More people than ever are taking steps to reduce the impact they have on the planet. But beyond recycling, buying an electric car and switching to renewable energy, how do we do more to make a difference?
Money makes the world go round – so making conscious choices about where you put yours is by far the most powerful thing you can do for the environment and society.
This includes not only where you spend your money, or borrow it from, but where you save it too. If you have savings, you can make a positive impact by ‘greening’ your investments.
This means investing in companies that are working to provide solutions to the world’s biggest problems, such as climate change and the plastic pandemic, rather than being part of the problems themselves.
And if you don’t have savings to invest? If you have a pension then you are already an investor.
There is currently £3 trillion invested in UK pensions, according to the Make My Money Matter campaign, and much of it is being used to fund harmful industries like fossil fuels, tobacco, and arms. By moving your pension to a more sustainable fund, it can be used instead to help build a better world.
What about profit?
As little as six years ago, when Good With Money was founded, there was a widespread belief that ‘good’ things don’t make money.
But putting your money to work sustainably is no longer considered by most as being at odds with making a profit – in fact, the opposite is increasingly proving to be true. Evidence shows that sustainable, well-run and resilient companies are more likely to perform better in the long run. This means that all investors, not just those on the ethical outskirts, are taking an interest.
The need for an independent rating
The sharp increase in demand for sustainable investing can only be a good thing, but it brings with it the risk of ‘greenwash’ – where a company makes itself and/or its products seem more environmentally sound than they are.
It can feel difficult for those wanting to do the right thing to find trustworthy options, without doing a lot of research.
This is where the Good Egg mark comes in.
Who can be a ‘Good Egg’?
The Good Egg mark makes it easy for consumers to find a good deal for the planet and society, as well as their pocket, when choosing where to invest, save, borrow or bank. It is only awarded to companies that can prove they make a positive difference to the planet and society, as well as their customers and staff.
Impact is rated across three key areas; environmental, social, and industry/consumer, taking into account the size and history of the firm and its performance. Applications are assessed by specialist consultancy Ethical Screening, which puts together a detailed report.
This is then reviewed by a panel of industry experts before a final decision is made. All the findings are available for consumers to see.
Which companies have been awarded a Good Egg?
There are currently six Good Egg mark firms. They are EQ Investors, ethical bank Triodos, Ecology Building Society, wealth managers Pennine Wealth Solutions, clean energy investment firm Thrive Renewables and ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
You can find out more about the criteria Good Egg firms must meet here.
Adopting a greener approach to your money doesn’t need to be difficult. An individual savings account (ISA), which enables you to save up to £20,000 tax-free each year, could be a good place to start. The cut off for this year’s allowance to be used is April 5.
To help you make the most of your allowance, EQ Investors – in association with Good With Money – is hosting a webinar ‘Going green with your ISA’ on March 10. It will guide you through the simple steps to making your savings work for the planet as well as your own financial future.