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A round-up of events for National Ethical Investment Week 2013

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National Ethical Investment Week 2013 is almost upon us. For seven days, between October 13-19, investors, finance professionals, charities, churches and more will congregate at events up and down the UK, to discuss, debate and champion ethical, sustainable and responsible investment. 

But what do you do if you want to join in? Well firstly, you visit the events page on NEIW’s official website.

However, to give you a helping hand, we’ve compiled a brief (and by no means exhaustive) summary of some of the conferences, debates and meetings taking place during the week itself – and a few that are happening afterwards.

This list will grow as we hear about new events. If we’ve missed yours, email editor@blueandgreentomorrow.com and we’ll add it in.

Let us know if you’re planning on attending one. We just might see you there.

Make Your Money Count – Ethical Finance Conference 2013

Date: October 12 2013
Time: 9.30am – 3pm
Event Organiser: Ethex
Event Location: Broadmead Baptist Church, 1 Whippington Court, Bristol, BS1 3HY
City: Bristol
Audience: Open to All
Details: Organised by Ethex, Triodos Bank, Fairtrade Southwest, Bristol Credit Union, Christian Aid, Shared Interest, Stewart Investment Planning, L.V Nicholas Financial Planning and Family Wealth Mediation. Participants will be given the chance to explore some of the issues surrounding ethical finance (and investment) with some of the leading figures in the field.
How to attend: See here for more information.

Ethical Investment for Churches

Date: October 14 2013
Time: 12pm – 2pm
Event Organiser: CCLA
Event Location: Senator House, 85 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4ET
City: London
Audience: Church Investors
Details: Over lunch, Edward Mason, secretary to the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group, and James Corah, secretary to the Church Investors Group, will introduce the work that churches in the UK and Ireland are doing to implement the faith within their investment strategies; how they are bringing about positive change; and discuss why it is more important than ever for churches of all denominations to reflect their teachings in their investments.
How to attend: RSVP to events@ccla.co.uk before the October 9, clearly stating ‘Ethical Investment for Churches’. See here for more information.

Gaeia Seminar

Date: October 14 2013
Time: 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Event Organiser: Gaeia
Event Location: Rooftop Reception Rooms, Social Stock Exchange, 28 Bridge St, London SE1
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester, debunks some of the climate change myths and demonstrates how avoiding even a 4C rise in global temperature demands a radical reframing of both the climate change agenda and the economic characterisation of contemporary society. Natasha Landell-Mills, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Research at Sarasin & Partners LLP, and John Eckersley, MD of Castlefield and Gaeia, also feature.
How to attend: This event is free, but by invitation only, so please contact Hope Nelson at Gaeia on 0161 233 4898 or email hope.nelson@gaeia.com to request a place.

Shareholder Action for Charitable Goals

Date: October 14 2013
Time: 5.30pm – 7pm
Event Organiser: Charity Finance Group and CCLA
Event Location: Senator House, 85 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4ET
City: London
Audience: Charities and Trusts, Church Investors
Details: CFG is teaming up with ShareAction and CIG for an exciting new evening event exploring the ways in which charities can use their investments to support their campaigning work
How to attend:
 To register for free, see here.

Climate-Conscious Investing: Exploring the Options for Foundations

Date: October 15 2013
Time: 8.30am – 10.15am
Event Organiser: ShareAction and WHEB Asset Management
Event Location: 2 Fitzhardinge Street, London, W1H 6EE
City: London
Audience: Charities and Trusts
Details: A discussion, chaired by Ben Goldsmith, that will focus on emerging options for foundations who wish to protect their assets through smarter environmental risk management as well as to limit the contribution to global warming made by their investments.
How to attend:
 This event is for foundations only. RSVP to emily.kenway@shareaction.org.uk.

Sustainable Investing at the Frontier (1 of 2 Breakfast Seminars)

Date: October 15 2013
Time: 8.30am – 10am
Event Organiser: Alquity
Event Location: London
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: Come and learn about how ESG can add value and mitigate risk when investing in high-growth regions, and how Alquity integrates it within their unique investment model.
How to attend:
 Email Daisy Newlyn (daisy.newlyn@alquity.com) to reserve your place for this breakfast event, or for the second event on October 17.

