Sustainability isn't a bad word

by Dr Patrice Newell

17.10.22

3 min read

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Almost 100 years ago artist Frida Kahlo said: “There is so much wealth and so much misery at the same time, that it seems incredible that people can endure such class difference and accept such a form of hunger while on the other hand, the millionaires throw away millions on stupidities.”

Most of us first engage with corporations via our early encounters with shopping. All those competing products, and the supermarkets themselves. Then, little by little, your curiosity and knowledge of business grows and you learn something of the stock market or real estate. You discover that behind every company there are many more, a complicated and mysterious mosaic.

Now Kwala makes it easy for you to know much more.

The past few weeks #wekwala have been reviewing every company which the Kwala Fund has directly and indirectly invested in. 118 of them. Some are a small part of an ETF while a Kwala individual investment can make up approximately 2% of the fund. Together these companies are providing important specialised services.

At the end of a monthly portfolio review process, we discuss how refreshing it’s been to learn more about these global businesses, some well-established, others new.

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Frida was commenting on NYC in the 1930s, and since then the main difference is that millionaires have become billionaires.

Many clever people have written and spoken about social injustice and at #wekwala, we celebrate them.

Knowing we should do something to help ourselves is one thing; knowing how, finding the courage or support, getting over personal fears can all get in the way.

Kwala is an investment app designed to help everyone regardless of their experience or wealth.

We believe in wealth distribution. As Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author (1942-2018) said;

“Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution.”

When developing the Kwala Fund we used the term ESG (Environmental Social and Governance), and to our surprise we found this to be unpopular and misunderstood. That’s why we’re focusing on the true meaning of the word ‘sustainable’. Despite many voices saying it’s passed its use-by-date.

We think that the Brundtland Report description of sustainability in 1987, (WCED 1987: 43) holds true today. ‘Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.

There’s no need to reinvent the definition as the world recalibrates the economy in this climate emergency.

Kwala’s Fund is tested against the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG’s). It’s a simple way to help your money go around the world in the right way.

However, during the past few days #wekwala have also been delving into the confronting reading of Australia’s latest State of the Environment report.

https://soe.dcceew.gov.au/

These collective reports are essential reading. They show you what past actions have done to the environment: to the air, water and soil: to biodiversity losses accelerated in the name of progress.

Now you can read official data and understand the negative impacts of polluting actions and you’ll be likely to find inspiration for a better way forward.

Yes, your individual actions count. But supporting monumental political structural changes to rein in the bad old ways is also needed.