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National Ethical Investment Week 2012: the best articles from elsewhere

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Blue & Green Tomorrow is one of a small number of magazines and news outlets that write about ethical investment all year long. But during this year’s National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW), we’ve been thrilled and humbled with the amount of coverage the issue has got elsewhere on the web.

So in homage to all the good journalism and blogging that has gone on in the past few days, here are some of our favourite articles published during this year’s event.

FT Adviser – Half of investors expect IFAs to offer ‘green’ advice

The Financial Times’ financial adviser publication reported how 58% of adults expected independent financial advisers to be able to give detailed advice and information on green and ethical issues.

Citywire – A beginner’s guide to ethical investment [VIDEO] 

Probably our favourite video in NEIW; it’s balanced, fair and positive, explaining what ethical investment actually is and what the issues are that need to be considered when opting for these kind of investments.

Third Sector – It’s time for charities to concentrate on ethical investment 

Helen Wildsmith, head of ethical and responsible investment at CCLA, spoke to Blue & Green Tomorrow during NEIW, but also penned an excellent piece for Third Sector, urging charities across the UK to adopt responsible investment strategies.

The Guardian – How to invest ethically

The Guardian approached NEIW by laying out some of the best, most thriving alternative sectors for investment, including rail, agriculture and water.

The Guardian – Ethical investments: a step-by-step guide

We thought this was brilliant; a clear and simple step-by-step guide, aimed at individuals who perhaps hadn’t considered ethical investment before.

The Times – Ethical investing: where to draw the line? (paywall)

This was an interesting angle by The Times, which looked at what point companies and sector can be classified as ethical, sustainable or responsible.

The Times – Making ethical choices clear (paywall)

Another good piece from The Times. Mark Bridge looked at the definition of the term ‘ethical’, and how it can be used to describe investments.

Daily Mail – Save cash – and the planet: How ethical investors can have principles and still make a profit

We were very pleased with this piece from the Daily Mail. The headline alone is sure to grab much attention from mainstream investors who thought the exact opposite.

The Independent – You can be ethical and get decent returns 

Another piece – this time from The Independent – that looked to abolish the biggest misconception that strangles the ethical investment sector’s growth.

This is Money – Make money from being good: Four share share tips from a strong-performing ethical fund manager

Ecclesiastical fund manager Sue Round appears in our Guide to Sustainable Investment, but she also wrote a piece for the Daily Mail’s This is Money site, providing tips to would-be ethical investors.

Huffington Post – Green and Ethical Investment Has Hit the Mainstream, Now Innovation Must Drive it Forward

UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association chief executive, Penny Shepherd, spoke to Blue & Green Tomorrow during NEIW about the exact themes outlined in this guest article for the Huffington Post.

The Sun – Only way is ethics

We were as surprised as anyone when we saw an article in The Sun about ethical investment. And we were even more surprised, and in fact rather chuffed, about it labelling us as “a helpful site”.

There were, of course, some, shall we say, less positive articles about ethical investment that reared their ugly heads in the past week. These were untimely, often unbalanced and mostly rife with prejudice.

As we wrote, sniping at ethical investment is a particularly odd sport during National Ethical Investment Week. We think they’re just bitter.

National Ethical Investment Week runs until Saturday, October 20. Join the movement on Twitter using the hashtag #NEIW12.

If you would like to know more about the sector and receive copies of our most recent reports, you can sign up to our weekly newsletter here.

Further reading:

National Ethical Investment Week 2012 begins

The Guide to Sustainable Investment (NEIW edition)

Features

Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy

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Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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Features

How Going Green Can Save Your Business Thousands

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Running a company isn’t easy. From reporting wages in an efficient way to meeting deadlines and targets, there’s always something to think about – with green business ideas giving entrepreneurs something extra to ponder. While environmental issues may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, it could save your business thousands, so let’s delve deeper into this issue.

Small waste adds up over time

A computer left on overnight might not seem like the end of the world, right? Sure, it’s a rather minor issue compared to losing a client or being refused a loan – but small waste adds up over time. Conserving energy is an effective money saver, so to hold onto that hard-earned cash, try to:

  • Turn all electrical gadgets off at the socket rather than leaving them on standby as the latter can crank up your energy bill without you even realizing.
  • Switch all lights off when you exit a room and try switching to halogen incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes as these can use up to 80 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent and are therefore more efficient.
  • Replace outdated appliances with their greener counterparts. Energy Star appliances have labels which help you to understand their energy requirements over time.
  • Draught-proof your premises as sealing up leaks could slash your energy bills by 30 per cent.

Going electronic has significant benefits

If you don’t want to be buried under a mountain of paperwork, why not opt for digital documents instead of printing everything out? Not only will this save a lot of money on paper and ink but it will also conserve energy and help protect the planet. You may even be entitled to one of the many tax breaks and grants issued to organizations committed to achieving their environmental goals. This is particularly good news for start-ups with limited funds as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is keen to support companies opening up their company in a green manner.

Of course, if you’re used to handing out brochures and leaflets at every company meeting or printing out newsletters whenever you get the chance, going electronic may be a challenge – but here are some things you can try:

  • Using PowerPoint presentations not printouts
  • Communicating via instant messenger apps or email
  • Using financial software to manage your books
  • Downloading accounting software to keep track of figures
  • Arranging digital feedback and review forms
  • Making the most of Google Docs

Going green can help you to make money too

Going green and environmental stability is big news at the moment with many companies doing their bit for the environment. While implementing eco-friendly strategies will certainly save you money, reducing your carbon footprint could also make you a few bucks too. How? Well, consumers care about what brands are doing more than ever before, with many deliberately siding with those who are implementing green policies. Essentially, doing your bit for the environment is a PR dream as it allows you to talk about what everyone wants to hear.

Going green can certainly save your money but it should also improve your reputation too and give you a platform to promote your business.

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