A set of questions released for National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) can help investors make informed decisions about where to invest their money.
Oikocredit’s checklist aims to help investors understand how their money is being used and how it matches up to their values. A poll from YouGov suggests that nearly two-thirds of British investors now want to be offered sustainable or ethical options.
However, it can be difficult to assess how ethical a fund really is, as the Church of England recently demonstrated when it was found to be investing indirectly in Wonga. A separate survey also found that 70% of investors don’t know if their investments are ethical or not.
This unawareness suggests a gap between values and investments. Oikocredit previously conducted a survey that found there is a perception gap between ethical goods and ethical investment.
Whilst 61% or women and 53% of men said they would choose products that were ethically-sourced over ones that weren’t, this fell to 56% for women and 44% for men when they were asked about investments.
Patrick Hynes, national director UK for Oikocredit, said, “Consumers are caring more and more about the social and ethical consequences of their day to day decisions. Finance is no exception – the social impact of where we invest or save our money is just as important as buying Fairtrade or recycling.”
Oikocredit’s checklist gives investors questions to consider when weighing up how a potential investment opportunity matches their values.
– Mission and values: Does the organisation you are investing in have a statement that matches your ethical, social and environmental concerns?
– People: Does the organisation have a firm commitment to protect their customers, staff and wider communities?
– Profit: Do you know how the organisation’s profits will be used and who will benefit?
– Planet: Do you know the impact your investment will have on the environment?
– Transparency: Will clear information be available to you about how your investment will be used?
Investment transparency can help a business, NGO or charity improve business and the level of interest from an investor. Previous Oikocredit research shows that 48% of people donating to charity were more likely to donate to ones that made their investment goals clear.