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Top concern for ethical investors is workers' rights


Investment management company Standard Life released the results of its annual Ethical Investor Survey a few days ago.

The company's ethical fund customers were asked to rank the issues that most concern them, and this year it turns out that they would prefer Standard Life "to favour investment companies that encourage, maintain and improve the quality of working conditions in their global supply chains".  Numbers two and three on the list of companies favoured by investors were firms involved in controlling pollution and those involved in developing or using renewable energy sources.

On the flip side, survey respondents wanted to avoid having their money poured into companies with poor human rights policies and/or operating in countries with poor human rights records, those involved in producing military weapons and those clearing tropical forests.

It's interesting to see how ethical concerns have moved on in a decade.  The Observer says that the main change is that human rights has become more of a priority.

Another part of the survey concerned those companies who decide that something they're doing isn't all that ethical after all so rid themselves of that activity.  75% of the survey respondents thought three years was an acceptable length of time in purgatory before a company could be considered as an ethical investment.  What do you think?  Can a company ever be cleansed of past sins?

Photo credit: 'Money Tree' by Flickr user jono2k5 under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 licence.

November 20, 2006 in Money & finance | Permalink


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