Ethical Behaviour Champions are concerned with promoting fair and sustainable business practices and protecting human rights. You may want to explore investments that help support or are aligned with efforts to reduce risks linked to human rights abuses, poor working conditions and corruption.
Why is it important to support ethical behaviour?
Strengthening institutions, and enacting inclusive and equitable legislation that protects human rights, are necessary preconditions for sustainable development.
As an example, businesses around the world face obstacles and unfair competition due to corruption, which adversely impacts sustainable development. According to the United Nations (UN), almost one in six businesses globally face requests for bribe payments by public officials, most commonly in transactions involving electrical and water connections, construction-related permits, import licenses, operating licenses, and meetings with tax officials1.
Policymakers can reduce the prevalence of bribery by requiring that business processes, such as applications, and payments for permits and licenses, are conducted online and are fully transparent.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to ethical behaviour
In 2015 the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a blueprint for delivering peace and prosperity for people and the planet. At its heart are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You can use the SDGs to help them direct investments towards the most pressing ethical challenges.
SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, economies with a diversified industrial sector and strong infrastructure sustained less damage and experienced faster recoveries. However, only a third of manufacturing jobs have returned, making it difficult for the world’s least developed economies to recover from Covid-19.
SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Ending armed conflicts, strengthening institutions, and enacting inclusive and equitable legislation that protects the human rights of all persons are necessary preconditions for sustainable development.
SDG 17: Partnership for the goals
The world is facing a multitude of crises across the social, health, environmental, and peace and security spectrums. To find lasting solutions, international cooperation must be scaled up with significantly more investment in gathering accurate data and statistics.
The UN SDGs aligned with ethical behaviour are:
How to invest if supporting ethical behaviour is important to you
Ethical behaviour issues can be reflected in a diversified investment portfolio by choosing managers that use environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, and corporate engagement, to manage risks, and identify opportunities as part of their overall investment process. This approach should include, where relevant, an assessment of how companies and issuers deal with broad ethical behaviour issues, such as the promotion of fair and sustainable business practices and the protection of human rights.
Such an approach can help investors ensure that financially material risks related to ethical behaviour issues are accounted for in their portfolios, while giving them the chance to grow their wealth and achieve their long-term financial goals.
If more targeted exposure is required, investors can also seek investments with an explicit focus on factors linked to ethical behaviour, or that look to make an impact on specific ethical behaviour issues – for example, by directly supporting efforts to tackle bribery and fraud, or by supporting better conditions for workers.
United Nations. The Sustainable Development Goals Report. 2022, https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2022/The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2022.pdf
1UN SDG 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions