What is the link between SRI and Social and Solidarity Economy?

Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) and Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) are both aiming at developing a more sustainable economy. However, their methods and goals are different.

SRI combines contributing to sustainable economy (environmental, social and management considerations- ESM) and obtaining a financial return on investment. It is about investing in socially responsible companies and reaping the benefits of it. Therefore, SRI is a profit-oriented investment vehicle in favor of sustainable development.

Solidarity funds invest in Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS). ESS is a very specific sector, first and foremost aiming for a strong social impact, in order to facilitate access to employment or housing for struggling individuals for instance. Solidarity companies are often unlisted and smaller than the listed ones. For the larger part, their benefits are reinvested and the personal profits are limited. They mean to function accordingly to the notions of solidarity and social utility. Solidarity saving products allow your investment to yield a profit while being part of our society’s social challenges such as the fight against unemployment and poor housing, or the growth of organic agriculture, renewable energies, and entrepreneurship in Southern and Eastern countries for instance.

There are also funds which combine both goals, particularly with the employee saving plan (PEE and PERCO). Those are solidarity SRI funds where 5 to 10% of the portfolio is reinvested in companies promoting employment-based integration or microcredit for instance.