Pensions and the planet: how you can use your savings to reduce your carbon footprint
If you have committed to eco-friendly living you can also use the power of your pension to make a difference.
How much do you think about the health of the planet in the everyday decisions you make? Perhaps you avoid excessive plastic packaging at the supermarket or eat locally grown produce to reduce food miles. At home, maybe you turn the lights off when you leave a room, do laundry at lower temperatures, or take showers instead of baths.
We know that for many investors, treading lightly on the earth is a top priority: research from Mintel found that 71% of women had increased their commitment to ethical living over the past year, compared with 59% of men.1
But while small lifestyle changes go some way towards protecting the planet, you can make a much bigger impact by using the power of your pension.
Why does my pension matter?
A pension is a pot of money you save over your working life; it is invested so it can grow, and then you are free to choose how to take the benefits from age 55 – for example to take an income. Saving into a pension now helps to ensure you will have financial independence in the future. While it has invaluable benefits for you and your family, a pension can have a bigger purpose too.
When you have a pension, you are an investor, and investors are influential. By using your money to support those companies that are making positive changes in the world, you are shaping the future and encouraging better business practices from all companies. That’s how a responsibly invested pension benefits you and benefits others in society.
It can make the world a better place for you, your kids and generations to come, and there is a growing movement that strongly believes we should all be using our money for the greater good.
One study² found that moving your pension savings to sustainable investment funds can be 27 times more efficient in reducing your carbon footprint than making changes like eating less meat, using the train instead of the car, flying less and taking shorter showers.
Doing the right thing
Research suggests that women, in particular, want to invest responsibly. The 2019 WealthiHer report³ found 67% of women surveyed said it was very important to them that their investments had a positive social impact.
An added bonus of investing this way is that companies that focus on sustainability often perform better than others4 , so you don’t have to sacrifice investment returns to do the right thing.
Why not take a look at your pension today? See how it’s invested, and whether that aligns with your values and the changes you’d like to see in the world.
Speak to Fowler Financial Planning about what responsible investing options are available in your pension scheme and for advice on how to help your money have the greatest impact. You can do much more than just ethical shopping to save the planet: start tapping into the power of your pension now.
The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and the value may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.
1The eco gender gap, Mintel, July 2018. https://www.mintel.com/press-centre/social-and-lifestyle/the-eco-gender-gap-71-of-women-try-to-live-more-ethically-compared-to-59-of-men
2Nordea Group sustainable finance research; calculation based on approximately £800 per year pensions contributions over a 42-year career, yielding 9.3% annually and compounded
3WealthiHer Report, 2019. https://www.wealthihernetwork.com/reportall
4From the Stockholder to the Stakeholder: How Sustainability Can Drive Financial Outperformance, Oxford University and Arabesque Partners, 2015
Based in Exeter, Fowler Financial Planning provides financial advice to individuals and SMEs in the local area, across the South West and in London. With an ever-changing environment and changing client circumstances, we feel it is essential to develop bespoke financial plans for clients to help them achieve their goals, and, more importantly, to review these plans regularly to monitor that they remain current and accurate. Fowler Financial Planning is a Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc.
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Fowler Financial Planning is a trading name of Fowler Financial Planning Ltd, an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.