Ethical Stocks & Socially Responsible Trading

Ethical stocks are becoming an increasingly important subject as we take a greater look as a society towards our social responsibilities. It seems that as a human race, we are thinking about our environmental and ethical impact now, more than we ever have. From recycling, gender and racial equality, fossil fuel usage, and generally being ‘greener’ and kinder to our planet, we now wish to align our beliefs with our investments.

This general ethical ideology and social responsibility doesn’t have to end with our own personal consumption, and should filter through to every aspect of our lives including our finances and money management. The stocks that we invest our hard earned money in should behave ethically and echo the values that we choose to live our lives. This more ethical investing also need not come at the expense of profitablility.

Earth heating up

Ethical Stocks Need Not Come At The Expense Of Profit

Some of the most ethical listed companies are also emerging as some of the most successful financially, as highly skilled and socially responsible employees also flock towards those enterprises that share their ideals. This ability to attract the best available employees has the added advantage of bringing a competitive edge over some less socially responsible competitors.

All investors know and appreciate, that one of the key targets of large public multinational corporations’ is to generate shareholder value. This in turn could make their stocks more appealing, and thus attract further shareholders and an increase in asset value, but to focus solely on profits and forget about their ethical standpoints can and will turn off a lot of potential investors. Shareholder value does not need to focus solely on financial value, but the wider gamut of values that are important to investors.

We have selected below 5 ethical stocks that we feel are trying to operate their business in a kinder, more socially responsible manner. 

3M (MMM)

Formally known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, 3M is famed for their well known products such as Post-it notes and scotch tape. The company’s stock has performed well in recent years, with it being up by around 27%. 3M views its Code of Conduct as not just a representation of its values, but a competitive advantage as well. 

Michael Duran, the vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer has said “Acting with unwavering integrity is a critical component of 3M’s culture and guides how 3M does business. In these challenging times, I am especially proud of more than 90,000 3Mers who every day live 3M values and protect our reputation. 

Share Price: $197.80 as of Aug 5 2021

Price range: $154.68 – $208.95 – 52 week high/low

Ecolab (ECL)

Ecolab is an American company based in Minnesota that specialises in water treatment, purification and cleaning and hygiene. Ecolab has been mentioned on Ethisphere’s most ethical list and is very proud of receiving such an accolade for 15 consecutive years. Ecolab has been awarded in several other areas such as; Employment for women, LGBT equality, Sustainability, Diversity to name a few. Ecolab has big plans of improvement for the future, with aiming to halve their carbon emissions by 2030 and to reduce them to net-zero by 2050, an impressive goal to achieve in the next 10 years.

Ecolab’s stock price is also quite impressive with an 80% rise in just 5 years. The stock price is now sitting close to an all time high, being within 5% of its all time highest price.   

Share price: $218.18 as of Aug 5 2021

Price range: $181.25 – $230.00 – 52-week high/low

Beyond Meat (BYND)

Recent trends suggest that not eating meat can greatly reduce your carbon footprint and improve animal welfare . What better company to back than a plant-based meat alternative producing company. Beyond Meat have boldly claimed that they will revolutionise the types of food people eat. There are numerous ethical by-products to shifting towards a more plant based diet. 

Beyond Meat’s IPO launch in 2019 garnered much attention, with its initial offering at $25 to a whopping high of $72.75 and closing on a stable $66.75, the initial shareholders have made five times their initial investment.

Share price: 2021: $121.82 as of Aug 5 2021

Price range: $99.86 – $221.00, 52-week high/low 

Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft, the well known software giant, is one of the world’s largest companies. It battles daily with Apple to secure the title for the most valuable company in the world. Microsoft has been placed on Ethisphere’s most ethical companies for the 10th consecutive year. This is interesting, as other global giants such as Google, Facebook and Apple have been left off this prestigious list.

Microsoft has amassed quite a few ethics awards, focussing their efforts in human rights, LGBTQ equalities and also leading the way for the best company for workers by industry. Bill Gates, former CEO, founder and a current board member of Microsoft is well known for his charitable enterprises.   

Share price: $289.52 as of Aug 2021

Price range:  $196.25 – $290.15, 52 week high/low (CRM)

Salesforce, is a customer relationship management company, which offers customers an all in one solution for CRM. It is a very popular stock option on Wall Street and is often labelled with a “strong buy” rating. A lot of investors are keen on this stock as it performs well.

Salesforce has hired a chief ethical and humane officer to focus on more ethical technology and human rights. Salesforce also has a high focus on operating as a net-zero company and have been net-zero since 2017.

Share price: $250.56, as of Aug 5 2021

Price range: $191.72 – $284.50, 52- week high/low

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