Sustainable Investment Conference

Date: October 15 2013
Time: 8am – 11am
Event Organiser: RBC Wealth Management
Event Location: 15 Hatfields, London, SE1 8DJ
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: For individuals with an interest in sustainable or ethical investing, or who have a broader interest in philanthropy and the wider social and economic environment, it is a great opportunity to hear about what RBC are doing around the subject. Also sessions for chief investment officers and charities.
How to attend:
 See here, or contact rbcevents@rbc.com for further information.

Tea and Cake Debate

Date: October 15 2013
Time: 3pm – 5pm
Event Organiser: Ethex
Event Location: Drink Shop & Do, 9 Caledonian Road
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: Back by popular demand, Ethex will be running its second Tea and Cake Debate during National Ethical Investment Week. Come and hear social finance professionals revelling in rhetorical rivalry in an Oxford style debate where the motion will be: “This teashop believes that the way forward for ethical investment is as a movement, not as an institution”
How to attend: RSVP to jamie@ethex.org.uk if you would like to attend.

Gaeia Seminar & Manchester Literature Festival event

Date: October 15 2013
Time: 3pm
Event Organiser: Gaeia
Event Location: Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd, Manchester
City: Manchester
Audience: Open to All
Details: Dr Alice Bows-Larkin of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change research at Manchester University debunks some of the climate change myths and demonstrates how avoiding even a 4C rise in global temperature demands a radical reframing of both the climate change agenda and the economic characterisation of contemporary society. Natasha Landell-Mills, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Research at Sarasin & Partners LLP, and Brigid Benson, founder of Gaeia, also feature. Followed by a Gaeia sponsored event at the Manchester Literature Festival.
How to attend:
 This event is free, but by invitation only, so please contact Hope Nelson at Gaeia on 0161 233 4898 or email hope.nelson@gaeia.com to request a place at either part. 

Breakfast Briefing: Liquid Strategies for Social Investors

Date: October 16 2013
Time: 9am – 11am
Event Organiser: Truestone Impact Investment Management, the Social Stock Exchange and Sarasin & Partners
Event Location: London
City: London
Audience: Advisers, Charities and Trusts
Details: An event to discuss how one can go beyond simplistic avoidance strategies toward delivering investment solutions that generate positive change. 
How to attend:
 For further information please email positive@truestoneimpactinvestment.co.uk. 

FT Sustainable and Ethical Investment Conference

Date: October 16 2013
Time: 1pm – 5pm
Event Organiser: Financial Times
Event Location: London
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: The Financial Times, in conjunction with the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association and Blue & Green Investor, is holding an afternoon conference focusing on sustainable and ethical investment. The afternoon will include keynote addresses from leading figures in this field (including Sir Ronald Cohen and James Cameron) and will conclude with a Q&A session, giving delegates the platform to ask their most pressing questions in relation to this area of the market.
How to attend:
 For the full itinerary or to book your place at the event please contact claire.tolman@ft.com.

Principles and Profits: investing to protect people, the planet and your savings

Date: October 16 2013
Time: 6.05pm
Event Organiser: JustShare
Event Location: St Mary-le-Bow Church
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: Full details coming soon.
How to attend: See here on how to register.

Is the Treasury Serious about Sustainable Investment?

Date: October 17 2013
Time: 8.20am – 10am
Event Organiser: Friends of the Earth and Rathbone Greenbank Investments
Event Location: 1 Curzon Street, London, W1J 5FB
City: London
Audience: Open to all.
Details: Friends of the Earth, in partnership with and hosted by Rathbone Greenbank Investments, is holding a plenary and roundtable discussion on the role of the Treasury in building a cutting edge, thriving and genuinely sustainable low-carbon economy in the UK. Is it up to the job?
How to attend:
Attendance is by invitation only. To register your interest, contact Jo Finburgh at jo.finburgh@foe.co.uk.

Sustainable Investing at the Frontier (2 of 2 Breakfast Seminars)

Date: October 17 2013
Time: 8.30am – 10am
Event Organiser: Alquity
Event Location: London
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: Come and learn about how ESG can add value and mitigate risk when investing in high-growth regions, and how Alquity integrates it within their unique investment model.
How to attend:
 Email Daisy Newlyn (daisy.newlyn@alquity.com) to reserve your place for this breakfast event, or for the first event on October 15.

