Ethical investment has been growing as a movement for several years now, but it’s only recently that it has become such an active and public one. Millennials, who have reached an age where they are beginning to invest, are perhaps the group most responsible for the new focus on sustainability and social impact. However, some credit must go to all the major role models who are showing them the way. Here are some of the influencers who are choosing to make their investments ethical .
More than a few of the entrepreneurs disrupting old markets or forging new ones have shown an interest in making sure that their products as well as their own investments are ethical. Elon Musk is one entrepreneur who is notable for pursuing sustainable goals with both his companies and his investment choices. Elon has been a major pioneer in moving electric cars to the market with Tesla. However, he’s not only known for that. He’s also a major investor in solar panels, efficient public transportation methods of the future and many other sustainable projects.
Entrepreneurs, especially those with celebrity status, can play a powerful role in shifting public perception of sustainable businesses. Such endorsements can help sustainable projects get the funding that they need. That so many of entrepreneurs are now making ethical considerations in public ways should be considered a very promising sign for the future of ethical investment.
While it’s always encouraging to see entrepreneurs embracing sustainable businesses practices and investments, it’s also expected that young entrepreneurs will embrace the newest technologies. Some might argue it says a lot more about how important ethical considerations are becoming when they’re embraced by experts whose first priority has always been the performance of the investment.
Billionaire Warren Buffet is one of the most successful investors in the world, and has written several well-regarded books on the subject of investing. His early investment into the Chinese electric car company BYD was baffling to his critics, but he has since been vindicated by that company’s growth into the largest electric car manufacturer in the world. While Warren Buffet does not consider himself an ethical investor by definition, his risky investment showed the finance world that green can be a smart investment.
Google made an extraordinary promise last year: that all of their operations would be powered by completely renewable energy by the end of 2017. It was a bold goal that would require them to make many expensive decisions that had nothing to do with their product. However, they were not only looking to purchase renewable power, they were beginning a massive project to produce some of it for themselves.
Google isn’t the only company making renewable commitments for the year. Competing technology companies Apple and Microsoft have also made ambitious goals to power their operations with renewable energy. While these companies have not revealed how these changes will affect their costs, it seems reasonable to believe they expect these moves to return a profit in the long run.
Investing ethically can be for everyday Australians not just influencers and entrepreneurs. Be inspired and invest ethically.