Savers think more about recycling than ethical investing, says report

By Roger Baird on Saturday 23 February 2019

Savings and Investment

Just 20 per cent of people makes socially responsible choices about their investments.

Only one person in five makes socially responsible choices about their investments, with most people giving much more thought to recycling or cutting energy use at home.

Just 20 per cent of people said they "always or often made socially responsible decisions for their finances", according to pollster YouGov.

By contrast 92 per cent of people think recycling is important, while 90 per cent think reducing energy at home is crucial, the survey found.

Although 54 per cent of savers think that "making socially responsible or ethical choices for their finances was important", few people act on this, said the report, commissioned by online wealth manager Nutmeg.

Nutmeg chief investment officer Shaun Port said: "People are used to understanding what impact the decisions they make in their lives – whether it’s always recycling, walking or cycling to work and choosing more eco-friendly household appliances – can have.

"But when it comes to their finances, it’s often impossible for people to see how socially responsible their choices are and what impact they have."

There are a huge number of ethical investment funds that back firms with priorities that range from combating climate change to promoting gender equality. These include such well-regarded funds as the Jupiter Ecology Fund, the Legal & General Future World Gender in Leadership UK Index Fund and the Stewart Investors Worldwide Sustainability fund.

However, Nutmeg has introduced a system that it says makes it "the first UK wealth manager to provide environmental, social and governance scores for its entire investment range".

Customers will be able to see the proportion of their portfolio invested in firms that have more than 30 per cent female board members, or see the carbon output of firms in a portfolio.

Nutmeg’s Port said: "Our research has shown that three-quarters of people think it’s important to reduce carbon emissions by changing the way they travel. But investing your pension for twenty, thirty or forty years in a socially responsible portfolio that invests in companies that reduce their carbon emissions could have a much more significant impact than only cycling to work."

YouGov interviewed a representative sample of 2,072 adults online between February 11th and 12th.

Sign up for our newsletters

Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.