A:

Ethical investors have many reasons to consider companies in the retail sector. The sector is broad and features an abundance of companies uninvolved in the areas most ethical investors try to avoid, such as gambling, alcohol, firearms and illicit content. With the presence of environmentally conscious companies such as Whole Foods (WFM), which offsets 100% of its energy usage with green power, retail provides many options for socially responsible investing. Even big retailers such as Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT), often derided by environmental and business ethics advocates, have taken significant steps in the 21st century toward environmental consciousness, such as switching to renewable energy and participating in food donation programs.

What Is Ethical Investing?

Ethical investing means different things to different people, but its overarching theme is allowing ethical principles, rather than profit motive, to guide investing decisions. The ethical investor wants to feel he is making the world a better place by supporting certain companies with his investment dollars, not simply fattening his own portfolio.

Similar to ethical investing is socially responsible investing, which seeks to influence positive social outcomes through investing activities. Socially responsible investors look for investing opportunities with companies dedicated to environmental awareness, green energy and social justice.

Retail Options for Ethical Investors

Additional retail companies popular among ethical investors include Kohl's (KSS), which underwent a massive project in 2008 to reduce its carbon footprint by installing solar panels on the rooftops of its stores.

Also gaining traction among ethical investors is Nike (NKE). Though the company has received its share of bad press for questionable labor practices, it has worked to clean up its image by becoming carbon-neutral and powering its world headquarters with green energy.

RELATED FAQS
  1. Why is business ethics important?

    No matter the size, industry or level of profitability of an organization, business ethics are one of the most important ... Read Answer >>
  2. How have business ethics evolved over time?

    Learn about the evolution of business ethics over times, from the rise of social responsibility in the 1960s to ethics in ... Read Answer >>
  3. How do business ethics differ from industry to industry?

    Learn how business ethics differ based on industry, from energy companies' environmental stewardship to tech firms' respect ... Read Answer >>
  4. Can I still pass the CFA Level I if I do poorly in the ethics section?

    You may still pass the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) Level I even if you fare poorly in the ethics section, but don't ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do business ethics differ among various countries?

    Find out why business ethics differ between countries, including laws relating to controversial topics that may differ from ... Read Answer >>
  6. Is there a difference between socially responsible investing (SRI) and green investing?

    Green investing is considered a subset of socially responsible investing. Both of these terms refer to investment philosophies ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    The Ethics Of Investing

    The proper application of ethics to the world of investments is a highly subjective topic.
  2. Investing

    How to Use Ethical Investing to Invest in Your Beliefs

    These steps will help you invest ethically without jeopardizing your financial goals.
  3. Investing

    Four Socially Responsible Stocks To Watch

    Making money in the market shouldn't prevent you from sleeping at night. Find out how to keep your conscience clean and bank account growing.
  4. Small Business

    What are Business Ethics?

    Business ethics is the system of laws and guidelines by which business professionals and corporations operate in a fair, legal and moral fashion. It’s a broad topic, covering everything from ...
  5. Financial Advisor

    Ethical Wills Share Final Thoughts With Heirs

    This document allows a testator, the person making the will, to leave a personal legacy.
  6. Investing

    The Value in Socially Responsible Investing

    Socially responsible investing has been growing in popularity. Discover if it's the right strategy for you.
  7. Financial Advisor

    Ethical Issues For Financial Advisors

    Financial advisors may face ethical issues in their work. Find out what they are.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Ethical Investing

    Using one's ethical principles as the main filter for securities ...
  2. Green Fund

    A mutual fund or other investment vehicle that will only invest ...
  3. CFA Institute

    Formerly known as the Association for Investment Management and ...
  4. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    Socially responsible investing looks for investments that are ...
  5. Corporate Social Responsibility

    Corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the ...
  6. Impact Investing

    Investing that aims to generate specific beneficial social or ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Retirement Planning

    Retirement planning is the process of determining retirement income goals and the actions and decisions necessary to achieve ...
  2. Drawdown

    The peak-to-trough decline during a specific record period of an investment, fund or commodity. A drawdown is usually quoted ...
  3. Inverse Transaction

    A transaction that can cancel out a forward contract that has the same value date.
  4. Redemption

    The return of an investor's principal in a fixed income security, such as a preferred stock or bond; or the sale of units ...
  5. Solvency

    The ability of a company to meet its long-term financial obligations. Solvency is essential to staying in business, but a ...
  6. Dilution

    A reduction in the ownership percentage of a share of stock caused by the issuance of new stock. Dilution can also occur ...
Trading Center