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Economics and investment: Why your conscience need not damage your returns

Backing the most progressive companies can be good financial strategy

By Iona Bain   Winter Special

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Ethical investment funds have been around since the 1980s. The recent growth of environmental consciousness has stoked awareness, and the past two years have seen a big rise in funds that target our consciences. Traditionally these avoid so-called “sin sectors” such as tobacco, alcohol, weapons, gambling, and these days they increasingly abhor oil. More fashionable now are funds that claim to cherry-pick the companies with the most positive impacts on society or the environment.

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