GCC Think Act Tank cover 2019

CSR Deficit = Modern Day (Corporate) Imperialism?

"Business Team Stacking Hands". Freedigitalphotos.net.
“Business Team Stacking Hands”. Freedigitalphotos.net.

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom. (Nelson Mandela).

In these days of globalism, a new digital era triggering change in communication and increasing awareness across nations, corporate social responsibility and actions towards improving circumstances and conditions are more actual than ever.

Consumers can no longer be fooled. After a century of industrialization mankind is finally realizing that our past actions have been a foundation for a new sustainability needed to save planet Earth from destruction.

Learning takes time, and requires repetition, but fortunately our globe is inhabited by individuals who have managed to take the necessary steps to progress and take the necessary actions towards creating a completely New Green Economy.

Examining and evaluating the developments of the 20th Century gives us the possibility to build an image about the most significant changes that took place, and how much society has changed since then. One only needs to take a look at significant developments shaping and changing our societies in the past decade, or two decades, only. Things we hardly knew about 20 years ago are today evolving and affecting us all more than we could ever have imagined.

The 21st century will be different. We are in the middle of a transforming global economy, where intelligent and morally aware, responsible individuals will reshape economies in completely new ways, enhancing economic development across our globe, leading to completely new ways of life and increased well-being of all citizens across the world.

New standards and actions will lead to improvements in global businesses operations, and in how states are being led. Individuals and corporations involved in corruption and unethical practices will have to step aside, giving way to conscious leaders both rebuilding and developing businesses and societies in a fresh manner, excluding anything outside generally accepted and legal behavior.

The importance of corporate social responsibility, including ecology, social responsibility, and taxation (including changes in how e.g. thin capitalization and transfer pricing currently used at micro-economic level), can no longer be neglected. Future trends are being created, and the lessons learned from past mistakes are a foundation for wiser actions now, and in future.

Business has a responsibility of giving back to the community.

Today we are making a difference for tomorrow.

Conscious capitalism is mindfully making decisions and staying core to your purpose (Kate Walker, Conscious Capitalism)

We hired a CSR person at Twitter, years before we hired our first sales person, to make sure we had a culture and impact of doing good. (Biz Stone).

Three types of Corporate Social Responsibility:

1. Environmental

2. Philanthropic

3. Ethical

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Thank you for taking time to make it your daily habit to execute social responsibility, be it in your private or business life. Thank you also for reading, liking, commenting, and sharing your experiences about corporate social responsibility. 

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GCC Think Act Tank cover 2019

Why & How to Invest Ethically

"Business Graph". Freedigitalphotos.net.
“Business Graph”. Freedigitalphotos.net.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you´ll do things differently. (Warren Buffet). 

Ethical investing, also known as socially responsible investing (SRI), sustainable, socially conscious, or “green” investing – a dear child has many names according to an old Nordic saying – is a rapidly evolving investment strategy seeking to consider both financial return and social good.

SRI, the origin of which dates back centuries e.g. to Jewish law and Halal or Shariah (religious teachings of Islam), encourages corporate practices that promote environmental stewardship, consumer protection, human rights, and diversity – in short: SOCIAL JUSTICE.

SRI can be characterized as follows:

  • Embraces peace and nonviolence
  • environmental stewardship
  • Protects consumers
  • Respects human rights and diversity
  • Is socially conscious
  • Promotes healthy working conditions!

SRI, including the integration of an evaluation of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) factors in decision-making processes focuses upon improving financial performance without neglecting the well-being of all stakeholders. Furthermore, community investing, a part of SRI, directs capital to people in low-income, at-risk communities through socially conscious investors who seek to support these towards reducing poverty, creating jobs, providing affordable housing, and financing small business development.

Factors influencing growth of Socially Responsible Investing:

  • Increased information and knowledge among investors
  • Environmental issues and sustainability
  • Long-term interest
  • Performance
  • Availability
  • Values and authenticity
  • Corporate scandals
  • Women and female leadership

The UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), encouraging investors to adopting socially responsible investment strategies, were developed by an international group of institutional investors based upon environmental, social, and corporate governance issues, taking into consideration transparency, corruption, board structure, shareholder rights, business ethics, risk management and executive compensation:

These principles are:

PRI 1: Incorporation of ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.

PRI 2: Active ownership and incorporation of ESG issues into ownership policies and practices.

PRI 3: Appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by entities invested in.

PRI 4: Promoting acceptance and implementation of the PRI´s within the investment industry.

PRI 5: Co-operation towards effective implementation of the PRI´s.

PRI 6: Active reporting on activities and progress made in implementing the PRI´s. (United Nations. The Six Principles for Responsible Investment. 2015).

WHY invest ethically?

By investing ethically you directly and indirectly contribute to a better and improved world.

Ethical investing is based upon long-term planning and upon creating lasting value rather than merely reaping the benefits of get-rich-quick schemes and other forms of unethical investing.

Through ethical investing you/your business acts morally correct and you can sleep your nights tightly without a burden on your consciousness.

