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How we can all build back better

Ethical investing is both a solution for climate change and a long-term recovery strategy for COVID-19. It offers an integrated solution to both crises that can put the global economy on a path of sustainable growth and increased resilience.


15 May 2020

COVID-19 has exposed the many existing fault lines and inequalities in our society, revealing both how interconnected we are and the fragility of the planet we share. It has reaffirmed the value of sustainability and resilience and laid bare the tremendous cost of what happens when you underestimate risk and wait too long to address problems.

And while a global pandemic where so many have died certainly shouldn’t be a way of bringing about change, it has shown us what can be achieved when we need to, and it would be a mistake to go back to how we were.

What do you want from a post-COVID future?

As thoughts begin to turn towards the recovery, the havoc caused by COVID-19 brings our future into sharper focus and demands a new normal that is more resilient, more sustainable and more equitable.

But this does not mean creating a new economy from scratch. Instead, it simply means investing in the same future Australian Ethical has been investing in since 1986.

It means supporting sustainable sectors that will provide jobs, climate action and resilience. It means investing in the technologies of the future and not those of the past, shoring up the inclusive institutions we already have and building the new ones we need. It means widening our understanding of sustainable, moving beyond the obvious such as renewables to resilience-building sectors such as healthcare and technology – sectors where Australian Ethical has always been heavily invested.

It means making money matter by investing in a better tomorrow for people, the planet, animals and prosperity.

It’s your choice!

COVID-19 has collided with the climate change emergency. As the world recovers from the pandemic, it is still racing against the clock to avoid the environmental crisis around the corner because while there will be a vaccine for COVID-19, there is no vaccine for climate change.

We must not let the solution to one problem fuel the other. Recovery plans must avoid rolling back existing environmental standards and building new carbon-intensive infrastructure and capital assets that will only undermine long-term climate goals.

That’s why we have joined a group of global investors to call for a green COVID-19 recovery where stimulus packages are aligned with ambitious policies to tackle climate change and environmental damage. The statement outlines a set of principles for a sustainable recovery and we will continue to advocate for this on behalf of our members, investors and the planet. 

The pandemic-induced financial decisions made over the next 12 months will shape the global economy for the next decade when the climate emergency still looms large.

And yet ethical investing can be both a solution for climate change and a long-term recovery strategy for COVID-19. It offers an integrated solution to both crises that puts the global economy on a path of sustainable growth by investing in measures that simultaneously cut greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience, while creating secure sustainable jobs.

In many ways, COVID-19 has unexpectedly given us a tantalising glimpse into how our future could be – the air is cleaner than it’s been in years, wildlife is returning to rivers and mountain peaks are now visible as the pollution clears.

Whether we like it or not, our economy – and indeed our society – will be remade over the coming months. But we can build back better, and we can choose the future we want.

Through our super and other investments, all Australians have been given this choice: will we invest to support the old, failed model that has brought us to the brink of catastrophe or in a resilient, sustainable future where people and planet prosper?