Many believe that investors can contribute to a more sustainable world by divesting from firms with the worst sustainability profiles. However, exclusion comes down to a transfer of ownership from sustainability-minded investors to other investors, and it is not obvious how this is supposed to lead to changes for the better in society. This article critically examines the arguments for exclusion and concludes that the effectiveness of exclusion policies is questionable. Investors may well achieve more by exerting influence as an active shareholder through voting and engaging with firms.

Additional Metadata
Keywords ESG investing, Portfolio construction*, Portfolio theory
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3905/jpm.2020.46.3.042, hdl.handle.net/1765/129095
Journal Journal of Portfolio Management
Citation
Blitz, D.C, & Swinkels, L.A.P. (2020). Is exclusion effective?. Journal of Portfolio Management, 46(3), 42–48. doi:10.3905/jpm.2020.46.3.042