Let’s talk money.
As I’m in the process of adulting, I’ve come across the reality of money management. A large part of this is deciding what to do with the money you earn, where to save it, or how to invest it.
And let me tell you, it’s a lot.
Not long ago, I learned that many banks and investment platforms support things that I really don’t want to put my money into such as weapon manufacturing or fuel exploration companies. Turns out that unethical banking is the rule.
And this whole thing brought me to consider sustainabe investing – aka impact investing, environmental investing, socially responsible investing, ethical investing,…
I cannot for the life of me make sense of numbers and percentages, so for the financial part of sustainable investments, I recommend you go to this Forbes article. But I know a good deal about sustainability, so let’s chat about that.
Environmental, social and governance criteria
There’s something called environmental, social and governance criteria (ESG), which is a series of standards that you should look for when you’re looking for sustainable investment opportunities. It consists on a rating system that goes from AAA (good, invest) to CCC (no-no).
There are more than 30 standards in environmental, social and governance matters that are taken into account for the ESG rating, so let’s go over some of them.
- impact on climate change: if the investment supports fossil fuel-based industries, it’s a no-no, for example
- industries depleting limited resources
- Companies that support diversity – and not in a tokenistic way
- Respect and support for human rights aaall throughout the supply line. This would throw out of the table fast fashion brands, for example *shame*
- Respect and protection of consumer rights. This also entails honest marketing and communication with the consumer (we talked about this topic on this post on greenwashing), but also a more legal way, with protection in the case of litigations.
- Animal welfare. This must be hands down one of the fastest paced changes in our time. Corporations working with animal products, supporting animal testing or animal cruelty would be excluded.
Governance – how the business treats its people
- Balance of power. Does the CEO get paid an insane amount of money while office workers or manufacturers cannot make ends meet?
- Diversity in the workplace
- Respect to the rights of the workers – health, holidays,…
You can learn more about ESG ratings here here.
So where can we invest sustainably
I’m so happy these companies and platforms exist. They have the end goal of creating a clean and fair world, and their existence shows that investors actually have financial interest and see a gain in this type of business! Great news!
So let’s put our money where our mouth is, shall we? Let’s invest in a clean future, in renewable energies, equality and inclusivity.
I’ve done some research and these are a few of the platforms that make sustainable investments easy.
Their approach to sustainable investments is supported on 5 pillars: environment, society, diversification, low fees and personalization.
When they study the viability of companies to invest in, they take into account their carbon emissions, their (lack of) links to the fossil fuel industry and their use and support of alternative energy.
On the topic of sustainability, they support women in leadership positions (so much yes!), and they’re completely against tobacco and gun manufacturers. Of course, they also advocate for a fair treatment in the work place and the respect to workers’ conditions.
Some of the things that set Manulife apart are their comitment to ESG criteria, the inclusion of green buildings in their investment portfolio, their participation in the Sustainable Agriculture Program standard, and their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals from the UN.
You should also keep an eye on Robeco because they have a commitment to follow and support the Sustainable Development Goals. They’ve been leading the sector of sustainable investment for more than twenty years, so they know what they’re doing!
They also have the Robeco Foundation, which aims at giving equal opportunities to children all around the world.
I still have a lot to learn about sustianable investing, so take everything I’ve said with a pinch of salt!
What do you think about sustainable investments?