Sustainable Development and the Financial System: Society's Perceptions About Socially Responsible Investing


Correspondence to: Elena Escrig-Olmedo, Financial Economics Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Finance and Accounting, University Jaume I, Campus de Riu Sec – Avda. Vicent Sos Baynat s/n, 12071 Castellón, Spain. E-mail:


The debate surrounding the financial needs of investors and the impact on society of investment is considered to be an important research topic due to the growth of socially responsible financial markets. The main objective of this research is to study society's perception about socially responsible investing (SRI) and to identify investor's preferences regarding environmental, social and governance criteria, their real-life investment needs and the most relevant sustainable financial products.

To examine society's perception of SRI, we conducted a field survey among Spanish investors. The results show that SRI is at an early stage and Spanish investors need more exact information regarding social, environmental, and governance criteria in order to invest in socially responsible companies and products.

This paper offers some guidelines that could be used by Spanish institutions, managers and investors and by foreign managers when approaching the Spanish market, in order to promote the growth of socially responsible financial products. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.