Investors switch on to green investing

9th November 2010

Released as part of National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) 2010, the survey shows that creating a sustainable future is high on the agenda on investors as they take up a stance of individual responsibility in the wake of banking and environmental crises.

But the survey also says that despite this growing trend, the financial services industry needs to work harder to make people aware of their green and ethical financial options.

Four in 10 (43%) of all British adults are still unaware that they have green and ethical options on a wide range of financial products from cash ISAs and funds, through to mortgages and pensions.

Green is good

NEIW, which runs over 7-13 November and is coordinated by UKSIF, the sustainable investment and finance association.

A helpful NEIW guide to green and ethical investment, sponsored by Henderson Global Investors, is available here. A Mindful Money article here considers aspects of the guide.  

Penny Shepherd MBE, UKSIF chief executive, says: " After a decade that almost ended in global financial meltdown, attitudes are changing from greed is good to green is good – less Gekko more Eco.

"The 2010s are well set to become the decade of financial responsibility, as more people consider how they can make a difference with their money."

Growing interest

The research encouragingly shows that shows that although only 8% of savers and investors currently hold green and ethical investments, a further 37% will consider doing so in the future.

"There is now ample evidence that green and ethical options can deliver excellent performance. Investors and savers can also choose from a wide range of products, including ones for cautious risk profiles," says Shephard.

Other findings by the YouGov survey include:

*People aged 35 and over are more concerned about creating a sustainable future than younger adults, dispelling the myth that the younger generation tends to be more green and ethical.

*When spending their money four in 10 (38%) of those aged 55+ and 39% of those aged 35-54 occasionally or regularly take into account green and ethical issues when buying things, compared to only one in four (26%) of 18 – 24 year olds.

*When it comes to savings and investments, with more than half (58%) of over 55s and (54%) of those aged 35-54 wanting to make money and a positive difference to the world with their investments, compared to one in three (33%) 18-24 year olds.

The YouGov (online) survey is based on a total sample size was 2700 adults and was carried out between 8 – 11 October 2010. 

No longer a laughing matter

The encouraging survey backs up the view of Sustainable Responsible Investment (SRI) fund managers like Seb Beloe at Henderson Global Investors, as highlighted in this Mindful Money article, that ethical funds have come a long way since their early days when some in the City scoffed at their investment credentials.

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