Ethical Investment Week is an opportunity for Australians and New Zealanders to learn more about investing in line with their ethics. #EthicalInvestWk
To help celebrate Ethical Investment Week, co-op members organised a number of events (including many online events which are still available to watch or listen to):
Wayfinding for Ethical Investment
The theme for Ethical Investment Week 2021 was ‘wayfinding for ethical investment’. The week featured a webinar, led by Professor Chellie Spiller and Dr Rodger Spiller. Integrating Chellie’s wayfinding research and Rodger’s ethical investment research, the webinar was a journey of discovery for ethical investors. You can view the webinar here.
Following the online event, Rachel Alembakis, Managing Editor of FS Sustainability wrote an article reflecting on the seminar, which you can read here at fssustainability.com.au
Rachel also interviewed Chellie and Rodger for a podcast which you can listen to here. Rachel wrote: “This was one of the most fascinating and emotionally resonant interviews I've ever done relating to sustainability…”.
Read on for more insight to what the webinar covered.
What is ‘wayfinding’?
In its simplest definition, wayfinding is about observing the natural world in order to work out your location, orient yourself towards your destination, set a course to get you there, then dynamically respond to signs as you journey. Think of the legendary sea-faring prowess of Polynesian navigators, and the rich Aboriginal tradition of exploring and guiding.
Wayfinding is as relevant for our times as it has been throughout history. By drawing upon ancient wisdom, modern wayfinders hold insights that can make a big difference for ethical investors, ethical businesses and a sustainable future. Rodger and Chellie will explain how to discover the new by pulling apart the old map, exploring new and uncharted territory, and journeying towards true wealth and wellbeing.
Purpose, Principles, Practices and Performance Measurement.
As with any journey, reference points (or ‘waypoints’) can be used to help navigate the way forward. The webinar will use Rodger’s Four P’s model as these waypoints. Created in 1997 as part of his PhD, Rodger’s Four Ps are Purpose, Principles, Practices and Performance Measurement.
The question of ‘Purpose’.
Both the investor’s journey – and the webinar – will begin by considering ‘purpose’. The two-dimensional approach of solely ‘risk and return’ is being challenged by the addition of a third dimension; impact. An ethical investor’s purpose is to make money and make a difference. Making this journey into three-dimensional investing requires a change in mindset. Drawing from the indigenous response to the sustainability crisis, the webinar will explore the Five Wellbeings approach of Chellie’s PhD; economic, social, environmental, cultural and spiritual wellbeing. Journeying to what Māori describe as Te Ao Mārama, the world of enlightenment.
A matter of Principles.
Chellie’s ‘Wayfinding Leadership’ co-author, wayfinding captain Hoturoa Kerr, explains that, “Unless love is present in the way you operate, all this stuff is not ever going to be for a good reason – aroha must be behind all these things that you do.” From an Indigenous perspective, principles or values are like stars illuminating the human pathway. Principles are also a critical guide for the ethical investment journey. Challenging Milton Friedman’s rejection of social responsibility beyond profit maximisation, the case is made for an ethic of care and aroha (love). The webinar will also highlight the virtue of courage - the first virtue listed by Aristotle, and a key quality of the wayfinding ethical investor.
Practices: Applying the wisdom
Practices are the actions an investor and a business take to fulfil purpose and apply principles. To be highly rated on the ‘ethical’ spectrum, businesses need to implement particular practices. The practice of ‘developing people’ was central to Rodger and Chellie’s PhD research, and is increasingly considered by global ethical investment research firms. The webinar will explore how this development can occur professionally, personally and as an investor – using insights from the world of wayfinding.
Performance: Measuring what matters
In ethical investment, Performance Measurement goes well beyond conventional financial measures, to also report on ‘impact’. The global funds pioneering impact reporting processes can be seen as wayfinders, paving the path towards a more ethical investment future. This future will hopefully include more reporting on deeper performance measures – such as a business’s focus on leadership development.
In this journey, an expert trusted navigator is key to investors’ success.
An ethical adviser clarifies the journey’s purpose, and the investor’s principles. They create a clear and realistic plan for achieving investment goals, and establish an ethical profile along with a conventional risk profile. The plan provides a map, charting the best course and recommending a portfolio. Along the journey, performance measurement will consider both financial progress and ethical impact, and changes will be made as required.
Ethical investment advisers and their clients are wayfinders.
We are transforming the finance system and financing the transformation needed for a sustainable future. Together, we aim higher—to reduce environmental, social, and financial risk, and increase financial return by creating more positive impact.
Videos & Documentaries
“It’s crazy that our banks and pensions are investing in fossil fuels, when these are the very thing that are jeopardizing the future that we are saving for. A renewable future will be full of benefits”
- Sir David Attenborough ‘A Life on Our Planet’.
If you can't attend an event, but want to learn more about ethical investing, below is a list of five of our favourite documentaries, all available on Netflix, chosen by the ethical advisers' co-op.
Kiss The Ground
Cows can provide a solution to climate change? This film may surprise. To significantly mitigate the climate crisis, there are a lot of problems humans need to solve — and as the new Netflix documentary Kiss the Ground suggests, one of the biggest problems is right under your feet: the soil.
Narrated by Woody Harrelson, the star-studded film explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating the planet, while simultaneously invigorating a new sense of hope and inspiration in viewers.
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
In this unique feature documentary, the celebrated naturalist reflects upon both the defining moments of his lifetime and the devastating changes he has seen.
The film addresses some of the biggest challenges facing life on our planet, providing a snapshot of global nature loss in a single lifetime. With it comes a powerful message of hope for future generations as Attenborough reveals the solutions to help save our planet from disaster.
Beneath the waves, coral reefs are dying on a massive scale. These scientists and filmmakers are fighting to stop it. From the director of ‘Chasing Ice’ comes this epic adventure to capture our changing oceans.
A Plastic Ocean
A Plastic Ocean is an adventure documentary shot on more than 20 locations over 4 years. Explorers Craig Leeson and Tanya Streeter and a team of international scientists reveal the causes and consequences of plastic pollution and share solutions.
This series explores the wonder of the extraordinary place we call home. Utilizing the latest technology, ‘Our Planet’ was filmed entirely in Ultra High Definition in over 50 countries. From exotic jungles to the deepest seas, it will open your eyes to the connections we all share. This series is narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Other Video Links:
Ellerston Capital: “Times are changing for ESG in Asia”
Ellerston Capital: “Times are changing for ESG in Asia”
Show your support
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your money is used towards a positive future:
- Have a conversation with your bank about how they are using your money
- Invest in a sustainable project that improves our environment and our health
- Speak to an ethical financial adviser about ethical investment options
- Spread the word to your family and friends to make sure your money is used for positively good projects and investments
- Use the hashtag #EthicalInvestWk