The Responsible Investment Association of Australia state “Responsible investors all understand that companies or assets won’t thrive whilst ignoring environmental issues (pollution, climate change, water and other resources scarcity), social issues (local communities, employees, health and safety), corporate governance issues (prudent management, business ethics, strong boards, appropriate executive pay) or ethical issues.”
On November 5th, 2015 a dam co-owned by BHP burst, killing 13, injuring hundreds and impacting thousands. Brazil’s government has subsequently filed a law suit against BHP and Vale for $5.2b USD to compensate those affected. Investing ethically is no longer about being a ‘green, tree-hugging hippie’, it is about understanding that companies who cause catastrophic disasters will be hit where it hurts, usually in the form of billions of dollars, which in turn, hurts the shareholder.
The University of Oxford and Arabesque Asset Management have undertaken a study which analyses the links between “responsibility and profitability”. There is a drive for transparency for the stockholder. Here are some examples:
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