A Science Teacher from Sussex
As a science whizz, Jane knows that endless growth just isn’t realistic. That's why she invests sustainably, supporting new ideas instead of tired old institutions. Plus, as a caring mum, she loves to see her money making a real difference to real people – now and in the future.
“As a student I didn’t have much in my pocket but there were a lot of boycotts – Nestlé and the baby milk thing in South Africa – so it was quite evident that, when you put your small amount of money with everyone else’s, we can make a big difference. And my mum was a nuclear protestor, so I was brought up to look at things differently, take an outsider’s view and be happy to stand up for what you thought.”
“At first I suppose I was on the first of 3 investment tiers – the ethical tier – avoiding companies like armaments and animal testing and fossil fuels. As time went on I realised there were more tiers to it. The next one was sustainable, where you’re not necessarily avoiding companies but, you’re going for kind of benign ones that have decent human rights. In the last few years I moved onto the impact investing tier and started going for things like crowdfunding and solar projects.
“There’s a company I invest in now that helps people who can’t afford to buy their own solar panels. I’ve invested in 2 companies like this which have done really well. But it’s risky because you’ve got 2 emerging markets – renewable energy and developing countries – so you’re taking a double risk. I think it’s worth it because you’re investing in your own future as well as theirs and I quite like that feeling.
“I lived through that whole ‘me first’ 90s generation and 25 years of individualism. And I think it’s nice to feel that you’ve got a common purpose and you’re rebelling against that selfishness. Certainly, once I became a mum I realised I don’t want to leave a planet to my children that they’re going to have to deal with.”
“Do your own research first. I would look at an investment article and, if they’ve given any tips for funds or bonds, I would stick that company into Google alongside ‘pollution incidences’ or ‘court cases’.
"That being said, I wouldn’t hold a court case 10 years ago against a company that’s made efforts to green up since.”
If, like Jane, you want to make positive change with your investments, using sustainability specialists that can accurately measure your impact, the following option is worth reading up on. Or have a look at a bigger range with the ii ACE 30 'Embrace' list or Morningstar's 'Low Carbon' list on our Sustainable Savers home page.
(We asked some of the leading names in sustainable investing to recommend a fund or two they like for our Sustainable Savers. This isn’t a personal recommendation and we’re not giving financial advice. Food for thought only, folks.)
Jason Hollands, Managing Director of Business Development & Communications at Tilney, suggests...
"One of our top picks for investors looking for a global fund with a focus on sustainability, with a very rigorous screening approach, is the FP WHEB Sustainability fund. The managers, WHEB Asset Management, are a small boutique group exclusively focused on sustainable investing and so this fund isn’t just one of many funds run by a large business; it is what they live and breathe.
"Their fund invests across nine themes: environmental services, resource efficiency, water management, sustainable transport, cleaner energy, safety, health, wellbeing, and education.
"The fund has a predominantly positive screening focus – meaning it focuses on positive attributes – but it will also exclude all “sin” sectors i.e. alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, weapons, and it is also fossil fuel free. The governance around the fund is strong, with an independent Advisory Committee reviewing the portfolio each quarter to ensure policies are adhered to. WHEB also do a great job reporting on the positive impact being made by the companies the fund invests in, as well as providing full disclosure of how they have voted on shareholder resolutions."
A rare and powerful tool, the WHEB Impact Calculator tells you exactly how much good your pennies and pounds are doing in the world.
As an example, I've just told the calculator that I invested £10,000 into the FP WHEB Sustainability Fund last year. It tells me my impact is...
You might also find a fund that's suitable for you in these lists of popular investments:
9 award-winning sustainable investment funds, as commended by Investment Week's Sustainable & ESG Investment Awards 2019
14 best buy sustainable investment funds recommended by provider best buy and favourites lists
Sustainable Savers home
How are other investors having a positive impact?
Guide to ESG & Sustainable investing• Quick start guide
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