Everything is ethical

As long as you are “open and transparent” it would appear that anything is ethical these days.

A recent move by a number of “ethical” investment and superannuation funds to include Uranium interests continues to highlight the increasingly blurry lines of ethical investment.

Today in the Sydney Morning Herald an asset management fund is reported to have included British American Tobacco in its ethical investment portfolio because it is “best-of-sector” and has admitted that smoking is addictive.

The mind boggles.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when (if they’re not already) weapons manufacturers are also listed as an ethical investment. Surely there’s a weapons company that’s “best-of-sector” because it admits that weapons kill and maim people?

The founder and chief executive of the Canberra-based Centre for Australian Ethical Research (CAER) Duncan Paterson stated, “I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with different fund managers coming to different conclusions about different issues as long as they’re transparent about the methodologies they’re using and they’re transparent about the companies they’re investing in,” he said.

So anything is ok, as long as you’re open about it… seems a little dubious to me.

British American Tobacco (BAT) seems to be managing quite successfully to maintain a level of perceived legitimacy in the global business stakes. BAT is also ranked very highly on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the Index that Westpac uses to tell everyone how it’s the most environmentally conscious and sustainable bank in the world.

I wonder if BAT has their own index that rates the sustainability of human lives if they continue to consume their products?

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