No matter if we’re fairly well off or firmly in the old overdraft, what we do with our money has the power to change the world for the better. We know how important it is to choose green when we shop. We might donate cash or our Greenredeem points to environmental charities and organisations; but how about weighing up our finance options?
Switch to a greener bank or building society
Not all bank account providers are ethically equal. The same goes for savings account, credit card, mortgage, insurance and investment account providers. Isn’t it worth a quick peep at the activities of a financial organisation before entrusting your business to them?
The brilliant and fully independent Ethical Consumer website saves much of its comparison content for subscribers. However, it’s still possible to glean useful information from their reports by scrolling down the page for summaries of the issues and lists of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Current accounts are a good place to start, due to the ease of handover under the seven-working-day Current Account Switch Guarantee. Sadly, all the big banks have extensive fossil fuel investments, including very-non-eco stakes in tar sands oil and fracking companies. However, you can find some established High Street providers without that nasty baggage. Check out Nationwide, Cumberland Building Society, the Co-operative Bank and Metro Bank for starters.
Finance investments for a better tomorrow
If you’re at a stage in life where you’re investing for the long-term, give some thought to what type of world you want to help create. Growth and a greener future aren’t mutually exclusive! As a starting point, you could…
- Consult an ethical investment adviser. Not cheap, yet if you’re putting a significant chunk of investment capital at risk, talking to an adviser who really knows their (green) onions could be worth every penny.
- Ask your employer to choose a fossil free default fund for your employee pension scheme.
Help to crowdfund green projects
Want to get stuck in and really help push for a more sustainable future? Less interested in the bottom line than in creating change and supporting green innovation? Always bearing in mind that your capital is at risk, you might enjoy flexing your finance muscle on one of these more direct lines of investment:
- Ethex, the positive investments website. It features an array of opportunities for your cash, mainly focused on community solar and hydro energy generation schemes. You can chip in online and even store selected bond holdings in a tax-free ISA wrapper.
- Crowdcube is a British crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs, start-ups and established businesses. The focus isn’t specifically ethical, yet there are plenty of green businesses pitching for your money. From as little as £10, you could help to fund the world’s first zero-waste online supermarket, a well-known essential oils company or a new vegan superfood.
Disclaimer: Please note, this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. Before making any investment, always do your research and assess your personal and financial situation, or consult a qualified financial adviser.