Two thirds of investors want their money to do good

Written by Lori Campbell on 26th Feb 2024

Two thirds (67 per cent) of investors want their money to make a positive impact on the planet and society – but more than half (56 per cent) don’t know where it actually goes, a new poll reveals.

The survey by positive impact specialists Ethex also reveals that younger investors are the most motivated to do good with their money, with almost four-fifths (79 per cent) of those aged 18 to 24 saying this is important to them.

Sectors people said they are not comfortable supporting include businesses with links to human trafficking, countries initiating conflict, tobacco, vaping, and arms and weapons. But awareness of the ethical investment alternatives remains low, at only 39 per cent – although younger people are more savvy, with 63 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds keen to invest in companies or projects tackling climate change.

Lisa Ashford, Ethex CEO

Lisa Ashford, CEO of Ethex, said: “We believe that our money is the most powerful transformational force for environmental and social change, and over the last decade, we have seen the power of people’s pounds in action.

“We have connected thousands of ordinary people with extraordinary projects, making it easy for them to use their money to support organisations taking real steps to accelerate climate action, build stronger communities and reduce poverty.”

A decade of positive impact

The findings come as Ethex launches its 10-year impact report, celebrating a decade of making ethical investments accessible to all. Since launching in 2013, the non-profit has raised over £120 million from everyday people looking for positive social returns alongside fair financial returns, and built a registered investor base of more than 25,000 people.

Lisa said: “When Ethex launched 10 years ago, our purpose was to create a greener, fairer, and more ethical future by offering positive investment opportunities. At the time, ethical finance was a relative newcomer to the financial landscape, and we made it our mission to make it more accessible to all. There’s a whole lot to celebrate, and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported us on our journey so far.”

Building on its successes, Ethex is now targeting a new goal of £200 million deployed to do good in the next five years to 2029.

Ethex lets people invest directly into specific projects, so they can always see the positive impact their money is making. All the projects or companies listed on Ethex help to tackle climate change, social inequality or the breakdown of communities, with many being grassroots or community organisations. This produces a highly replicable model to ensure a just transition to a fairer more resilient society.

Brynwhilach solar farm which raised funds through Ethex

Environmental and social change across the UK

Over 200 projects from businesses and organisations across the UK have raised funds through Ethex to promote environmental and social change. They include:

  • Solar for Schools, which raised £6.1 million to work with schools and communities to provide decarbonisation and energy education through solar installations in schools across the UK.
  • Kindling Farm, which raised £1.3 million to buy a 77-acre farm between Liverpool & Manchester and transform it into a large-scale community-owned farm using sustainable farming practices.
  • Common Ground against Homelessness, which raised £684,000 to provide affordable ‘homes for life’ for people living on the streets of Edinburgh struggling with addiction to enable them to go on to live dignified lives.

Lisa, who was awarded an MBE in 2023 for services to Impact Investment, said: Sometimes it feels like Ethex is the investment community’s best-kept secret! Today, as the cost-of-living continues to rise and climate change is an even bigger threat, our mission is more relevant than ever.

“We plan to become bigger and bolder and get many more people involved to create a huge collective impact – reaching an ambitious £200 million deployed to do good in the next five years. It’s time to invest your money in line with your values and help us make it happen!”

Find out more about Ethex, and register, here.

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