Whatever your resources, socially responsible investment (SRI) can help you fulfil your dreams, and make the world a better place. SRI means you can channel your money away from industries that contribute to the destruction of the environment, companies employing sweatshop and child labour, business involved in animal experimentation and corporation that support repressive and brutal regimes
Like any investor a socially responsible one wants to see a sound return on their investment but they also want to invest in companies that demonstrate social and environmental principles. Even though SRI means limiting choice in types of investment it has not led to any systematic under performance in stocks, in fact it have done as well as or better than others on the market.
SRI developed in the USA as a response by concerned Quakers and other people disgusted that their investments were supporting the arms trade and the Vietnam war. Since then SRI has become a growing market within the UK, and is increasing at about 34% per year Socially responsible investors include institutions such as non profit organisations, Churches, trade unions, universities and individuals from all walks of life. What they have in common is a commitment to channelling their money towards investment that reflects their personal ethics and values. You don’t have to have lots of money to be a socially responsible investor although a minimum commitment is like with most funds about 50 pounds a month.
There are two main strategies to SRI: Avoidance Screening – choosing not to invest in industries for example, those with discriminatory employment practices, business activities with repressive governments, poor environmental records, animal testing, weapons contractors and the tobacco industry.Affirmative Screening – Actively seeking out investments in activities to support such as alternative energy and natural foods, companies that show commitment to their workers, communities and the environment.