Australian investors are looking to boost impact investments fivefold over the coming five years, targeting environmental and social outcomes alongside healthy financial returns, a report by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia said.
A survey of 125 Australian investors with combined assets under management of A$1.7 trillion ($1.1 trillion) — including investment managers, super funds, family offices and foundations — suggested allocations to impact strategies could grow to A$100 billion by 2024 from A$19.9 billion at the end of 2019.
That jump would lift the category to 4% of AUM from 0.7% currently, the report said.
Over the past two years, impact investments more than tripled from A$5.7 billion at the end of 2017, helped by financial returns that more than 90% of respondents said met or exceeded their expectations, the report said.
The survey showed strategies with environmental benefits dominating the impact sector, with A$17.4 billion in AUM, or 87% of the total, followed by A$2.5 billion in strategies targeting social outcomes.
Areas of future focus cited by investors included clean energy at 18%, followed by 14% targeting environmental and conservation-related outcomes and 10% looking to address homelessness. Other areas of interest included education, health and gender equality.