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Does ethical investment pay higher returns?

Intheblack By Candice Chung
For years, making a profit and doing good in the world were regarded as separate – if not contradictory – objectives. The assumption was that corporate social responsibility (CSR) came at a cost; namely a less competitive business that resulted in lower investor returns.

In fact, “ethical” investments are consistently outperforming their more traditional counterparts in the broader market – busting the myth that doing good necessitates financial sacrifice.

Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock - it provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland
Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.

A return to values

Otago Daily Times By Tom McKinlay, 22 Oct, 2018
Investors are looking to align their investments with their values, writes Tom McKinlay.
"Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today".

That was Roger Water's take on the subject back in 1973, in the chart-topping Pink Floyd song. And if the received wisdom has softened somewhat in the intervening years, the question is still out there: can money do good?

Well, there is some encouraging news on that front. More money is being invested in such a way as to avoid abetting the worst of intentions, the likes of cluster bombs and cigarettes, according to research on trends in New Zealand.

Investing in response to climate change

25 Sep, 2018 By Kristen Le Mesurier Portfolio Manager, Multi Asset Group, AMP Capital Jonathan's Comment: An excellent opinion piece on a very important topic.
Last week I was part of a panel at the Responsible Investment New Zealand Conference 2018 discussing investor responses to a changing climate. It was great to see this as a topic for discussion. I believe that investor-led action, and holding the companies we invest in to account, is critical to tackling climate change.

The financial sector, and institutional investors in particular, have an important role in the fight against climate change. Not only does it pose a major risk to economic growth; climate change threatens the homes and livelihoods of millions of people. The onus is on all of us – governments, business, communities and society – to work together to understand the impacts of climate change and take appropriate action.

Paris agreement goal still achievable, but requires unprecedented change - report

Jonathan's Comment: If ever there was a time for responsible investment, it is now! Specifically, the exclusion of fossil fuels from portfolios and the investment in renewable energy companies.
An international report has stressed the need for changes never seen before, in all aspects of our society, to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial averages.

The difference between 1.5°C and 2.0°C would change the impact of sea level rise, the survival of our coastal ecosystems and the availability of food and water resources, was also highlighted in the report.

One of the findings included the need to make deep reductions in methane and black carbon, both by 35 percent or more by 2050, compared to 2010 emissions.

The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was prepared following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015.

KiwiSaver providers hit back at 'unfair' BetterSaver ethical ratings

Stuff, Rob Stock 20 September 2018
Angry KiwiSaver providers have criticised the low ethical ratings they've been given by online start-up BetterSaver.

BetterSaver, a private company founded by Joe Taylor, launched on Monday giving KiwiSaver schemes an ethical rating between A and F.

The public can access the ratings for free online, but not a single KiwiSaver provider got a rank of better than C+, which Sam Stubbs, founder of the Simplicity KiwiSaver scheme, said was unfair.

New Consumer Survey shows that responsibility has become the new norm

18 September 2018
A large majority of New Zealanders expect their Kiwisaver and investment funds to be invested ethically and are ready to shift their funds if company prac>ces are inconsistent with their values.

Animal cruelty worse than bombs and tobacco to KiwiSaver investors

Stuff, Rob Stock 18 Sept 2018
Animal cruelty tops the list of things KiwiSaver investors don't want their money invested in, research to be unveiled by former Green MP Barry Coates shows.

It ranks even more highly in savers' hate list than military weapons and tobacco, both of which KiwiSaver providers have moved to exclude, following a public outcry after media reports

How to use ESG funds in your portfolio if you want to invest ethically

Australian Financial Review Jul 30 2018
Like many growing up in the 1970s, I was taught to eat everything on my plate. It was good advice, particularly as an active kid growing up in a rural setting. Now that my metabolism isn't that of an active teenager, there are items I choose to leave on the plate.

A similar discussion has been evolving in investment markets. Is it better to eat everything on the plate, or can the discretion to leave out undesirable exposures improve investment outcomes?

The SDGs: an ethical compass for investors

RIAA Carly Hammond
The UN Sustainable Development Goals incorporate a strong call to action for the private sector to end poverty, combat climate change and promote sustainable economic growth, writes RIAA's Carly Hammond.

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