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An investment approach that professionals once believed would appeal only to granola-loving Birkenstock types has become a mainstream movement.

In fact, funds that invest according to sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) strategies in companies that meet environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria grew by more than 33% over 2014 and 2015, and now total almost $9 trillion.

Whether they even know what the acronyms SRI and ESG mean, many investors are acting like once derided tree huggers and discovering that they can invest in accordance with the ethical and other principles they consider important. What they’re also discovering is that investing that way pays off.

Substainable Investments

A 2012 report by Deutsche Bank examining more than 100 studies of sustainable investing found that all studies showed a correlation between companies with high ESG ratings and a lower cost of capital.

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