Investment in British ethical funds reaches record high of £11.3bn

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 12 Oct 2017 18:42, Last updated: 2017-10-12
Record investment in green funds

The amount of money invested in Britain's green and ethical retail funds has reached a record high of £11.3 billion, according to figures released today by EIRIS, the non-profit sustainable investment research firm.

Launched in the run up to the UK's third National Ethical Investment Week (16 -22 October 2017), the latest figure of £11.3 billion represents over three quarters of a million investors in green and ethical funds, up from around 250,000 investors in 2001 when £4 billion was invested ethically in the UK.

Statistics from the Investment Management Association show that gross retail sales into UK Ethical funds were up by 25% in quarter two of 2017 compared with the same quarter in 2010.

Increased interest in ethical finance is backed up by the findings of EIRIS' latest Ipsos MORI national consumer survey which explores consumer attitudes to ethical finance in Great Britain. The poll surveyed 1,030 adults and finds that 38% of the British public with a financial product or service are interested in green or ethical financial products and services with more women than men (41% versus 34%) expressing an interest. Of those interested, 90% said they would be likely to switch to a different provider if it offered green or ethical investment products.

The poll also explores the extent to which consumers feel that many of the sustainability themes which green and ethical investment funds seek to address will impact upon the global economy. When asked 'What impact, if any, do you think each of the following will have on the global economy in the next 10 years:

- 61% of respondents said natural resource scarcity will have a negative impact on the global economy;

- 59% said growing population will have a negative impact;

- 57% said availability of global food supplies will have a negative impact;

- 56% said environmental damage will have a negative impact;

- 56% said ageing population will have a negative impact;

- 52% said water scarcity will have a negative impact;

- 49% said climate change will have a negative impact, and

- 46% said reduction in biodiversity will have a negative impact on the global economy.

Last week EIRIS also ran a national opinion poll survey with Ipsos MORI to mark National Ethical Investment Week in France. The survey found that 60% of the French public said they attach either 'great importance' or 'some importance' to incorporating environmental, social and ethical issues when selecting financial products. Click here for further details.

"We've seen a huge increase in the amount of money being invested ethically and this has gone hand-in-hand with the interest in ethical consumerism in general" said Mark Robertson, Head of Communications at EIRIS.

"Our survey shows that expectations around ethical finance are evolving. The public now agree that big issues like climate change, dwindling natural resources and population growth will have a negative impact on the global economy".

"Since the credit-crunch, people are better informed about the impacts that their spending and investments can have, both positive and negative, and more of us are turning to ethical investment which takes a longer-term approach. By avoiding companies with a negative impact, or focusing investment on those providing positive products and services tackling key sustainability challenges, green and ethical funds offer the opportunity to both make money whilst tackling global problems" added Mr Robertson.

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