Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Ethical and Financial Aspects of Divesting

  • Truzaar Dordi
  • Olaf WeberEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_361-1



Divestment is defined as the act of withdrawing investments from a company or industry for ethical or financial reasons. It can be described as a form of socially responsible investing (SRI) that applies nonfinancial (environmental and social) criteria as well as exclusionary screening to guide an investor’s financial decisions. While divestment has been most famously pursued against companies compliant in the racial conflicts and human rights violations of the South African apartheid era, the recent fossil fuel divestment movement has burgeoned the largest and fastest growing divestment campaign in history (Hunt et al. 2016).

Fossil fuel divestment is a form of shareholder activism (Gillan and Starks 2000; Guay et al. 2004) seeking to withhold the financial capital and reduce corporate solvency (Caldecott and Dericks 2017) that is needed to explore and to exploit fossil...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment, Enterprise, and DevelopmentUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sally Gunz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaterlooOntarioCanada