New Report from SPF and TIIP Helps Advance Sustainable Investing in Japan
“Sustainable Investing in Japan: An Agenda for Action” provides recommendations for growing the practice in Japan

2019.9.6

TOKYO, JAPAN, September 6, 2019 – The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) and The Investment Integration Project (TIIP) released a new report that identifies the challenges and opportunities for sustainable investing in Japan at today’s “Impact Investing Forum 2019” hosted by the Japan Social Impact Investment Foundation and the Japan National Advisory Board of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing.

The report, entitled Sustainable Investing in Japan: An Agenda for Action, examines why few Japanese investors incorporate sustainable investing into their practices and recommends breakthroughs needed to grow the practice in Japan.

“Sustainable investment is increasingly popular,” said Mr. Shuichi Ohno, President of SPF. “The Agenda for Action shows how Japan, with the third-largest economy in the world, has an exciting opportunity to seize increasing enthusiasm for the practice and to become a world leader in sustainable investing.”

Co-authored by William Burckart and Jessica Ziegler of TIIP, the report is informed by an extensive literature review on sustainable investing in Japan. It is also informed by consultations with more than 50 industry experts, including from the CFA Institute, Financial Services Agency (FSA), Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), Nissay Asset Management Corporation, and Sumitomo Life to name a few. These experts are supporting investors’ embrace of sustainable investing and working to bring it into the mainstream.

The report summarizes findings from the project’s research and recommends a series of breakthroughs needed to grow the approach, including:

  • · Increasing the visibility of sustainable investing in Japan;
  • · Dispelling common myths about the practice;
  • · Providing investors with practical guidance and tools; and
  • · Coordinating related policy efforts.

The Agenda for Action also discusses next steps for sustainable investment elsewhere in Asia.

“Despite growing interest, sustainable investment appears to appeal solely to niche, boutique, and explicitly long-term investors (e.g. pension funds) in Japan and has not otherwise gained traction with Japan’s mainstream financial community,” said William Burckart, President of TIIP. “The Agenda for Action provides a series of steps that, once taken, will clear the path to fulfilling the potential for sustainable investment in the region.”

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF): SPF is a Japanese private foundation established in 1986 to enhance international cooperation. SPF has set its focus on five priority goals from a mid- to long-term perspective: (1) further strengthening the Japan–U.S. relationship, built around the bilateral security agreement, (2) expanding Japan's presence in Asia, (3) enhancing understanding of and relationships with Islamic countries in the Middle East, (4) establishing ocean governance, and (5) empowering women to achieve gender equality in society.

In 2017, SPF announced the formation of the Asia Women Impact Fund, which aims to invest about 100 million USD from its endowment to work towards a future where all women in Asia are empowered to reach their full potential. The fund aims to realize this vision by making investments to achieve favorable outcomes for women across Asia and to support women entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia.

For more information, visit https://www.spf.org/en/

The Investment Integration Project (TIIP): TIIP’s mission is to help investors understand how healthy environmental, social, and financial systems can benefit their portfolios. TIIP provides thought leadership, research, and consulting services that support investors’ pursuit of system-level investing, an advanced sustainable investing approach that focuses on managing systemic risks and investing in solutions to systemic problems.

For more information, visit https://www.tiiproject.com

Please direct all inquiries to:
Media Relations Division, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, spfpr@spf.or.jp, 03-5157-5398
William Burckart, The Investment Integration Project, wburckart@TIIProject.com, (917) 830-6084

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