FROM GREED IS GOOD TO GREEN IS GOOD: 2010S SET TO BECOME DECADE OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
New research, released as part of National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) 2010, reveals that increasing numbers of people want to use their cash to create a sustainable future. Savers and investors are adopting a new attitude of individual responsibility in the wake of banking and environmental crises, combined with huge Government spending cuts. Figures from YouGov show that more than half (54%) of all GB adults with investments want to make money and make a difference, doing their bit to ensure a resilient future.
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 GB adults remain unaware that they have green and ethical options on a wide range of financial products from cash ISAs and funds, right through to mortgages and pensions.
NEIW (7-13 November) is coordinated by UKSIF – the sustainable investment and finance association, and sponsored by The Co-operative Financial Services and Ecclesiastical Investment Management.
Penny Shepherd MBE, UKSIF Chief Executive, said: “Recent environmental and economic crises have made people think more carefully about the long term impacts of their financial decisions. 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.
“The research 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.”
Barry Clavin, Ethical Policies Manager at The Co-operative, said: "This research backs up what we're seeing in the marketplace, which is: an increase in total ethical savings and investments of over 30% in the last year alone; current account openings at the Co-operative Bank up 38% in a year, and fourfold growth in the number of ethical investors over the past ten years."*
Sue Round, Head of Investments, Ecclesiastical Investment Management, added:
“As one of the most long-established ethical investment providers in the UK, at Ecclesiastical Investment Management we have long known the benefits of ethical investing for our clients. The performance of our ethically screened Amity range of funds is evidence of why investors should not shy away from the ethical sector based on the outdated premise that investment in these funds leads to lower returns. The reality is that ethical funds can perform very highly and compete for the top spots in fund ranking tables overall. We have seen the sector undergo a real transformation towards being seen as ‘mainstream’ over recent years and expect this trend to continue, particularly judging by the interest in our Amity International Fund, which has almost doubled in size this year.”
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. The trend continues 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.
As part of NEIW this year there are a number of events and activities taking place across the country. Guides for church groups and financial advisers have been produced, supporters are distributing materials and writing to their local press and a variety of seminars are taking place for financial advisers, individuals and community groups. For further details and to register your support please visit www.neiw.org.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2700 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th - 11th October 2010. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
*Report by the The Co-operative Financial Services, November 2010
Tony Cox/Portia Roelofs, Linstock Communications
020 7089 2080
Notes to Editors
About National Ethical Investment Week
National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW), the campaign to raise awareness of green and ethical investment options, is coordinated by UKSIF – the sustainable investment and finance association, and sponsored by The Co-operative Financial Services and Ecclesiastical Investment Management. NEIW 2010 will be held 7-13 November 2010. For more information, visit www.neiw.org.
UKSIF, the sustainable investment and finance association, promotes responsible investment and other forms of finance that support sustainable economic development, enhance quality of life and safeguard the environment. It also seeks to ensure that individual and institutional investors can reflect their values in their investments. Founded in 1991, it has over 200 members including financial advisers, asset managers, research providers, pension funds, banks and non-governmental organisations. For more info, visit www.uksif.org.