I think that ethical investing is a very tricky subject as it is highly subjective and is just an endless spiral.
For an investor who thinks gambling is unethical, would that exclude them from buying uk gilts because of the state ownership of the lottery? Even though 25% of lottery revenue goes towards a fund that provide grants to good causes?
For those opposed to the petrochemical industry, are all companies equal? e.g Royal Dutch Shell develops and invests in renewables vs Sinopec which does not.
What about state bonds for those who think that state imposed taxation is theft or are opposed to the concept of the nation state? What about companies that receive taxpayers money in some form?
For those against abortion, what about medical companies that provide supplies or services to abortion providers?
Medical companies make plastic syringes that are bought and used to administer heroin which then kills people… and the syringes are not eco friendly. Does that mean all companies in the syringe making supply chain are unethical and complicit in the deaths relating from the use of their products or services?
Would a company be seen as unethical if a ceo, owner or even employee did something perceived as unethical even if if wasn’t directly related to the company?
What about companies that operate in countries with the death penalty, no environmental regulation, laws against homosexuality, laws targeting women, state surveillance, poor human rights records etc…
When it comes to ethical funds it gets even trickier as unethical companies are those the manager of the fund considers them to be.
I really think “ethical investing” is just a hyped up buzzword targeted at middle class millennials.