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Defining and Measuring Green Investments: Implications for Institutional Investors' Asset Allocations


  • Georg Inderst
  • Christopher Kaminker


  • Fiona Stewart



This definitional, stocktaking paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of the concepts and definitions related to “green” investments that are currently used in the market place. The purpose of this research is not to take a position on a specific definition but rather to explore what is being generally used, whether there are commonalties and inconsistencies, and what lessons can be drawn from this analysis. The paper examines how “green” investments are defined across different asset classes (equities, bonds and alternative investments), as well as providing some estimates of the size of these markets. The paper concludes that, given the lack of consensus on the usage and definition of the term “green”, the most productive approach could be to take an open and dynamic stance towards definitions and standards, with international institutions and governments adopting a “governance approach to green investment”. Ce document à caractère définitionnel et d’inventaire vise à fournir une revue complète des concepts et définitions liés aux investissements « verts » utilisés actuellement sur le marché. L’objectif de cette recherche n’est pas de prendre position pour une définition particulière mais plutôt d’explorer ce qui est généralement utilisé, s’il existe des points communs et des incohérences et quelles leçons peuvent être tirées de cette analyse.Le document examine comment les investissements « verts » sont définis à travers différentes classes d’actif (actions, obligations and investissements alternatifs) et fournit également certaines estimations de la taille de ces investissements. Le document conclut que, étant donné le manque de consensus autour de l’usage et de la définition du terme « vert », l’approche la plus productive pourrait être d’adopter une attitude ouverte et dynamique au regard des définitions et des standards, les institutions internationales et les gouvernements pouvant adopter « une approche de gouvernance pour l’investissement vert ».

Suggested Citation

  • Georg Inderst & Christopher Kaminker & Fiona Stewart, 2012. "Defining and Measuring Green Investments: Implications for Institutional Investors' Asset Allocations," OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions 24, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:dafaad:24-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5k9312twnn44-en

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2206-:d:120903 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Umamaheswaran, Swarnalakshmi & Rajiv, Seth, 2015. "Financing large scale wind and solar projects—A review of emerging experiences in the Indian context," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 166-177.
    3. repec:ags:naaenj:267816 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Fortune Ganda & Collins C. Ngwakwe & Cosmas M. Ambe, 2015. "Profitability as a Factor That Spurs Corporate Green Investment Practices in Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Listed Firms," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 13(3 (Fall)), pages 231-252.
    5. Inderst, Georg, 2013. "Private infrastructure finance and investment in Europe," EIB Working Papers 2013/02, European Investment Bank (EIB).
    6. Marcelina Wieckowska, 2013. "The role bonds in financing climate resilient economy," Copernican Journal of Finance & Accounting, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika, vol. 2(1), pages 153-167.

    More about this item


    environmental; social and governance (ESG); fonds de pension; green bonds; investissement socialement responsable (ISR); obligations vertes; pension funds; social/sociétal et la gouvernance (ESG); socially responsible investment (SRI);

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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