Ethical investment is about making sure you know what your money is doing. If you’re making personal efforts to reduce your water and energy use, taking public transport and recycling, then your money should be working to make a positive difference too.
What makes a fund ethical is what it chooses to invest in. Ethical savings accounts and funds seek to avoid certain types of industries such as nuclear power while investing in socially and environmentally beneficial ones such as renewable energy. Such funds make a positive difference to society and generate decent returns comparable to their non-ethical equivalents. Which ensures a healthier hip pocket for you and healthier future for our planet – cha ching!
Not to worry. You can make sure the money you do have is used wisely, environmentally speaking. If you’re looking to invest, check out Australian Ethical, the investment and superannuation gurus. Or if you already have a managed or superannuation fund, why not do some investigating and find out how and where your riches are being invested – just to make sure you’re not unwittingly assisting uranium mining or forest logging… that would be nasty.
The bank you trust to take care of your money can also play an important part in safeguarding our environment. So make sure that the folks that hold your money bags are making ethical choices about the people, companies and organisations they choose to support. Banks like MECU and Bendigo Bank help tackle climate change and create sustainable communities. That makes your money ethical and profitable. Score!
If you’re already with a bank and you’re concerned about their environmental policies, why not write to your bank and ask them what their policies are. Not just internally what they are doing to protect the environment, but also who they chose to lend money to and finance. And if they’re doing no good, make sure you kick up a stink. In this day and age there’s no excuse.