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Investing in ethical companies with a concern for the environment


The public has demonstrated a changing culture or let's say it's an ongoing process and we are perhaps at the beginning of it. People with money to invest see the advantages of investing in funds which support businesses which are run ethically and which have a concern for the environment and sustainability. It is dawning on people that you can make a profit out of sustainability and environmental concerns. There was a time many years ago when the modus operandi in the West was to abuse and use nature as much as you could get away with to enhance profits. Developing countries still have that mentality by-and-large. They state this because the West abused nature in their pursuit of economic wealth then they can do the same until they have caught up. China is an example of this.

But the West has moved on and certainly in the UK there are signs that ethical investing i.e. sustainable funds are outperforming mainstream funds for the first time. As people see that they can make decent returns from these funds a barrier to investing in them has been removed. Perhaps there was a time when you had to trade off good returns for ethical investing but that isn't the case anymore.

If the big fund managers now see the advantages of investing in good corporate governance and ethical corporate cultures might not this drive businesses into behaving more ethically? Perhaps we are creating a virtuous cycle: investors buy shares in the better companies which are concerned for the environment and in turn the companies adjust their cultures to attract investments by becoming more environmentally concerned. A virtuous cycle or circle.

There's no doubt that there was a great movement perhaps beginning with the Greta Thunberg movement and reinforced by the coronavirus pandemic, in my view. The pandemic crisis has given people time to think and they can see that abuses of nature can produce this sort of devastating catastrophe. 

It's fair to say that most people see that the pandemic started in China in a wet food market where wild animals were slaughtered in uncontrolled conditions which allowed a zoonotic disease to transmit from possibly a pangolin to a worker. It is thought that the pangolin was infected by a bat. The point is that wet markets are considered to be an abuse of nature, a careless approach to interacting with wild animals and it's come back to bite people on the bum. It is Karma if you believe in that sort of thing. I foresee a big shift in attitude within humankind for the future and soaring business in investments in companies concerned with protecting nature.

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