National Ethical Investment Week
So what is National Ethical Investment Week? Well, if you buy Fair Trade, have you considered investing in an ethical manner?
When it comes to financial products, being green or ethical is often not a consideration.
This week, November 7-13, is National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) and Nick Scarrett, head of investment and pensions at Fair Investment Company, explains why making green and ethical financial choices is just as important as drinking Fairtrade coffee.
“While many of us would go out of our way to avoid unethical products, ethics are often not considered when it comes to finances, but the same principles should apply. If you care where the coffee you drink comes from, then you should care how your money is being invested.”
Although ethical and green finance products are still in the minority, they are on the increase – for example, there are now almost 100 green and ethical funds available to UK investors compared to a decade ago when there were just a couple of dozen.
And not only are people becoming more ethically aware, but many of the ethical issues that are becoming increasingly important to consumers are also beginning to create attractive business and investment opportunities. People are also starting to demand more from their banks and savings providers, including more ethical choices.
“The financial crisis, coupled with recent environmental disasters such as the BP oil spill, have made people more aware of the impact of their financial decisions,” explains Penny Shepherd MBE, and chief executive of UKSIF, coordinators of NEIW.
“Research conducted for NEIW has found that half of savers and investors want to make money and make a difference and National Ethical Investment Week hopes to raise awareness of the variety of options that may allow them to do just that. In the same way that Fairtrade has moved from the margins to the mainstream, so too can green and ethical finance.”
Nick agrees, but says there is still a long way to go, and that it is up to consumers to help drive the change. “Some might say that high street banks should be offering more choice when it comes to ethical and green funds, but unless the demand is there, the choice won’t be,” says Nick. “Choices have improved massively in the past 10 years and hopefully will continue to do so.
For more information about National Ethical Investment Week, please visit the NEIW website.