In aims to live a more ethical life I have made changes to my lifestyle and choices to ensure my time, energy and resources are sustainable and I'm trying to be as eco friendly as possible. Now I wouldn't devote my time to coal mining, companies that use palm oil or forest logging would I?
So why would I would I invest my money in companies that support this activity?
I never really thought about my super fund, let alone what that money was being invested to. On closer inspection the investment option that I held was not in line with any of my ethics or beliefs.
Enter stage left.....Ethical Investment Options! These investments are made in companies that support the environment and climate change. They are also working to hold companies accountable for their actions and promote ethical behaviour.
About 10 years ago ethical investment options came about, at first they where not very popular as people didn't know much about how they worked. Now with the way that the world is going we have more awareness of sustainable living, natural power and climate change. The companies that support these areas will be more sought after and I think ethical investments will grow and be more lucrative.
Now how do you know what investments are ethical? Check out http://www.responsibleinvestment.org -The Responsible Investment Association Australia (RIAA). They offer a seal of approval for investment options including superannuation. They also outline which funds are on board.
The fund that I am currently with was not on their list which was disappointing. However, I am in the process of making inquiries about what investment options my fund does have, and if they are in line with my morals. If not I will be moving over to a more ethical option.
I do suggest you compare the funds, some are more risky and some have better returns than your standard industry fund. Combination investing is also available to divide up your super into percentages and invest it how you like. For example you can invest a percentage to Australian small companies, a percentage in overseas companies, a percentage in property or a percentage in shares. All ethically.
There is quite a bit of research ahead of me but it's worth it. It might be something you never thought about. Check it out and compare your fund!