Whose ethics?

Date: October 17 2013
Time: 10am – 12pm
Event Organiser: CCLA
Event Location: Senator House, 85 Queen Victoria Street, EC4V 4ET
City: London
Audience: Charities and Trusts, Church Investors
Details: Morning coffee with Helen Wildsmith, head of ethical and responsible investment at CCLA. If you are a charity trustee who, for many reasons, has yet to have a proper conversation about ethical and responsible investment, this event will provide you with comprehensive information and practical advice to start that conversation.
How to attend: 
For more information and to register for this event please see here or email lisa.scott@ccla.co.uk.

Live discussion: how can ethical investing work for your charity?

Date: October 17 2013
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Event Organiser: The Guardian
Event Location: Online
City: N/A
Audience: Open to All
Details: Join the online discussion organised by the Guardian, to discuss whether ethical investing could be right for your charity. This live discussion will consider: when charities should look at ethical investment; what the benefits and potential drawbacks are; how to strike a balance between ethical investment and other types; and what the best ethical investment vehicles are.
How to attend: 
Click here for more information, and to leave your comments and questions for the expert panel.

Church Investment: Witness or Whitewash? – ECCR Open Debate

Date: October 17 2013
Time: 16.30 – 18.30
Event Organiser: ECCR
Event Location: Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: The ethics of church investment hit the national news headlines this summer. You are invited to come and explore these issues in more depth with a panel of expert speakers at ECCR’s 2013 open debate.
How to attend: 
Contact helen.boothroyd@eccr.org.uk or call 07503 931172.

NEIW 13 Parliamentary Reception

Date: October 17 2013
Time: 4pm – 6pm
Event Organiser: UKSIF
Event Location: House of Commons
City: London
Audience: Open to all
Details: An afternoon Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commons to celebrate the 6th National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW).
How to attend: This is an invitation-only event. For more information, contact events@uksif.org.

Co-operative Energy Community Energy Conference

Date: October 19 2013
Time: TBC
Event Organiser: Co-operative Energy
Event Location: The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: Ethical energy provider Co-operative Energy is staging its first ever community energy event less than two-and-a-half years after its arrival on the UK consumer market. The event brings together for the first time a panel of leading speakers from across the energy industry to share valuable knowledge and expertise.
How to attend: Cost of attendance at the one day conference is £65 per delegate. Further information can be obtained by emailing community.energy@cooperativeenergy.coop.

Finance: What’s Faith Got To Do With It?

Date: October 26 2013
Time: 9.30am – 2pm
Event Organiser: Cardiff Business School, CCLA, Church in Wales, ECCR, Fair Trade Wales and Shared Interest
Event Location: Cardiff Business School
City: Cardiff
Audience: Open to All
Details: What is the value of money? Are we responsible for the impact our money makes? Does your money do good? Join the debate with our guest speakers and leave challenged and inspired to invest in a fairer world.
How to attend: Places are free but limited. To secure your place, please RSVP to membership@shared-interest.com by Monday October 14.

Faith in Finance Seminar

Date: November 5 2013
Time: 6.30pm – 8pm
Event Organiser: St Paul’s Institute and the Christian Muslim Forum
Event Location: Crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral
City: London
Audience: Open to All
Details: Organised in partnership with the Christian Muslim Forum, this event will bring together leading theologians and practitioners to discuss how faith can enhance our approach to finance, exploring the theological implications and practical outworking of our current relationship to money.
How to attend: See here for more information. This event is free but advance registration is required. To register, please contact Robert Gordon at institute@stpaulscathedral.org.uk or 020 7489 1011.

Further reading:

Invest, spend and vote sustainability: why National Ethical Investment Week matters

National Ethical Investment Week 2013: bigger, bolder, broader, better

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2013

Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Energy

5 Easy Things You Can Do to Make Your Home More Sustainable

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sustainable homes
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By Diyana Dimitrova

Increasing your home’s energy efficiency is one of the smartest moves you can make as a homeowner. It will lower your bills, increase the resale value of your property, and help minimize our planet’s fast-approaching climate crisis. While major home retrofits can seem daunting, there are plenty of quick and cost-effective ways to start reducing your carbon footprint today. Here are five easy projects to make your home more sustainable.

