The problem with this simple statement is that it supposes that the term “ethical” means the same to everyone.
Some things that both individuals and businesses do, can have unintended consequences (as Tesla may find out to its detriment). It’s only when we look deeper at the actions, that we can then fully understand the impact.
Even excluding Tesla’s vast requirements for raw materials to make their cars, Critics say that the electric-car firms decision to invest heavily in Bitcoin total undermines its environmental public image.
Bitcoin actually uses more electricity annually than the whole of Argentina (according to analysis by Cambridge University).
“Mining” for this cryptocurrency is power-hungry, involving heavy computer calculations to verify each transaction. The Cambridge researchers say it consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year. This figure is only likely to grow as the share price continues to rise and more funds are ploughed into it by “ethical” billionaires.
Therefore, although the intention of a company may be to adopt an ethical approach to it’s business, some may argue that unethical consequences remain.
This is why a thorough discussion needs to be had around ethical investing with clients. It’s important to establish what ‘ethical’ means to them and what approach they want their funds to adopt in managing this.