Ethics at our Heart

by Dr Patrice Newell


4 min read


Ethics are central to every aspect of our being. Yet ethics are conspicuously absent in so much of our politics, consumer driven society, win/lose environmental laws and profit hungry financial institutions.

The Royal Commission shone a light on the horrifying abuse of children in institutions and ICAC enquiries reveal corruption endemic in the upper echelons of power in politics. Banks have been caught red handed in gross sins of commission and omission and we have yet to address the unethical behaviour of settlers in the treatment of First Nations Australians and our own cruelty to Refugees.

Most of us don’t need rule books – or clay tablets - to know what ethical behaviour is. We know it. We feel it. We are, at best, at heart, a species inspired by ideals.

For millennia human beings have talked about ethics. Countless generations of philosophers, theologians, scientists, and priests have argued about them, written papers, books, sermons and commandments on the topic.

Ethics should not be an afterthought. They must be our first responsibility, our foundation.
This was, very simply, where Kwala began. A series of discussions and desires on how to make ethical decisions in our choices, our business lives, our investments.

At kwala we seek to create a likeminded community of people who return ethics to the centre of things in every way we can.

As people, as citizens, as investors.

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But HOW you may ask?

The 17 UNSDG’s (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) are our bedrock – the foundation of what we believe and are building.

We review a company’s financials, if they make the cut we ask if the company does harm? Is it achieving gender balance and diversity in staffing? Has it been slapped with a lot of corporate fines? Is it polluting? Inhibiting education access? Is the company added to or subtracting from meeting our GHG emission reduction goals?

This is because every business action has an impact and all of us at #wekwala believe we’re living in a climate emergency.
No person is perfect, and no company is either. The economic transition that’s underway to meet global GHG emission reduction targets will implement thousands of new ideas born out of science and technology across all sectors.

That’s why we include companies in the Kwala Fund such as Australia’s CSL, with high UNSDG contributions across, health, gender equality, improving poverty and education; and Adobe Inc, an online creative/storytelling product for its education, partnership for goals, and gender equality.

When we combine the 220 companies in the Kwala Fund (this number fluctuates when companies are removed and added from ETF’s) the Fund will achieve <2% UNSDG’s negative impact. And that 2% is mostly caused by fossil fuel usage. This is very hard to fully eliminate while transport and electricity use remains fossil fuel dependent.

We’ll be writing more on this in the coming months.

Ethical – kwala is removing the dilemma and rebuilding the dream.

To read more about the Kwala Fund’s portfolio and company selection process please refer to our Product Disclosure Statement

And our Investment Options List

Patrice Newell

Certified B Corporation