1. Weather stripping

If you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, an energy audit is a highly recommended first step. This will reveal where your home is lacking in regards to sustainability suggests the best plan of attack.

Some form of weather stripping is nearly always advised because it is so easy and inexpensive yet can yield such transformative results. The audit will provide information about air leaks which you can couple with your own knowledge of your home’s ventilation needs to develop a strategic plan.

Make sure you choose the appropriate type of weather stripping for each location in your home. Areas that receive a lot of wear and tear, like popular doorways, are best served by slightly more expensive vinyl or metal options. Immobile cracks or infrequently opened windows can be treated with inexpensive foams or caulking. Depending on the age and quality of your home, the resulting energy savings can be as much as 20 percent.

2. Programmable thermostats

Programmable thermostats

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Olivier Le Moal

Programmable thermostats have tremendous potential to save money and minimize unnecessary energy usage. About 45 percent of a home’s energy is earmarked for heating and cooling needs with a large fraction of that wasted on unoccupied spaces. Programmable thermostats can automatically lower the heat overnight or shut off the air conditioning when you go to work.

Every degree Fahrenheit you lower the thermostat equates to 1 percent less energy use, which amounts to considerable savings over the course of a year. When used correctly, programmable thermostats reduce heating and cooling bills by 10 to 30 percent. Of course, the same result can be achieved by manually adjusting your thermostats to coincide with your activities, just make sure you remember to do it!

3. Low-flow water hardware

With the current focus on carbon emissions and climate change, we typically equate environmental stability to lower energy use, but fresh water shortage is an equal threat. Installing low-flow hardware for toilets and showers, particularly in drought prone areas, is an inexpensive and easy way to cut water consumption by 50 percent and save as much as $145 per year.

Older toilets use up to 6 gallons of water per flush, the equivalent of an astounding 20.1 gallons per person each day. This makes them the biggest consumer of indoor water. New low-flow toilets are standardized at 1.6 gallons per flush and can save more than 20,000 gallons a year in a 4-member household.

Similarly, low-flow shower heads can decrease water consumption by 40 percent or more while also lowering water heating bills and reducing CO2 emissions. Unlike early versions, new low-flow models are equipped with excellent pressure technology so your shower will be no less satisfying.

4. Energy efficient light bulbs

An average household dedicates about 5 percent of its energy use to lighting, but this value is dropping thanks to new lighting technology. Incandescent bulbs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. These inefficient light sources give off 90 percent of their energy as heat which is not only impractical from a lighting standpoint, but also raises energy bills even further during hot weather.

New LED and compact fluorescent options are far more efficient and longer lasting. Though the upfront costs are higher, the long term environmental and financial benefits are well worth it. Energy efficient light bulbs use as much as 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent and last 3 to 25 times longer producing savings of about $6 per year per bulb.

5. Installing solar panels

Adding solar panels may not be the easiest, or least expensive, sustainability upgrade for your home, but it will certainly have the greatest impact on both your energy bills and your environmental footprint. Installing solar panels can run about $15,000 – $20,000 upfront, though a number of government incentives are bringing these numbers down. Alternatively, panels can also be leased for a much lower initial investment.

Once operational, a solar system saves about $600 per year over the course of its 25 to 30-year lifespan, and this figure will grow as energy prices rise. Solar installations require little to no maintenance and increase the value of your home.

From an environmental standpoint, the average five-kilowatt residential system can reduce household CO2 emissions by 15,000 pounds every year. Using your solar system to power an electric vehicle is the ultimate sustainable solution serving to reduce total CO2 emissions by as much as 70%!

These days, being environmentally responsible is the hallmark of a good global citizen and it need not require major sacrifices in regards to your lifestyle or your wallet. In fact, increasing your home’s sustainability is apt to make your residence more livable and save you money in the long run. The five projects listed here are just a few of the easy ways to reduce both your environmental footprint and your energy bills. So, give one or more of them a try; with a small budget and a little know-how, there is no reason you can’t start today.

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