Climate Action Discourse

Finance & investments (UK)

Personal Finance, Climate and Taking Action

UK Edition

This post outlines a few UK specific steps that can be taken to turn your personal finances towards climate change prevention.

DISCLAIMER: NONE OF THIS IS FINANCIAL ADVICE

The information which is summarised herein does not constitute financial or other professional advice and is general in nature. It does not take into account your specific circumstances and should not be acted on without full understanding of your current situation and future goals and objectives by a fully qualified financial advisor. In doing so you risk making a commitment to a product and/or strategy that may not be suitable to your needs.

Authors and contributors accept no liability for any loss or damage arising out of the use of this document or reliance on the content.

Getting Started

Why worry about this at all?
Because it is a relatively simple change that can have massive impact.

There are 4 main areas to focus on, in order of importance: pension, investing, banking, services.

1. Pension

When you pay into a pension – you normally get automatically placed into what’s called a default fund. This is rarely sustainable! One of the best things to consider doing is to discover if your Pension Provider offers sustainable fund options. You can choose to switch into these! Details here, with various suggestions depending on your work situation.

Shareaction has a great video that serves as a perfect introduction. Shareaction is also working on changing pensions for the better, details and call to action here.

Also remember, it’s your employer who chooses your pension provider. So if you’re unhappy with the provider and the fund options available to you, then you need to start a conversation in your workplace about changing provider.

PensionBee seems to be taking up the challenge head on and are tackling the ongoing inclusion of oil companies in its climate-conscious Future World fund.

Steps to take:

  1. Switch pension
  2. Do the Share-action call to action here
  3. start a conversation about changing your work pension provider

2. Investing

Broadly there are 2 options for discretionary investing (investing with money that you could otherwise spend). 1 is to invest using a fund, 2 is to DIY.

  1. Investment funds are great to look at once you have figured out your pension, they offer tax efficient ways (ISA) to grow your savings depending on your risk appetite.

Wealthsimple, EQinvestors, Wealthify, Nutmeg, PensionBee, Interactive Investor all offer ethical/socially responsible/green investment funds. More details comparing them at Boring Money, with reviews and overviews.

  1. If you have the time and inclination, potentially the most effective way to invest sustainably is to build your own portfolio manually, by picking companies across multiple sectors. Key is that you build an understanding of each company’s value and attitude towards sustainable growth and climate change.

You’ll need to find a platform that allows you to invest directly in listed companies or early stage companies.

3. Banking

Tridos offers a paid current account for £3pm, from their website:

“A current account that meets your needs – and fits your values. We only lend to organisations that make a positive impact on people’s lives, protect the planet, or build strong communities.”

4. Service Providers

Related Initiatives

If you are overwhelmed by the concept of “personal finance” and the implications, please also take a look at the incredibly useful ukpersonal.finance website and flowchart, and take into account high interest debt before investing.