI) is a strategy of investing an individual’s or an institution’s funds which balances financial return with social good.

While making investment decisions, socially responsible investors take into account the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. As a result, they give preference to companies which follow the principles of sustainable development, environmental protection, consumer protection, human rights and diversity at the workplace.

The value of socially responsible investing has been growing steadily worldwide, with companies benefiting from investor interest in these aspects. This also applies to Grupa LOTOS, which is included in the Warsaw Stock Exchange’s prestigious RESPECT Index, comprising companies that adhere to the highest standards of corporate social responsibility.

Research by Allianz Global Investors and GES Investment Services suggests that:

  • taking the ESG criteria into account when building an investment portfolio may significantly reduce the attendant investment risk;
  • the most spectacular results can be achieved in the case of financial instruments issued on emerging markets, where the risk can be reduced by up to 40%;
  • investing in a manner optimised against the ESG criteria can reduce the risk by about one-third.

At the end of 2011, SRI funds in Europe held assets totalling EUR 48bn, 38% more than in 2009.
In 2012, the WSE and Deloitte prepared a report on the relevance of CSR to professional investors. It revealed that Polish analysts and portfolio managers perceive a relation between a company’s CSR policy and its financial performance. They believe the use of CSR as a tool for reducing business risk will be gaining in importance with the growing number of companies following such principles. Currently, 30% of professional investors take into account the ESG criteria in their investing decisions.