Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SIO to stick with SRI

Following an extensive review, the Social Investment Organization has decided to retain its name as well as the SRI brand.

“After surveying members of the SIO, the board believes that there is strength in the SIO name and in the SRI brand,” SIO executive director Eugene Ellmen said in a letter to members. “While many members feel that a change is in order, the board believes that SIO and SRI have good and favourable recognition by the industry, media and public.”

“While the brand SRI may not be perfect, it has good recognition, a growing following in the investment industry, and a proud history of achievement,” Ellmen adds.

The term “socially responsible investing” has fallen out of favour in recent years, with advocates instead preferring to use language such as sustainable investing and ESG.

Ellmen concedes there may be some benefits to a name or branding change, but says the board believes that the potential benefits do not outweigh the costs. “The real task at hand is to get out and communicate the industry’s achievements, rather than focusing on branding issues.”

To that end, the SIO will create a new logo and graphic identity for the organization, and re-design its website. In keeping with widespread international practice, the acronym SRI will be used to include “sustainable and responsible investment,” where appropriate, Ellmen says.

The SIO will also lead an effort by national SRI associations in other countries to develop common terminology and definitions as part of a global effort to prepare a harmonized international report on SRI in late 2012.

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