Did you know that your pension can save 21 times more carbon than giving up flying, no longer eating meat and switching to sustainable energy – all at once.* We know, right? It’s also a lot less hassle than other sustainable practices, such as cleaning out your tomato tins for recycling every Wednesday – find out how you can start today with Coutts.
Private banking company Coutts wants to put sustainability on everyone’s agenda. It’s time to make sure that your hard earned money isn’t going towards things like tobacco or – shockingly – arms (and yes, by arms, we mean guns). If you haven’t read the fine print, your money might be going to just that. Simply by changing where you invest your pension, you can make the world of difference. But where to begin? Below are a few pointers to help you out.
When you invest sustainably you can save 21 times more carbon than giving up flying, no longer eating meat and switching to sustainable energy.
Are you investing sustainably already?
In answer to the above: probably not. Coutts commissioned research, which was undertaken by YouGov, to look at the investing patterns made by 1,000 high-net-worth individuals in the UK aged between 18 and 65 years with investible assets of £1 million or more.
The green agenda was an obvious concern for most people in the survey, with 60% of respondents saying that they have actively reduced the amount of single-use plastic in their homes and 40% said they have bought more ethically or locally produced food.
However, only a minority (15%) of respondents have made changes to their investments to make them more sustainable. But it is something that more of us should be doing, and you can start with your pension.
Richard Curtis (yes, the guy behind all those Brit rom-coms you love) is co-founder of Make Your Money Matter. He says: “The UK pension pot is worth £2.7 trillion. The biggest thing people can do to make a positive change is to check their pension is ethically and sustainably invested. It’s a hugely effective way of executing change – and it’s miraculously 21 times more effective than giving up meat, giving up flying and changing energy provider.
Younger people are leading the way in green investment
Although a lot of people are unaware of the impact that green investments can have, the younger generation is showing considerable interest. According to Coutts, 36% of those aged 18-44 have made changes to their finances to make them more sustainable, compared with 14% of those over 44. And 18% of those aged 18-44 have switched all their investments to sustainable options, compared with just 3% of over 44s.
Find out how you can join those already investing sustainably with Coutts.
Put your money where your mouth is
Rather than simply sticking to recycling, most people can make a bigger difference to the planet with their investments, such as pensions.
Coutts is educating people about how they could make a difference through their investment decisions. It might be as simple as having a conversation with your pension provider or looking at which companies your pension is supporting. As a B corp, Coutts know the true value of how companies can make a positive difference, and investing in good businesses could also have a positive long-term financial reward.
Is your pension provider using its influence for good?
Some top tips from the experts…
It’s good to have friends in high places. They can give you a nudge in the right direction when you need it. Like Leslie Gent, Head of Responsible Investing at Coutts, who has some questions we could be asking when we’re looking to invest. These include:
- Is your pension with a ‘responsible’ pension provider? Are they investing positively and are there any activities they don’t invest in, such as thermal coal?
- Is your pension provider using its influence for good? For example, are they engaging with the companies they invest in to reduce their emissions or have diverse boards?
- How have the green funds they offer performed against other pension funds, and what’s the expected long-term performance?
- What kind of public commitments have they made? For example, have they committed to net zero investments?
- Are they a member of any initiatives such as Climate Action 100+?
- How can they demonstrate the environmental credentials of their green funds?
Look at all these things you need to think about… or don’t, because at Coutts they think about them and action them for you.
Are there any more handy hints?
Our main man Richard has a few more tips about switching to greener pensions. “I would really say to people: do it tomorrow. You can then literally sit at your desk every day of the year in the knowledge that your pension is supporting the best, most progressive, most climate-friendly businesses – rather than randomly investing in things you really don’t believe in.”
Coutts is a wealth manager and private bank with three centuries of experience, providing customised solutions for its clients. These include discretionary and advisory investment management services as well as advice on philanthropy, family businesses, succession planning and commercial banking services to corporate clients. They could help provide you with sustainable financial options for your wealth that best suit you – visit Coutts to learn more.
“The UK pension pot is worth £2.7 trillion. The biggest thing people can do to make a positive change is to check their pension is ethically and sustainably invested,” says Richard, who co-founded Make My Money Matter. “It’s a hugely effective way of executing change – and it’s miraculously 21 times more effective than giving up meat, giving up flying and changing energy provider.”