“I want to invest in companies that create a world I want to live in. How about you?” – Paul Polman, Unilever
There are a number of reasons you might want to invest responsibly. These include:
- Making sure that your investments are aligned with your values, or at least that they are not working against your values.
- Ensuring that your investments don’t have negative environmental and social impacts, but rather support the achievement of a more sustainable world.
- Holding companies accountable for the ways in which they manage issues affecting sustainable development, and for failures to avoid environmental and social harm.
By adopting an SRI approach, you are able to contribute to sustainable development, which the Brundtland Report defines as “economic activity that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
SRI allows you to invest in ways that look past the singular goal of short-term financial profits and contribute to long-term value for society as a whole. This does not mean ignoring financial gain: after all, the benefits of investing in a pension will be eroded if on retirement in twenty or thirty years’ time the world is a more unequal, corrupt and polluted place.
As Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, has said “I want to invest in companies that create a world I want to live in. How about you?”