Investors call on business to help rebuild society

Written by Lisa Stanley Mann on 9th October 2017

Never mind Mrs May, Boris or Brexit, UK investors think that for the economy to succeed in the long term, we should support the progressive and pioneering businesses tackling the world’s most pressing issues.

The survey, from Triodos Bank to mark Good Money Week, reveals a widespread desire for change, with 79 per cent of investors saying they want to see a fairer and more sustainable society. Most believe that business, not government, has the answers:

  • 55 per cent believe businesses have the power to solve many of the biggest challenges the world faces today
  • 71 per cent say businesses have the power to create positive social and environmental change
  • And 50 per cent say the Government seems powerless to change society for the better 

Our survey shows that an overwhelming majority of UK investors increasingly recognise the power of money to be a powerful tool for change.

Bevis Watts, Managing Director of Triodos Bank UK

The Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) retail market is now worth more than £16 billion in the UK, up from £6 billion in 2010. Although the market is buoyant and ethical funds have been shown to outperform mainstream investments, 67 per cent of investors surveyed have not been offered sustainable and ethical investment opportunities and 54 per cent would not know where to go to find out about them.

This reflects our latest Good Investment Review, which reveals 58 per cent of investors would invest positively if the process was made more straightforward. You can download a copy of the review here.

John Fleetwood, director of 3D Investing, said: “While it’s encouraging to see further evidence of the growing demand for sustainable and responsible investment opportunities, the fact that two thirds of investors have never been offered them suggests a worrying disconnect.

“The market is growing at pace but it seems intermediaries are not keeping up. Funds that uphold environmental, social and governance standards are now outperforming those that don’t by a significant margin, yet for some reason the majority of IFAs are not actively promoting ethical funds. The positive investment market could grow significantly if financial advisers were more familiar with the range of sustainable investment funds on offer.”

Have your say

This Wednesday (11 October), Good With Money is hosting a live debate to discuss what impact really means. This is your chance to ask questions of an expert panel from Triodos, Impax and WHEB. Just sign up to our Youtube channel to be alerted when the debate is due to start. Send any questions to rebecca@good-with-money.com.

It’s not just investment funds

A pension, for many, is their only long term investment, so it is worrying that, while many investors recognise the risk associated with investing in companies that damage society and the environment, with 42 per cent saying they will not be successful in the long term, 56 per cent don’t know which companies or industries are included in their investment funds or pension.

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Transparency

81 per cent of respondents in the Triodos survey say banks and other financial institutions should be more transparent about where people’s money goes, and 68 per cent would like to have more knowledge and transparency about where their money is invested.  

Bevis Watts, managing director of Triodos, said: “Investors have a right to know how their money is being used. We want people to really think about what their bank or financial provider is doing with their money. We encourage all investors to think about and ask where their money goes and make a conscious decision to invest in companies that are good for people and planet – as well as providing a financial return.”

Triodos Bank offers two award-winning Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds in the UK – the Triodos Sustainable Pioneer fund and the Triodos Sustainable Equity fund. The Triodos Sustainable Pioneer fund is a global equities fund investing in small and medium-sized listed companies that are focused on the sustainable themes of climate protection, healthy living and clean planet, or are pioneers in corporate social responsibility. Examples include wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, medical equipment manufacturer Smith & Nephew, and electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors.

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