Ethical investment continues to gain momentum, especially when people have to seriously question their attitudes to issues of hot spot, such as climate change, the treatment of applicants for asylum and several others concerning human rights and the environment.
Also, many larger corporations are active in these areas, publishing their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) policies and using them to distinguish themselves from their competitors.
There are 3 investment options on the ASX.
- BetaShares Australian Sustainability Leaders ETF (ASX: FAIR)
This ETF invested in a diverse portfolio of Australian local companies involved in the ethical and sustainable business practice that BetaShares considers to be. BetaShares aims at investigating businesses that are subjected to a range of industries and operations that are ethically problematic, including fossil fuels, military weapons, animal cruelties and compulsory detention of asylum seekers. It even seeks to screen companies on their boards that lack sex diversity.
- BetaShares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF (ASX: ETHI)
This ETF is identical to the Australian Sustainability Leaders ‘ ETF, but it is open to international businesses, except Australian companies from its portfolio. One of the stated objectives of the Fund is the selection of the “climate champions” based on their relative carbon output.
Apple Inc, Mastercard Inc. as well as Visa Inc. collectively make up to 14 percent of the total assets. The investment is heavily weighted to American IT and financial firms.
- Australian Ethical Investment (ASX: AEF)
A third possibility is to invest in Australian Ethical, a wealth management company based in Sydney that manages a range of managed funds and a retirement plan. Australian Ethical adopts a similar strategy to BetaShares by screening out businesses from its investment world that are subject to ethically controversial markets and instead seeking financially and environmentally sustainable activities in their portfolios.