Investments and Pensions

Sustainable and ethical investing is a deeply personal decision influenced by your own aims and viewpoint. Providing advice in this area is beyond the scope of BSVP.  Some general comments, however, may be useful.

Mike Berners Lee in ‘There is no Planet B’ (Cambridge University Press, 2019) makes some useful points on how to think about spending including investments and pensions:

Every divestment liberates an investment opportunity elsewhere.

What should we invest in?

Every financial decision is an investment in one kind of future or another. This applies whether you are a government, a huge corporation, one of the super rich, or just someone popping to the shops for some groceries. Every buying decision, on every scale supports some supply chains and rejects others. Even bike maintenance is an investment in low carbon infrastructure. At the higher end of personal decisions, pensions and housing stand out. Pension portfolios now require scrutiny not just for the returns they offer but for the type of global future they support. Those signed up to employee schemes may feel powerless but can still help by making their views known at work.

How should I spend my money?

Before you pay for anything at all try to understand the supply chain.

The more discerning we consumers are about our product supply chains, the harder companies work to sort them out.

If we care about our planet then we need to care about where our money and our pensions are invested. Socially responsible investing is a broad and complex area and there is really no alternative but to knuckle down and do some research. A financial adviser will do some of the legwork for you, but there is a lot of free information about sustainable investment available on the internet.