Awareness weeks have a role. An attention-deficit media can explore an issue in-depth. Organisations rally and individuals get up to speed outside daily life. But finance is the elephant in the room for our planet. GMW is over, the press will revert to type, but we still need all money to be ‘good’, sustainable, responsible and ethical every single day from now on, not for one week in 52.
We will urgently need a Good Money Year following the UN climate change conference in Paris. We’ll need Good Money Forever, in reality.
Sustainable, responsible and ethical investment has always defined itself in these positive, if slightly worthy, terms. Maybe it’s time we named the other investment philosophy for what it is: reckless, unsustainable, irresponsible and unethical.
But we will need much more transparency, a greater degree of integrity and significantly more rigour from the socially responsible investing (SRI) core about what is inside, and what is outside, the good money universe. Greenwash is unforgivable, undisclosed interests beyond the pale, hiding the bad below the top ten holdings shameful. After all, it’s only our children’s future we’re playing Russian roulette with.
There are some who have created headline-grabbing funds that divest from fossil fuels, but don’t invest in the sustainable alternatives – a little bit more non-fossil fuel and a less oil supermajor is hardly sustainable (‘Holdings Data not available’ is not a good start) .
There are some at the cosy heart of SRI who invest in some really questionable companies, doing real harm to real people and our planet. Engagement only goes so far as a credible and convenient defence.
For five years we have resisted naming and shaming the good and bad, the sinners and saints, the winners and spinners – because the best is the enemy of the good. But our readers kept asking us and that’s why we found someone who could independently do so. We finally named the best in our Guide to Sustainable Investment. We won’t shame the worst, because if they’re on our list they’re in the right camp, and pulling in the right direction – rather a diamond with a flaw, than a pebble without – and they’re a league better than the reckless, unsustainable, irresponsible and unethical others.
But we still need good money forever and we’re a long way from that.
Please join our growing ‘good money forever’ community of brave, incredible and pioneering individuals and innovative, positively disruptive organisations: sign-up to our newsletter and connect on twitter, facebook or linkedin.
Let’s make it good money forever, for all of our sakes.
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