Do you really know where your money goes?

Do you really know where your money goes?

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Are your investments supporting companies who use ethical and environmentally friendly practices?
We recently collaborated with Ellie from This Girl Talks Money – a 20-something Londoner who loves talking about the one thing so many of us avoid talking about – money. In the article below she unpacks green bonds – and why we should be paying more attention to them.

You only need to take a look online to see that over recent years, there’s been a notable rise in the popularity of environment-friendly living. Across the globe, many of us have become far more conscious of the impact that we, as human beings, are having on our environment and planet. The transition of veganism from a hippy trend to the mainstream, along with the rise in sustainable household brands, show hopeful signs that increasingly, everyday decisions are being made with the planet in mind.

In a time where more ethical living is very much on the rise and there’s a heightened focus on sustainable shopping both for your wardrobe and around the house, it’s easy to think that you’re ticking all of the sustainability boxes if you’re cutting out fast fashion and moving towards a plant-based lifestyle. Yet there’s one huge area where you can easily overlook sustainability and inadvertently support projects and companies which practice unethical and harmful environmental practices...

The world of finance

There might still be an image of investing as a world reserved for the rich, yet the reality is far from that. In fact, if you’re reading this, then chances are you’re already an investor. If you’re an employee with a workplace pension in the UK, each month you’re putting money into the stock market. What does this have to do with sustainability, you might be asking? Well, the fact is that most people don’t think about the destination of their money. They simply pay into a pension each month without knowing where the money goes, forgetting about it until decades down the line when they want to retire.

It’s largely a very positive shift that managing your long-term finances has become so seamless. Today, paying into a pension or investing as a beginner is simple and straightforward, which is vitally important for helping more people manage their money well. But at the same time, this simplicity makes it all too easy to disconnect from where your hard-earned cash actually goes.

Think about this: how would you feel if you’ve committed to making ethical and sustainable decisions in your everyday life, and you then found out that you had thousands of pounds invested in oil companies or tobacco?

For many of you, this is a reality. Be honest with yourself and ask, do you know where your money is invested and who it’s working for?

The good news is that you don’t have to sit back and accept the status quo. It’s relatively straight forward to find out from your employer or pension provider where your money is invested. If the investments don’t align well with your values, you can usually request that your contributions are moved into a different fund or in some cases, you can transfer your pensions contributions to another provider.

When it comes to investing, the options coming to market which offer ethical or sustainable choices are increasing. Sustainable investment options are rising rapidly in response to demand for investment opportunities which respect the planet, as well as offer financial returns.

Unfortunately, the increased interest in sustainable investing has triggered a spike in ‘greenwashing’ from investment platforms looking to ride the wave of interest that sustainable and environmentally friendly investments are seeing. So, how can you be sure that your investment is truly sustainable?

One company that has sustainable investment at its core is leading the way. Specialising in real estate development and technology, Norway-based MIRIS is making the world more sustainable through building design, energy optimisation and transparent finance. MIRIS funds environmentally sustainable projects through Green Bond, enabling individuals to invest directly in environmentally positive change.

To highlight its green credentials, MIRIS has created a strict Green Finance Framework which provides a set of rules for every investment it makes, and MIRIS has gone a step further too. The Green Finance Framework has been graded by Cicero – the Oslo-based Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research – to demonstrate its commitment to investing only in certified sustainable projects.

To find out more about MIRIS and MIRIS X Green Bond, head to their website here or check out the blog.

Please note that the information featured on This Girl Talks Money is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. This Girl Talks Money does not provide financial advice. For advice on your own specific circumstances, you are advised to consult with an independent financial advisor.