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The principles for responsible investment: a round-up



You may have seen our recent series about the UN-backed Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI). If you didn’t, you now have a chance to browse through our thoughts about each of the six principles individually, as well as what we think the future should hold.

Preluding our pieces on the PRI was an interview with its executive director, Dr James Gifford, in July. He talked to Jamie Mckenzie about the work being done in his organisation, the good news to come out of Rio+20, and what is required of investors and governments to accelerate the transition to a sustainable global financial system.

So, onto our PRI series.

We began with an introduction, examining how and why the PRI was set up. It’s an incredibly important organisation, uniting some of the world’s biggest investors, and Blue & Green Tomorrow has an awful lot to thank it for. Indeed, if the PRI didn’t exist, the chances are we wouldn’t either.

We summarised the values of the principles using a sentence that Dwight D. Eisenhower said in his opening address as US President in 1953: “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both”. 

Moving onto the opening clause of the PRI now, which talks about the “duty to act in the best long-term interests of our beneficiaries” and outlines how “environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios“, before leading onto the first principle.

The first principle of the PRI is, “We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes“. These issues are vital in our search for a sustainable economy, but the reality is, investments that meet ESG criteria are often amongst the most lucrative in the market. Clean energy, recycling and sustainable transport are just three examples of areas that continue to be pumped with investment, much to the benefit of the three Ps – people, planet and prosperity.

Principle two is, “We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices“, whilst principle three states, “We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest“.

The latter is all about an institution declaring the nature of its investments. Organisations such as the Carbon Disclosure Project don’t simply name the companies that have disclosed their ESG activities; they shame those that don’t, thus leaving the impression that these particular firms have something to hide. We wrote about how it is only in an environment of complete knowledge that investors can make the informed choice they have a right to.

Moving on to principle four now, which reads, “We will promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry“. We published a complete list of asset owners and managers in the UK that are signatories of the PRI. If a firm is not on the list, this means they’re not signatories, and we wholly encourage you to challenge them over why this is.

Principle number five is, “We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles“. We explained how there is no environmental or societal problem that we cannot solve collectively and that we face some massive challenges in both areas. Business and investment must play their role and work together to address these challenges.

The sixth and final principle states, “We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles“, and this is where Blue & Green Tomorrow’s role comes in. With the right kind of leadership and message, the investment industry might just create a sustainable tomorrow for future generations.

Bookending out series on the PRI was a look to the future, and we’ll round off this piece with our founder Simon Leadbetter’s final paragraph in his lookahead piece:

Six years ago, a brilliant global statesman, Kofi Annan, established UN PRI. We have a framework that has hundreds of signatories representing trillions of pounds worth of investment. The principles are necessarily aspirational and voluntary to encourage the widest participation and engagement. That is just the beginning. The next six years represent an exciting new chapter for UNPRI. The opportunity exists to create a rapidly-growing and inclusive rather than exclusive movement that informs and educates as wide an audience as possible of the possibilities of responsible investment.

Before it is too late.


How to be More eco-Responsible in 2018



Shutterstock / By KENG MERRY Paper Art |

Nowadays, more and more people are talking about being more eco-responsible. There is a constant growth of information regarding the importance of being aware of ecological issues and the methods of using eco-friendly necessities on daily basis.

Have you been considering becoming more eco-responsible after the New Year? If so, here are some useful tips that could help you make the difference in the following year:

1. Energy – produce it, save it

If you’re building a house or planning to expand your living space, think before deciding on the final square footage. Maybe you don’t really need that much space. Unnecessary square footage will force you to spend more building materials, but it will also result in having to use extra heating, air-conditioning, and electricity in it.

It’s even better if you seek professional help to reduce energy consumption. An energy audit can provide you some great piece of advice on how to save on your energy bills.

While buying appliances such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher, make sure they have “Energy Star” label on, as it means they are energy-efficient.

energy efficient

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By My Life Graphic

Regarding the production of energy, you can power your home with renewable energy. The most common way is to install rooftop solar panels. They can be used for producing electricity, as well as heat for the house. If powering the whole home is a big step for you, try with solar oven then – they trap the sunlight in order to heat food! Solar air conditioning is another interesting thing to try out – instead of providing you with heat, it cools your house!

2. Don’t be just another tourist

Think about the environment, as well your own enjoyment – try not to travel too far, as most forms of transport contribute to the climate change. Choose the most environmentally friendly means of transport that you can, as well as environmentally friendly accommodation. If you can go to a destination that is being recommended as an eco-travel destination – even better! Interesting countries such as Zambia, Vietnam or Nicaragua are among these destinations that are famous for its sustainability efforts.

3. Let your beauty be also eco-friendly


Shutterstock / By Khakimullin Aleksandr

We all want to look beautiful. Unfortunately, sometimes (or very often) it comes with a price. Cruelty-free cosmetics are making its way on the world market but be careful with the labels – just because it says a product hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t  mean that some of the product’s ingredients haven’t been tested on some poor animal.

