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Savings accounts that plant trees when you open an account, Banks that only loan to charities, Cheaper mortgages that reward you for an energy efficient home or 1-click robo-advisors that help you invest your money in green ways. ESG, Impact Investing or Green Investing is taking off these days. But what is it about and how can you use your money to align to your beliefs?
There is a lot of about 'Going Green'; you may be actively looking for ways to use and grow your money in ways that are helpful to society, the environment and in alignment with your own ethics or beliefs. You may be interested in supporting companies that for instance, treat workers well, are socially responsible and take sustainability seriously. Your money has impact and investing is one way you can make a loud positive noise.
If you are interested learning how to make it happen, below are 3 ways to grow your money and do good.
Savings Account that plant trees
One of the first areas you might to consider is where to put your cash. Companies like Gatehouse bank is encouraging savers to open on of their green savings accounts; by doing this, a tree will be automatically planted. Charity Bank uses your savings to make loans to charities and social businesses.
Cheaper rates, Green Mortgages for Energy Efficient homes
If you buy an energy efficient home, some banks (like NatWest, Barclays) are promising lower mortgage rate (monthly payments) to encourage you to remain sustainable. The banks will look at the energy performance certificates (EPC) or your energy rating of your property which must be rated A or B along with other typical factors (like your income, deposit, credit score and more) to determine your mortgage. EPCs are valid for 10 year and if you want to know the rating of your home, click here to find out.
Invest in Green funds on the Stock Market
Impact Investing, Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) funds, Ethical Investing, Green funds used interchangeably are themes or words that allude to a group of companies that are focused on doing good. These companies typically create products or have plans in plans to become more ESG sound. As a shareholder buying into one of these companies of funds (group of companies) you have the ability to use your influence to help them raise their ethical or green standards.
You can choose individual companies to invest in that are creating products that are ESG friendly. You can look at their annual reports to see what they are doing about ESG or Going Green.
You can also choose funds that have been set up to focus on ESG. A quick google search can yield multiple results. Many robo-advisors have set up 1-click funds for investors to get started with no hassle.
Now, some of these companies or funds may be using green as a new buzz word to get you hooked so it is important to check the credentials of these companies to ensure they align with your moral goals.
Read here to remember to keep fees low.
Invest in Everyday people...building insect pet protein
Everyday people are also taking part in the Green Wave. Websites like Seedrs and Crowdcube allow you to invest in small early stage companies that are tackling the ESG challenge head on. Where it is creating biodegradable products, building technology to reduce carbon emissions, creating insect protein pet food or even building plastic roads; you can choose to support an entrepreneurs dream to create products that you'd like to see in the world. Of course every investment has its own risks so read the terms and conditions carefully.