How do you know if your money is good? We all know the world of money can be a confusing place, and trying to navigate it sustainably when you’re new to financial language is like trying to find your way through the desert without a compass.
Luckily the digital world is a convenient place to live, and developers and start-ups are devising easy ways for you to find out if a company or bank is ethical or sustainable, and how to do the best possible with your money.
It’s harder still to sort out the wheat from the app store chaff. From robo-advisers to the inside scoop on companies’ sustainability practices, we’ve put together a list of the best ethical and sustainable finance apps, so you can be sure your money is clean.
Robo advisers are the go-to tool of the busy, online millennial generation and those who might not be able to afford a financial adviser. Wealthify is the best of the bunch that has an ethical option, as well as allowing users to place themselves on a scale of 1-5; from cautions to adventurous. And they offer a minimum investment of just £1, so gone are the days of excluding the less affluent from the financial market.This easy, hassle-free investment platform is about a simple as investing gets, but it’s not without its faults; be wary that passive investment platforms can screen blanket industries like arms and tobacco, but are less subtle about sustainability selection. Have a look at our piece on what robo advisers can offer the ethical investor.
Arabesque S-ray allows you to look up how 7,000 global companies are performing against the UN Global Compact (GC), a Convention on Human Rights, Labour Rights, the Environment, and Anti-Corruption, as well as environmental, social and governance criteria (ESG). Each listing is given a score out of 100 for ESG and GC compliancy.Using S-ray, you can search companies by preferences based on your own values, enabling you to choose how you invest your money. This is also a useful tool for the ethical consumer, allowing you to check up on the origin of your products before you buy.
The world’s first impact investing app, creating ethical portfolios for young, tech-savvy, socially conscious investors. Users can choose between portfolios directed towards climate change, disruptive technology, and social impact, or all three. Tickr adds a twist to impact investing, telling the story behind the people who are directly helped by the investment projects.Tickr has just been through a hugely successful funding round on Seedrs, raising around £1million in just a few days, and is due to be launching soon. Read more about them in our interview with co-founder Tom McGillycuddy, who says “the idea that you could do something positive through investing is completely alien to many. And that’s what we want to change.”
The Big Exchange, The Big Issue’s foray into sustainable investment is BIG news for the financial world – it will be the UK’s first impact only investment platform. The Big Exchange aims to be accessible to all, with plans for easy banking for the unbanked.This isn’t the first time the group has been vocal about making money accessible. Opening up fair finance to the poor is a big concern founder of Big Issue John Bird: he fought hard to have tenants rental payments taken into account for credit applications like mortgage payments are. The Big Exchange will be a one-stop-shop for ethical investors, as well as making a list of ethical lenders available to those without credit.The Big Exchange plans to launch in September 2019. Find out more in our interview with Big Issue group chairman, Nigel Kershaw, who insists that “making finance accessible isn’t dumbing it down” and aims to put an end to elitist, exclusionary finance.
Tumelo is another a new app currently in beta testing that plans to give information on companies in a similar way to Arabesque S-ray, but will also feature a small selection of sustainable funds. “Impact investing for environmentalists, feminists, and tech-enthusiasts”, their MO is transparency, connectivity, and influence. Investors are the financial power behind companies and have the right to know what they’re investing in. Tumelo will offer those investors a seat at the table.
Georgia Stewart from Tumelo says, “Tumelo enables you to invest in line with your values, such as gender equality or climate change; gives you complete transparency about where your money goes and helps you have influence at the companies you own.” Which sounds Good to us.
Sign up to our weekly newsletter
Get better with money, in every way.