Young parents want a better world, but aren’t investing in it

Written by Rebecca Jones on 9th Mar 2019

Two thirds of parents say they want savings that protect the planet for their children while 60 per cent say they have discussed protecting the environment with their kids, however less than ten per cent are prioritising sustainable finance, according to new research from Good Egg company Triodos Bank.

The report found that 65 per cent of parents with children under 18 say that it is important that their children’s savings help to protect the future of the planet. Two-thirds (65 per cent) of younger parents aged 18 to 34 also said they would like to be sure that any savings for their children are directed towards an organisation that shares their values.

Despite this sustainable surge among young parents, though, Triodos found that only 9 per cent of mums and dads prioritise sustainable finance. This compares to 67 per cent focussing on reducing their everyday plastic use.

Unbeknownst to many, however, this approach is misguided. While many of us are focussing on cutting our plastic consumption and home energy use, most of our workplace pensions are invested in major fossil fuel companies like Exxon Mobil and Shell that pump the oil that makes plastic.

In-fact, a recent report by environmental NGO Recycling Netwerk revealed that many of these oil majors – including Exxon and Shell – are investing heavily in new plastic factories, despite publicly pledging to tackle plastic pollution. Those with workplace pensions are likely to be shareholders.

More money action among women

However, the study did find more motivation to align cash with conscience among women, as three-fifths (60 per cent) of women savers said they would switch bank if they found that their money was having a negative impact on the environment or society (versus 51 per cent of men).

Nearly 80 per cent of women also said they demand more transparency from their bank over where their money is lent compared to 68 per cent of men.

Commenting on the findings, Bevis Watts, managing director at Triodos Bank UK, says: “As we mark the 20 year anniversary of ISAs, savers are wising up to the positive power they can unlock through their own money.

“Money doesn’t have to be invested in the arms trade, fossil fuels and tobacco – it can be used to do good things that help build the society we want to live in. It is now possible to save or invest into an ISA that works hard for you and at the same time helps finance inspiring organisations.”

ISA attitudes at a glance


Savers who would switch banks if they found their money was being lent or invested in areas that negatively affect people or the environment 55%
Savers who want to know where their bank lends their money


Savers who have no idea where their bank lends or invests their money


Savers interested in shopping around for new ISA options but haven’t got round to it 33%
Savers who find the ISA options confusing and are not sure what is right for them



Ahead of the tax year-end, when savers are able to utilise the £20,000 ISA allowance, a third of respondents to the Triodos survey said they are interested in shopping around for new ISA options, but haven’t yet got round to it.

Triodos Bank offers a range of ethical ISAs, including variable and fixed rate cash ISAs, a junior cash ISA and a stocks and shares ISA. Triodos only lends to organisations that are positively affecting the environment and society. This includes renewable energy, social housing, organic food and farming, Fairtrade organisations, and a variety of charities and social enterprises.

For more on Triodos’ range of funds – as well as the many others available to UK savers for as little as £25 per month – see the Good With Money Good Investment Review: your guide to the best sustainable investment funds in town.

Don't miss the good stuff!

Sign up for the newest and best green money deals in your inbox every week