Integration of aspects of sustainable investment into the training programme of selected financial service providers
More and more people realise that they can cause changes in economy, environment and society by financial assets. They don't want to invest in companies or countries, which are abusing human rights or disregarding ecological standards. They regard sustainable investments as an alternative.
“Socially responsible investing,“ ethical-ecological investment“ or just “green money” are several terms for investment products, whereas ethical, ecological and/or social components are regarded for the choice, retention and realisation of investments.
The volume of Austrian sustainable public funds is more than 1.1 billion €. The development is very dynamic. Every banking institution offers products for “green” investors; however the demand is mostly from institutional - from professional - investors.
A reason for the barrier for private investors to invest in “green” funds is inadequate information and consulting. Sustainable investment is not part of further education of the costumer consultants. They don't have enough know-how about this topic. Therefore the costumer needs in information and potential “green” investors” are not satisfied. The sustainable products are not active and preferential offered. The effect is that the demand of these products for private investors is not adequate. It is therefore necessary to improve the consulting of the issued topic to force the sustainable financial market in Austria.
Against this background the ÖGUT - Austrian Society for Environment and Technology - along with a selected financial institution, the Raiffeisen Capital Management and the Institute for Ecological Economic Research, wanted to improve the process and service of consulting in terms of a proactive offer of sustainable financial products. Competent and target-group-specific consulting-services are determining an essential path forward stimulating demand for ethical-ecological investments. The cooperation with Raiffeisen Capital Management enables a specific preparation of information explicit for costumer consultants.
The project included the preparation and providing of information and materials about socially responsible investments for the employees of the Raiffeisen Capital Management and for the consultants of the whole group of Raiffeisen. Know-how was provided by diverse tools, whereby the procurement of information is intensified. Several work steps include on the one hand the creation of training materials as well as the preparation of specific topics for the internet. On the other hand a quiz about aspects of socially responsible investing was designed to sensitise employees. Furthermore a two-days-workshop was organised for the consultants of Raiffeisen together with Raiffeisenakademie, partner of Raiffeisen concerning further education. This workshop based on the developed training materials about socially responsible investing. The participating consultants will be able to give competent consulting-services with a view to increase the demand of private investors.
The workshop has already been integrated in the official programme on further education of Raiffeisenakademie and will be offered again next year.
Dr.in Katharina Sammer
Österreichische Gesellschaft für Umwelt und Technik (ÖGUT)
Mag.a Susanne Hasenhüttl, ÖGUT
Project or cooperation partner
- Dr.in Christine Jasch, Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung (IÖW)
- Mag. Franz Wokaun, Raiffeisen Capital Management (RCM)