Over €120 billion (£101 billion) is invested sustainably in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, according to the sustainable investment trade body that covers the three countries.
It said Switzerland’s market had reached an all-time high, totalling 48.5 billion Swiss francs (£32.8 billion) in 2012. An increase in activity by corporate pension funds, religious institutions and charities were some of the key contributing factors to the 15% increase over 2011.
“This historic high for sustainable investments clearly reflects their growing attractiveness to investors”, said Sabine Döbeli, FNG’s vice-chair and head of FNG Switzerland.
“There is evidence of growing interest in sustainable investments, particularly among institutional investors.”
FNG also said that sustainable investment in Germany had grown by 16%, totalling to €73.3 billion (£62 billion) in 2012. It added that banks with special focus on sustainability had contributed significantly to the German market’s growth.
Meanwhile, sustainable investment in Austria grew to €5.6 billion (£4.7 billion) – a 17% increase from the 2011. A 36% increase in investments in sustainable funds was said to have made the most difference.
The growth of all three countries’ markets ties in with research by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA), which in January said that $13.6 trillion (£8.6 trillion) was invested sustainably worldwide.
The European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif) also found that high net-worth individuals in Europe had strengthened their commitment to sustainable investment, causing the sector to grow by almost 60% in two years.
Meanwhile, responsible investment research firm EIRIS revealed last October that £11 billion was invested in UK green and ethical funds – a £7 billion growth over 10 years.