LFF also encourages members to consider the impact of their investments. A range of ethical investment options currently exist which enable investors to use their money to further environmentally friendly practices.
1. Invest in an ethical investment trust
Ethical investment, or SRI (socially responsible investment), has become a growing element of the already large managed funds market in Australia and overseas. There are now a number of funds managers in Australia which pool together investors’ money and invest it only in companies which are environmentally or ethically sound. They follow a charter for deciding where to invest, and will only invest in companies that meet this charter. Some actively seek out companies that develop sustainable land use and food production, preservation of endangered eco-systems and other ethical objectives, and others seek to avoid companies that pollute land, air or waters or produce products or services that harm the environment or humans, or have other negative features.
Fund managers in Australia that offer ethical investment funds include Australian Ethical Investment Limited, Future Super, Hunter Hall, Bendigo Bank, Community Aid Abroad, and Westpac Bank (the Australian Eco Share Fund).
The international ethical investment market is also taking off. Dow Jones & Co has teamed up with Sustainable Asset Management to establish the Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index, which is an index of the top 10% most sustainable companies in each industry sector. Further information about the index can be found at its website: www.sustainability-index.com
International ethical investment fund managers can be found at links including:
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
2. Invest directly in environmentally sound companies
You can apply similar ethical criteria to your own investments and choose organisations which you have researched and invest in them without going through a trust.
Be proactive about your superannuation fund. Investigate the portfolio of companies that your superannuation fund money is invested in. If you are not happy with what you discover, then let the fund manager know your concerns and make a recommendation to them.