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Why I (also) invested in the JCC Community Woodheat Co-operative



Last week, we brought you the John Cleveland College (JCC) Community Woodheat Co-operative, which is currently open to investors. We heard from one such investor, David Nicholls, and here’s another, Emma Fieldhouse, on why she decided to stump up the cash and invest.

If you have money to invest and you’re sick of big banks who swallow up your cash and never tell you where they’ve invested it, then this scheme is for you. It represents ethical and local investment at its very best and will achieve many social and environmental benefits such as money being locally invested, energy being produced without any net carbon emissions and children learning about low and zero-carbon energy production from first-hand experience.

I don’t have much to invest but when I realised my ethical ISA was giving me hardly any returns, I decided to switch it to JCC Community Woodheat Co-operative. The scheme is inclusive because you can invest as little as £250. Once I had been to an open meeting about the project I decided to invest considerably more than this – in fact all of my ISA savings!

Although I have no direct links with the college, I recognise this could be a project in any school or college right next to me and I’d want to invest in that in the same way. I have been doing this already through promoting Avenue School’s solar project  which now has raised sufficient funds to install a solar system to provide green electricity for the school.

Because of my professional experience as the environmental manager at the University of Leicester, I’ve had direct experience of heating systems such as this (and worked with the city council on the city’s district heating network) so I’m aware that the risks to the project from an engineering perspective are incredibly low or even negligible.

I can also vouch for many of the co-operative directors as I’ve known some for over a decade – since I arrived in Leicester – in both a professional and personal capacity. I trust these people with my investment and I’m looking forward to being part of something really positive locally and getting financial reward at the same time.

If you’re interested in investing in JCC Community Woodheat Co-op, you can do so through Ethex.

Further reading:

Ethex: empowering education into ethical investment

Sustainability at the heart of food and agriculture

Rob Hopkins: Transition Towns is the only ethically defensible thing to do

Harnessing the power of a community

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2013