No longer strictly for the patchouli-scented investors, green is now mainstream. Advisors who are skeptical of green efficiencies and marketplace potential should think again.

According to the Wall Street Journal, changes in investing are bringing the methods of socially responsible investors and those of more mainstream investors closer together. It’s a trend driven by increasing sophistication among the former group, and concerns about global warming and other social issues among the latter.

Traditionally, socially responsible investing boiled down to avoiding what the paper calls “sin” stocks – purveyors of tobacco and alcohol, and weapons makers. But in the past few years, that philosophy has changed significantly.

Investment managers and analysts are developing formulas that take into account such issues as executive pay, carbon emissions and workplace gender diversity, along with traditional financial fundamentals. The logic? The Journal reports companies that think creatively about how these issues affect the bottom line are likely to have an edge over rivals that don’t.

Substitute the word “advisors” for “companies” and the market potential becomes clear.