How to invest ethically?

There are countless ways of investing ethically, depending upon your (financial) resources. Investing is a very broad term including investments in your personal development, education, healthcare (perhaps the most important investments you can ever make in your life), but investments other than those in your personal life include real estate and various kinds of securities.

When investing in real estate and securities on your own, make necessary background checks about your investments, such as:

Get to know the facts such as corporation´s annual reports, including CSR activities, employee retention/turnover figures + other details concerning employee benefits (especially when investing directly in stocks).

If you are a direct investor in small cap businesses, an angel investor etc., make sure you know the details/have enough information about the owners credibility, the businesses plan for the upcoming years. As a startup/angel investor especially, make sure you have the possibility and right to participate in planning the future of the company.  

In fund-investing, make sure you know the fund policy and everything you need to know about the companies + other relevant facts about the fund. 

When trusting a service-provider with your capital by letting them invest on your behalf, make sure to:

Know your service-provider well enough. Check their background, regardless of the size of the service-provider. The size is no guarantee for more reliable/better service. 

Make sure your service-provider has the knowledge, skills, and professionalism needed in order to make wise long-term decisions on your behalf. You can do this by choosing a service-provider who/that has the necessary qualifications/ experience in investing, and by making sure that your service provider supports the rules of ethical investing and UN´s PRI´s + follows the rules of sustainable, long-term investing rather than taking unnecessary risks with your hard-earned/saved capital. 

See and read the terms of agreement provided to you by your service provider. Various service-providers charge different kinds of fees, but the fee(s) are no indicator about investment ethics or performance.

Make sure you understand the investment well enough, and refrain from investing in products that you have no comprehension about. Please let your service-provider explain the investment products to you. Any reliable, professional investment-provider is capable of explaining the investment structure/product to you in a comprehensive manner.  

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This blog post has been written only for informational purposes, and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment. The opinions expressed in this post do not constitute investment advice. The information provided herein or in any communication possibly linked to this blog post is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this post constitutes a solicitation or offer by the author to buy or sell any securities, futures, options, shares, funds, or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service. 

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Thank you for investing ethically, and for learning more about ethical investing. If you would like a personal consultation with me regarding your investment planning, please contact me directly. 

“Look Before You Leap For As You Sow, Ye Are Like To Reap”

Would you volunteer to jump into a body of water swarming with piranhas? 

I thought so too. 

The same goes for any kind of action regarding decision-making in your life. Think before you act, so that you don´t act before you think. The importance of an analytical thinking process before making a decision of course depends upon the complexity of the decision, the risks included, and the possible final outcome. Over-analyzing simple matters can be as harmful, since it may just lead to procrastination and an inability of decision-making in the first place. But the more complex and responsible the decision, an amount of reflection is beneficial before taking action. When not certain about something, consult someone with more knowledge, and someone you can trust. 
In the world of investing, plenty of choices are at hand. There are many forms of investing too, such as investing in intellectual capital and in increasing personal knowledge, investing in human resources, investing in your children´s futures, investing in real estate or buying a home, investing in your personal health, and so on. Here, I refer to investing in different kinds of securities, such as funds and stocks. There are a number of key ratios that investors commonly get familiar with before investing in a specific security, be it a fund or a stock. These include terms such as P/E, TER, ROCE, ROE, QR, Current Ratio, EBITDA, volatility index, asset class, benchmark, small-cap, large-cap, blue chip, maturity, trustee, and the list goes on. For any investor, it is a good idea to have some kind of understanding about the principles of securities investing. If not, better make sure to choose a service provider who is either willing to explain these to you in a comprehensive way – or, choose a service provider who you are willing to trust enough even without understanding. Either way, as a customer you will need to sign agreements where you approve that you have understood what you are investing in. 

Before investing/signing agreements, there are a couple of other factors to take into consideration: 

– Understanding what the security consists of. I.e. if it is a fund, what is the fund policy? 

– With direct stock investing, having access to the company´s annual report, most preferably including an HR report (with information about staff policies, staff turnover rates etc.), and a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) report.  The CSR report could also be named CSR and Sustainability Report, depending upon the company. 
The CSR Report can include a number of themes, such as the company´s philosophy in and towards sustainable business processes, what kind of actions are being taken at different stages in production with regard upon e.g. environmental and human rights issues, governance and transparency structures, codes of conduct, code of ethics. Progressive companies, and “trend setters”, are aligning their reporting practices with e.g. a Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) and UN Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI). 

“For those who are skeptical about socially responsible investing and business practices: There are three steps in the revelation of any truth; in the 1st, it is ridiculed; in the 2nd, resisted; in the 3rd, it is considered self-evident”.

(A. Schopenhauer)

This blog post has been written only for informational purposes, and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment. The opinions expressed in this post do not constitute investment advice. The information provided herein or in any communication possibly linked to this blog post is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this post constitutes a solicitation or offer by the author to buy or sell any securities, futures, options, shares, funds, or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.