Sustainable investments cannot focus on profit maximization alone, they also have to contribute to the future of mankind in terms of ecological and social-cultural challenges.
How to apply this definition for financial investments is a broadly discussed topic for asset-managers with regard to the many implications on future developments. Many tend to think that investments are sufficiently sustainable if they comply with the particular ideas the investor has about social, ethical or environmental concerns. To provide a deeper and broader definition about sustainable investments, the project "Ethical-Ecological Rating" initiated an expert workshop on behalf of the German Forum Sustainable Investments and the Corporate Responsibility Interface Center. The workshop's theme was: Definition and understanding of sustainable investments.
Experts from several sectors, banks, investors, and other participants with economic or social background attended the workshop. The result is the "Darmstadt Definition of Sustainable Investments". The experts involved intend to clarify the understanding of sustainable investments inorder to provide a more profound and stringent insight for actors in economy, society, politics, and administration. For both, the public and notably the investors, it is demonstrated that sustainable investments are one key for a more sustainable economy.
Johannes Hoffmann, Gerhard Scherhorn, Timo Busch (eds.):
Darmstadt Definition of Sustainable Investments
Wuppertal 2004, ISBN 3-929944-61-8
(Wuppertal Spezial no. 31)