Counting on … day 305

10th September 2022

Refocusing our environmental lifestyle should also include our finances. We can in small ways influence the environmental protection that financial world gives through our choice of bank, mortgage lender, insurance provider and pension fund. All these financial institutions invest money (our money in fact) to gain a return that finances their product. Where they invest their money can impact the environment. For example if they invest in companies that produce fossil fuels, they are financing the continued production of green house gases. If they invest in companies that manufacture plastic packaging, they are financing the continued production of the commonest form of litter. If they invest in companies that produce tobacco, they are financing the continued production of an addictive and carcinogenic commodity. 

For more insight into the environmental issues around banks see this Ethical Consumer report. They also provide ratings for different financial institutions covering current accounts, savings accounts and mortgages etc. To access these you will need to be a subscriber.

For more information on pensions and pension funds see which strongly advocates swopping your pension as the most effective way of tackling climate change. (However if, like me, you don’t have a portable pension this won’t be possible. Nevertheless you can still keep asking your pension provider to adopt an environmentally responsible approach to its investment strategy). 

Good with Money is another useful website

Counting On … day 21

The title Counting On has the meaning of counting and also of someone or something we are relying upon. In the character of this blog, it is who or what we are relying on to  resolve the crises that threaten our world, our ecosystems.

Money can be significant both in adding to these crises and in alleviating them. Banks who look after our  current and savings accounts, also act as lenders. Depending on where and to whom they lend, they can contribute negatively or positively in achieving, for example,  net zero carbon emissions. How does your bank measure up? 

There are now a number of websites who will give you a rating for your bank and if need be, advise you of alternative banks that may offer a more responsible approach. This web site will also give advice on the performance of energy supply companies too.