To be sure which companies definitely stay away from the cruel testing on animals, check PETA Bunny list of cosmetic companies just to make sure which ones are truly and completely cruelty-free.

It’s also important if a brand uses toxic ingredients. Brands such as Tata Harper Skincare or Dr Bronner’s use only organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging, as well as being cruelty-free. Of course, this list is longer, so you’ll have to do some online research.

4. Know thy recycling

People often make mistakes while wanting to do something good for the environment. For example, plastic grocery bags, take-out containers, paper coffee cups and shredded paper cannot be recycled in your curb for many reasons, so don’t throw them into recycling bins. The same applies to pizza boxes, household glass, ceramics, and pottery – whether they are contaminated by grease or difficult to recycle, they just can’t go through the usual recycling process.

People usually forget to do is to rinse plastic and metal containers – they always have some residue, so be thorough. Also, bottle caps are allowed, too, so don’t separate them from the bottles. However, yard waste isn’t recyclable, so any yard waste or junk you are unsure of – just contact rubbish removal services instead of piling it up in public containers or in your own yard.

5. Fashion can be both eco-friendly and cool

Believe it or not, there are actually places where you can buy clothes that are eco-friendly, sustainable, as well as ethical. And they look cool, too! Companies like Everlane are very transparent about where their clothes are manufactured and how the price is set. PACT is another great company that uses non-GMO, organic cotton and non-toxic dyes for their clothing, while simultaneously using renewable energy factories. Soko is a company that uses natural and recycled materials in making their clothes and jewelry.

All in all

The truth is – being eco-responsible can be done in many ways. There are tons of small things we could change when it comes to our habits that would make a positive influence on the environment. The point is to start doing research on things that can be done by every person and it can start with the only thing that person has the control of – their own household.

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Top 5 Changes You can Make in Your Life to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint




reduce carbon footprint
Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love? - Image from Shutterstock -

In a world, where war rages and global warming threatens our very existence, the inhabitants of earth need to be extra vigilant in their efforts to go green. This includes reducing your carbon footprint on the earth and leading a more sustainable life.

Many homeowners feel perplexed by all of the options available to reduce their carbon footprint. They may even feel (falsely) that making their household more green will fail to make that much of a difference in the fight to save our planet.

Even a single home going green has a massive impact on the environment. We can win this battle on home at a time. If you’re interested in accepting the challenge of making your household a green home, read on below for a few of the top changes you can make in your life to reduce your carbon footprint. We all stand to benefit from making the earth safer for future generations – and your wallet won’t complain when you start to see the savings in annual energy costs.

Switch From Dirty Energy to Clean Solar

The ION Solar reviews tell it all–solar is the best way to go. Whether your goal is to slash your energy bills, or to reduce your carbon footprint, the sun is a fantastic source of renewable energy.

It’s important to get past the hype from solar installers. Instead, listen to the plethora of impartial customer reviews that mention everything from a $20 energy bill, to the incredible feeling of knowing that you are doing your part by going green and minimizing harmful emissions in to our atmosphere.

The average investment is $15,000 to $30,000 for installation and purchase of solar panels. Optional battery power packs can help provide consistent power during both night and day. And many government agencies provide federal, state or local grants to help offset upfront investments in clean energy.

Depending on which installed you choose, your household may qualify for low-interest or zero interest loans to cover the up-front cost of your installation. And the loan payments are usually less than your current monthly power bill.

It really is a win-win, as home buyers are looking for homes that feature this technology – meaning solar power installation improves the resale value of your property.

Home Modifications

And there are a number of additional home modifications that can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. A programmable thermostat can better manage energy consumption from home cooling and heating systems while you’re away from home. And weather stripping your doors can help keep cool air in during the summer, and warm air in during the winter.

Of course, energy conservation starts at home. And this includes setting a powerful example for your kids. Teach your children how to close windows, strategically keep doors open or closed based on airflow, and encourage them to leave the thermostat alone – opting for adding or removing layers of clothing instead.

Unplug Appliances and Shut Off Electronics

Unplugging your appliances when they aren’t in use, such as the toaster and the coffee maker, has more of an impact than you might think. Set your TVs and stereos on sleep timers, instead of letting them run around the clock. The cumulative impact of wasteful electronic device usage is horrible for our environment – putting unnecessary strain on our electrical grid.


One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by recycling. You are already throwing this stuff away anyway, right? It doesn’t take much more effort to just put recyclables in a separate container to be recycled, now does it?

Oh, and did I mention that you can earn money for recycling? Yes! Many cities and towns have recycling centers that will purchase your clean plastic and glass bottles for reuse.

Minimize Your Water Usage

Water is one of the easiest things to forget about when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Preserve water by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Shorten your shower by a few minutes and turn down the heat on that water heater. You’ll be surprised at how much lower your water bill and your energy bill will be.

Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love?

These are just a few of the top ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and start living a greener lifestyle. And we aren’t factoring in all of the advantages that we’ll reap from public investments in a smarter energy grid.

From decreasing your water usage, to switching to solar for your home’s energy needs, you will feel good at the end of the day knowing you are doing your part to save the future of this planet for generations to come!

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