OPINION; Your wallet can save the environment

By Jana van Rooijen Time of article published Jul 3, 2019

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The millennial generation have played a significant role in effecting positive change through their buying behaviour, with the phasing-out of single-use plastic and other irresponsible practices being brought to light across many major retailers.

You may be one of these eco-conscious consumers, actively “voting with your wallets” against irresponsible practices that hurt the environment, but may not be aware that your money could be making an even bigger impact by being invested responsibly.

Environmentally conscious millennials possess the power to drive change through their investment choices.

By choosing to invest your money in companies that are committed to sustainable and responsible practices, you can drive change on a much greater scale by engaging with big corporates to pay more attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

This is already happening on an international level.

This highlights the gradual global movement towards more responsible investing, which is being largely championed by millennials who believe that their investments can influence global issues such as climate change.

According to the results of a recent Morgan Stanley survey, millennials in the US are leading the charge when it comes to sustainable investing. The survey findings reveal that 86percent of millennials expressed interest in the idea of sustainable investing, 61percent reported making at least one sustainable investing decision within the past year, and 75percent expressed a belief that their investments could make an impact to reverse climate change.

Momentum Investments does not separate specific “green investments” within its suite of products. Instead, responsible investing principles are integrated throughout all savings and investment products. The group considers the ESG risk of our investments to be relevant to the performance of the overall objective.

Dispelling the common investor concern that the performance of responsible investments is poor, relative to other investments, quite the opposite is proving to be true.

There is a growing body of research that supports the strong long-term financial performance of responsible investments.

This makes sense when you think about it because companies that are taking active measures to incorporate sustainability in to their business practices will more likely to prove to be the most resilient over the long-term.

Responsible investing therefore does not mean forgoing returns to help the environment or effect social change. Rather, responsible investing is about using your money to make a positive influence, while earning returns in the process.

Jana van Rooijen is a responsible investment specialist at Momentum Investments.


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