The Disraeli Room

The Disraeli Room

Blog Post

Investing with an Ethical Sense

11th August 2015

During the last few years, we have seen an unprecedented number of scandals involving the most prominent institutions, across the World and all the industrial sectors. These scandals have contributed to global crises affecting millions.

It is clear that some businesses have opted for a model that puts profit above everything else, no matter what consequences the actions taken to achieve that objective might have. In today’s business model the concept of creating wealth for society has almost been forgotten.

Some companies have adapted the Social Responsibility concept in order to create a good-will image to society, and that’s good, but there is an urgent need to go further. Yes, it is good that companies adopt environmentally friendly production and supply chain models, and that they help the communities in which they have factories or offices. But what about the ‘bigger picture’? What about the impact in other aspects of society; is it important for businesses to address aspects that involve universal moral values, or is it better to stay in an area of comfort?

Strong ethics based on solid values are essential to business, to the economy, and ultimately to the wellbeing of society and human beings around the globe. Entrepreneurs, CEOs and investors cannot leave Ethics aside. Investment projects and entrepreneurial initiatives should not be antithetical to a universal framework of values.

Fidelis International Institute was founded in 2005 as a non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of ethics in the business world with the aim of helping it become more human-centered. It was founded on a belief that ethics should no longer be disconnected to the way business is done around the World. A new breed of organisations like Fidelis actively promote good behavior in business by performing ‘ethical diagnosis’ for organisations, promoting the implementation of ethical paths to transform institutions from within, and making them place human values at the centre of their strategies. Some organisations may need specific in-depth research to match their needs; always with the aim of strengthening the dignity of human beings. Another very important aspect in the promotion of ethics is what we call ‘ethical screening’.

Ethical screening works with a proprietary and detailed methodology to determine if a certain company complies with our basic ethical principles (Natural Law, Common Good, Family and Human Dignity). We have developed our very own ethical evaluation criteria, creating a screening process for sound investment. Our services, along with many other ‘ethics first’ market entrants, are able to satisfy the growing market for financial investment with a conscience, enabling everyday investors to think again about their investment motives, and invest based on sound ethical principles which consider:

 

  1. Violence to human life
  2. Worker’s right violations
  3. Questionable dealings in arms development, production and sales
  4. Involvement in the pornography industry
  5. Incitement to the immoderate use of alcohol or tobacco, or to excessive gambling
  6. Abuse of natural resources
  7. Fraud, money laundering, corruption and similar illegal activities
  8. Complicity with government injustice

 

After the screening process is completed based on the above criteria, a list of companies is generated, in which investors are advised to be cautious, to avoid completely, or to feel confident they can invest in them. Via his methodology, companies are screened guaranteeing investors that their ethical principles will not be compromised when they make investment decisions.

Ethics and corporate social responsibility should occupy a central role in the strategy of any organisation, in any industry, in any country, placing the human being in all its dignity, at the core of its thinking and its acting.

The companies that put ethics as the cornerstone of their organizations, will certainly outrun their competitors and will see this reflected in their bottom-line. This means that they have to go beyond certifications and creeds,and will have to make ethics be a living part of the company.


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