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Australians are starting to put their ethics where their investments are

Australians want the Morrison Government to take a stronger position on addressing climate change, with Glow research showing that two-thirds of respondents (67%) said the government should do more and 30% of those said the Government should do much more.

At the same time, people acknowledge there is much more they need to do personally to support positive social and environmental action.  

The latest data from Glow’s monthly Catalyst survey of 1,222 consumers shows Australians have already started by voting with their wallets on everyday purchase decisions, with 64% saying they pick brands based on social and environmental considerations. 

Now there is increasing evidence that we are starting to invest for our futures with an ethical mindset.

The research showed nearly one in three everyday investors (32%) would choose ethical investing over better returns when it came to selecting investment vehicles, whether that is super, shares, ETFs, property or other assets.  A further 31% are unsure which they’d pick, while 38% would opt for better returns.

“At the moment, investors feel like they have to choose one or the other,” said SelfWealth CEO Cath Whitaker, “but the range and availability of high quality ethical investment vehicles is increasing, so it will get easier to choose investments that do the right thing while still generating good returns”. 

Low-cost ASX-listed share trading platform SelfWealth is an example of this, having recently integrated ESG ratings into company profiles on the platform, making it easier for investors to pick ethical companies to invest in.  

“We can already see that this is making a difference. I think in the near to short term we will see the mining stock prices in particular fluctuate  as consumer demand changes,” she said.

The data also shows a strong desire amongst investors to put money into companies that support specific issues – 74% of investors agree they’d be more likely to invest in a company that addresses plastic waste, 72% in one that supports ethical sourcing and 67% in companies that support addressing climate change.   

“It is still early days, but there are positive signs of change emerging among everyday investors that ESG is being taken seriously. It will be interesting to see how quickly our investment behaviour changes in light of increased awareness of social and environmental issues from COP26 and the Government’s commitment to a 2050 zero emission target,” said Glow Founder and CEO Tim Clover.