Just as the Oscar buzz surrounding Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" pushed discussions about global warming out of academia and into living rooms across the country, environmental awareness and a solid track record have helped propel once-niche socially responsible mutual funds into the retail arena.

As a class, SRI funds represented $2.3 trillion in assets in 2005. That figure is expected to rise to $2.5 trillion this year, according to data from Celent of Boston.

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