The Australian Ethical Diversified Shares Fund offers investors an opportunity to invest in a diversified share portfolio of Australian and international companies on the basis of their social, environmental and financial credentials. Generally, all Australian investments will have a market capitalisation greater than the 200th ranked stock listed on the ASX. The Fund has a low level of turnover and aims to be fully invested at all times.
Australian Ethical believe the more money doing good for the planet, the better. Since 1986 we have applied the 23 principles of the Australian Ethical Charter
to invest in ethical and responsible initiatives that have a positive impact on the planet, people and animals while achieving competitive long-term returns. We avoid investments in corporations that engage in harmful practices such as coal, oil, weapons, tobacco, gambling and human rights abuses. The Charter not only influences our investment choices, but underpins every aspect of our business practices.
We’re open about the ethical positions
we take to invest and advocate for companies to have a positive impact on the planet, people and animals. A company must meet our sustainability standards for what it does and how it does it. We won’t invest if a company earns any revenue from making weapons or tobacco products (zero threshold), but we allow limited revenue from alcohol or fossil fuels if a company is positive in other parts of its business. This allows us to invest in a company like Contact Energy which generates 80% of its electricity from renewables, falling back on gas when low rainfall reduces its hydro-power. Or an agricultural company which grows wheat for food but which sells up to 10% of its grain to alcohol producers. We also exclude companies which indirectly support negative products, for example a packaging company which earns more than 1% of revenue from packaging for tobacco products.
The Fund shall seek out investments which provide for and support:
- the development of workers’ participation in the ownership and control of their work organisations and places
- the production of high quality and properly presented products and services
- the development of locally based ventures
- the development of appropriate technological systems
- the amelioration of wasteful or polluting practices
- the development of sustainable land use and food production
- the preservation of endangered eco-systems
- activities which contribute to human happiness, dignity and education
- the dignity and well-being of non-human animals
- the efficient use of human waste
- the alleviation of poverty in all its forms
- the development and preservation of appropriate human buildings and landscapes.
The Fund shall avoid any investment which is considered to unnecessarily:
- pollute land, air or water
- destroy or waste non-recurring resources
- extract, create, produce, manufacture, or market materials, products, goods or services which have a harmful effect on humans, non-human animals or the environment
- market, promote or advertise, products or services in a misleading or deceitful manner
- create markets by the promotion or advertising of unwanted products or services
- acquire land or commodities primarily for the purpose of speculative gain
- create, encourage or perpetuate militarism or engage in the manufacture of armaments
- entice people into financial over- commitment
- exploit people through the payment of low wages or the provision of poor working conditions
- discriminate by way of race, religion or sex in employment, marketing, or advertising practices
- contribute to the inhibition of human rights generally.