Now into its sixth year, National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) has developed from a newborn event, into an infant, a toddler and finally into a healthy annual week in the calendar. The underlying message has never been more important and relevant. We encourage everyone to take a look.
NEIW 2013 will break into the mainstream and address major themes around auto-enrolment. As Elliott Frankal of ESG Communications wrote in Blue & Green Tomorrow earlier this year, “In the UK, the need for transparency is also being driven by the introduction of auto-enrolment, which will see 6 to 9 million employees join the pensions system, and has led to calls from the Labour party and others for the pensions market to become more transparent and less complex in order to accommodate them.”
The overall mission remains the same; make money and make a difference. All of the players in sustainable investment, UKSIF members, advisers, charities, foundations, NGOs, faith and community groups and trade bodies, are being called upon to engage with this year’s event.
Raj Singh, UKSIF’s programme director and NEIW co-ordinator, has issued a rallying call to “deepen the conversation and grow the market”.
It is clear to all but the most unenlightened individuals that some assets will lose value as a result of environmental and social change. Oil and gas, mining, unsustainable agriculture and transport all carry increasing risk. This risk needs to be considered by owners, advisers and managers. Investors need to factor it into consumption and investment choices.
Ethical investment as a term has its promoters and detractors, but the sector has evolved and is now more of an umbrella term. Sloppy journalism clings to the historical and socially vital role of negatively screening out stocks that harm people, but the growth in positive stock selection under the social, responsible, socially responsible, impact, and sustainable investment banners is the real story in 2013.
Everyone at Blue & Green Tomorrow has their eyes fixed on National Ethical Investment Week 2013. We applaud the team at UKSIF for building on last year’s success. A big cheer goes to our friends at Ecclesiastical and CCLA for sponsoring the event and doing a lot of the sector’s heavy lifting. We salute the hundreds of people who will put on events and write stuff during the week, who also invest, advise and promote this sector 52 weeks a year.
Finally, Blue & Green Tomorrow has big plans for National Ethical Investment Week 2013. We are holding a sustainable investment bootcamp for financial advisers in the lead up to the week, which will take them through the key themes and reality of the sector. The event will be supported by the sector’s major award-winning funds that represent the wide range of investment approaches, plus leading advisers and thought leaders.
We’ll also be producing four guides: to the week itself, funds, advice and EIS/VCTs. We’ll be covering as many events as we can during the week and reviewing the coverage in the national, regional and professional press.
We hope you will join us for what promises to be a great week – October 13-19 2013.