Investing in an ethical, sustainable & responsible way is now acknowledged as a sound medium to long-term strategy. The rapid increase of individuals, charities and companies to seek profit responsibly via ethical investment is becoming increasingly common.

 

It is important to remember that much of sustainable & responsible investment concerns the positives of business life such as respect for the environment, people and local community. By investing in what is right for you it is also applying influence to how your money is used. We all have desire to grow our money but stop when it comes to financial activities we are not in agreement with. The faster Sustainable & Responsible Investment grows, the greater the pressure for the investment institutions, to move away from areas with unethical/socially irresponsible issues.

 

There are rigorous screening processes involved in ethical investment, which can help to identify great potential in companies in the long term. It is becoming widely accepted that sustainable & responsible companies may prove to be even better financial investments in the future.

An advantage is the proportion of smaller companies included in such a portfolio, as the high performance of smaller companies over the long term is well documented. It must be remembered, however, that past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance and that the price of units can fall as well as rise.

 

Everyday people who don’t apply ethical or social screening to when they invest their money are allowing their funds to be used to finance companies and projects that may not support sustainable practices. If your Bank, Insurance, Pension or Investment Company were to ask you if you would mind them using your money to finance a heavily polluting company – what would you say?

 

Ethical or Sustainable & Responsible Investment gives you the opportunity to avoid the companies whose activities you would not want to support, and invest in those operating within a moral framework that reflects your  moral stance.

 

Whatever your concern may be – People, the Planet, Animals, Faith, there are now a large amount of Ethical, or Sustainable & Responsible funds, which support these causes.

Sustainable & Responsible Investment has evolved over the years and does not purely involve the avoidance of investing in certain companies with practices which are deemed to be ‘unethical’. This is because investors recognised this isn’t enough in order to influence corporate decisions that are akin to their ethical stance. There are now a variety of ways investors can allocate capital to companies focused on responsible and sustainable operational practices.

 

What criteria is used?

 

Screening

Negative Screening

This is the practice of excluding certain criteria when selecting investments. This may pertain to companies who are involved in one or more of the following:

 

  • The production, sale, and trade of arms and weapons
  • Animal experimentation and intensive farming
  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Pornography
  • Companies that trade with countries which abuse human rights
  • Environmental pollution
  • Nuclear power
  • The development and use of genetically modified organisms

 

Positive Screening

This is the practice of inclusion of companies, as they may adopt good policies in one or more of the following:

 

  • Have good working practices, conditions, and policies e.g. equal opportunities, investors in people
  • Respect animal welfare
  • Community involvement e.g. those involved in public housing, public transport, healthcare products and services
  • Alternative energy
  • Pollution control
  • Sustainable forestry
  • Organic farming

 

Positive Engagement Investing:

Ethical, or Sustainable & Responsible Investment offers you the opportunity to avoid the companies whose activities you would not want to support. This means you invest in those companies operating within a moral framework that is aligned to your own moral stance.

 

  • Positive selection of companies who adopt an ethical approach
  • Shareholders influencing corporate decisions
  • The use of publicity to exert pressure
  • Involve in dialogue with management to encourage positive ethical focus

 

If you care about what your money does and you want to achieve long-term investment returns, ethical and responsible investment is definitely something for you. We would like to discuss your values in relation to investing and help you achieve your financial goals.