Women face investment gap as ethical funds jump

Written by Lori Campbell on 8th Mar 2021

Women are headed for a staggering £15,000 investment gap by 2030, as January sees a record jump in responsible investing to £1.2 billion. Meanwhile, a third of recycling that is sorted and put out for collection by Brits is sent straight to the incinerator, the UK’s first ‘green hydrogen’ hub is planned for the Highlands, and eBay UK launches a new ‘certified refurbished’ hub to help customers get discounted products from big brands and be part of a circular economy. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief.

Women face £15k investment gap by 2030

Women will face an investment gap of £15,000 by 2030 because they still receive lower wages than men, a new study has found.

The research, released on International Women’s Day by investment app Freetrade, found the gender pay gap means women stand to make a lower return on their investments than men if they start investing at the same time. Freetrade analysed how much investors could accumulate by 2030 if they had started investing 10 per cent of their average annual income in 2020 and received the average 4.9 per cent return on their investments every year.

British men have an average annual salary of £31,445 according to the Office for National Statistics and would therefore be expected to make £3,299 this year if they start investing, the research revealed. In contrast, British women will make £2,152 based on their lower average annual salary of £20,515.

By 2030, its research estimates that male investors will have made £44,123, compared to the £28,786 accumulated by female investors, resulting in a £15,337 discrepancy.

Help close the wealth gap with our Good Guide to Investing for Women

January jump in responsible investing to record £1.2bn

Responsible investment funds attracted a record £1.2 billion from investors in January, new figures show.

Of this, £703 million was invested through equity funds, £180 million was invested in bond funds and £241 million was invested in mixed asset funds.

Responsible investment funds under management now totals over £56 billion, growing by a massive 66 per cent over the past 12 months, compared to just seven per cent across all funds.

Kate Marshall, Acting Head of Investment Analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Responsible investment funds were the shining light of 2020. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and uncertainty about our futures, investors honed in on their moral values and ethical credentials. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns have become more important in many ways, including the way investors think about what to do with their hard-earned savings.”

See the top-performing sustainable funds in our Good Investment Review

A THIRD of UK recycling is sent straight to the incinerator

Millions of tons of recycling waste that has been sorted and put out for collection by British households is being sent straight to the incinerators instead.

Channel 4’s Dispatches programme found that more than a third of household recycling is burned rather than reused. In Southend-on-Sea in Essex, 45 per cent of the recycling is sent to an incinerator, while Warwickshire burns 38 per cent and West Lothian 27 per cent.

Professor Sir Ian Boyd, former chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that councils were ‘highly incentivised’ to burn waste because of huge investments in power plants fuelled by household rubbish. The programme claims that 11.6 million tons of rubbish were incinerated in 2019 compared with 10.9 million tons recycled.

Britain has 48 waste-fuelled power plants and they emit more carbon dioxide than coal – 12.6 million tons of CO2 a year, compared with 11.7 million tons from burning coal. This figure is set to rise further once an additional 18 rubbish plants are built. About 11 per cent of all rubbish put out for recycling ultimately ends up being burned.

Why only nine per cent of waste is recycled, and other recycling truths

First ‘green hydrogen hub’ set for the Highlands

Green hydrogen is set to be produced in the Highlands as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels. The site will be the first of its type in the UK.

The hub would make hydrogen in a process using electricity generated by offshore and onshore wind farms. A feasibility study has begun, with the project planned to be operational by 2023.

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