Ethical Investing

Ethical investment is known by a variety of terms including: ‘Green Investment’, ‘Socially Responsible Investment’ (SRI) and ‘Sustainable Finance’.  All of which strive to maximise investment performance and social welfare. In general, ethical investment looks to encourage corporate practices that promote environmental stewardship, consumer protection, human rights and diversity, although additional criteria such as the avoidance of weapons, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and pornography are often included as legitimate areas of concerns.  These criteria can be broadly summarised as environmental, social justice and corporate governance  (so called ESG criteria).

What are the Benefits of Investing Ethically?

Investing via your ISA or Pension provides the opportunity to invest in ethically sound Portfolios that cater for a range of ethical preferences.  It gives you the option to avoid companies that engage in activities they would not usually support, and proactively invest in companies that recognise their corporate responsibilities.  Investing ethically is now one of the fastest growing areas in financial services with funds under management having grown to around $3.74 trillion in the United States alone (Source: http//ussif.org).

Our Solution

It’s no longer a choice of Principle or Profit. The Pension Matters Ethical Investment Solution offers discretionary management of Ethical funds across seven distinct asset classes.  Additionally there is an independent ethical overlay provided by the Ethical Oversight Committee, which includes Julian Parrott and Julia Dreblow.  Both Julian and Julia are ethical investment specialists, with over 20 years experience previously holding the positions of Chair of the EIA and Directors of UKSIF, respectively.

Each asset class within our Ethical Portfolios is populated with funds according to their ethical profile and risk adjusted returns.  Incorporated within the solutions are four ethical grades (A to D) to accommodate different definitions of ‘ethical investing’ and ten Risk Graded portfolios (1 to 10), which are designed to meet your ethical preferences, whether you are a cautious short term or adventurous long term investor or somewhere in between.  Each ethical grade incorporates a number of positive and negative ethical criteria, and a rising level of adherence to these criteria.  Our simple Ethical Questionnaire will help identify the right ethical profile for you.

Our Personal Journey to Zero Carbon and Beyond

It’s one thing to say you want to be a company that leaves a zero carbon footprint it’s quite another to take serious steps towards that goal.  In 2012, we conducted a complete corporate audit to quantify our carbon footprint. This included every aspect of our business; every mile travelled, every telephone call made, every light bulb, every postage stamp, right down to every single sheet of paper.

But we didn’t stop there, we then audited all our staff and included every aspect of their lives that had an impact on their carbon footprint; their home energy costs, travel, holidays, even what type of food they eat, infact everything we could reasonably include without being intrusive but as there is a certain amount of estimation we didn’t stop there.

After we added all of these together to come with an annual tonnage of Carbon emissions produced by our business and our staff we then added a further 20% to give our overall carbon total for every aspect of our business and the people working in it.

That additional 20% not only provides us with margin for error it also allows us to ‘put something back’ so that we are not only offsetting every ounce of Carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere we are actually helping to reduce the global total.

How did we do this? Easy! We contacted www.forestcarbon.co.uk who assisted with our audit and did the calculations for us. Forest Carbon then told us how many trees we needed to plant every year to achieve our Carbon offsetting  goal (in Dumfries and Galloway there’s a forest with our name on it!) and this we intend to do this every year so that our business is making a positive contribution towards Carbon reduction and we can leave the world a better place than we found it.