Connect with us


“Make Our Money Count” Public Demand For Sustainable Pensions & Savings Reaches Record High



Annual research for ‘Good Money Week’ has found that 54% of British investors want their investments to have a positive impact, beyond just making money. A record high since polling began in 2009.  In a sign that the sustainable investment market has shed its image as a niche market, the top three issues for investors now include corporate governance matters such as ‘tax avoidance’ and ‘data protection’, rather than the traditional environmental causes usually associated with ethical investment.

Headline findings from today’s research of the British public show:

– 54% of Brits who hold investments, a record high, want their pensions or savings to have some positive impact on the world beyond just making money.

– When asked to select three issues most important for the companies they invest in to behave responsibly on, ‘Bribery and corruption’ (40%), ‘tax avoidance’(37%) and ‘data protection’ (31%) topped the list.

– Almost a third (32%) of all adults want a fossil free option for their savings or investments, rising to 46% among under-35s.

– 47% of those with investments would be interested in annual updates from their investors on their environmental/social impact, rising to 58% of under-35s.

– 39% think large pension funds should be required to measure and if necessary, reduce the carbon footprint of their investments.

The research was conducted by YouGov for Good Money Week, which starts today and aims to raise awareness among individuals, financial advisers, pension funds and charities of all types of sustainable investing and finance in the UK. Close to 50 activities will be held across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as part of the Week.

Simon Howard, Chief Executive of UKSIF, the body coordinating Good Money Week said: “The clear message from the public to the finance sector is: Make our money count. This rising demand for sustainable investment lays down a real challenge to the industry.

“So far it has responded well with a diverse range of sustainable options from energy efficiency and blue bonds to sustainable investment funds and community crowdfunding – but more needs to be done. In particular the idea of ‘carbon footprints’ seems to have caught the British public’s imagination and one action any fund manager or pension provider can take this Good Money Week is to open discussions with beneficiaries on how best they want environmental and social impacts to be reported.”

Amanda Young, Head of Responsible Investment at Standard Life Investments, said: “As global investors representing a wide range of different clients, we are seeing a growing demand for understanding how environmental, human rights, labour and business ethics issues are considered within our investment strategies. Our research into what is driving the younger generation of investors, the Millennials, has demonstrated a direct link between youth and values. The younger the investor, the higher the demand for the companies we invest in to be delivering positive benefits for society. These young digital natives affinity to technology is disrupting traditional business models and attitudes towards investing.”

Regional and generational differences
The YouGov survey showed significant regional differences when it comes to attitudes to responsible investment. The number of people with investments wanting to make a positive difference with their pensions and savings were highest in London (60%) and East of England (67%); and lowest in Wales (45%) and Scotland (48%).

It also showed a generation gap opening up in Britain:

– 52% of millennials (18-24yrs) want the option of investing fossil free, double the 26% of over 45s.

– 43% of millennials think the UK government doesn’t support investment in renewable energy, only 29% of over 45s think this.

The research also found that 42% of the public believe that if an employer has a ‘default’ pension option which employees are automatically enrolled into (as part of the auto-enrolment policy), then that default option should be an ethical or sustainable pension plan.


How To Make The Shipping Industry Greener




green shipping industry

Each and every year more damage is done to our planet. When businesses are arranging pallet delivery or any other kind of shipping, the environment usually isn’t their number one concern. However, there’s an increasing pressure for the shipping industry to go greener, particularly as our oceans are filling with plastic and climate change is occurring. Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology out there to help with this. Here’s how the freight industry is going greener.

Make Ship Scrapping Cleaner

There are approximately 51,400 merchant ships trading around the world at the moment. Although the act of transporting tonnes of cargo across the ocean every year is very damaging to the environment, the scrapping of container ships is also very harmful. Large container ships contain asbestos, heavy metals and oils which are toxic to both people and the environment during demolition. The EU has regulations in place which ensure that all European ships are disposed of in an appropriate manner at licenced yards and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced guidelines to make recycling of ships safe and environmentally friendly back in 2009, but since then only Norway, Congo and France have agreed to the policy. The IMO needs to ensure that more countries are on board with the scheme, especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which are some of the worst culprits for scrapping, which may mean enforcing the regulations in the near future.

Reduce Emissions

A single large container ship can produce the same amount of emissions as 50 million cars, making international shipping one of the major contributors towards global warming. Stricter emissions regulations are needed to reduce the amount of emissions entering our atmosphere. The sulphur content within ship fuel is largely responsible for the amount of emissions being produced; studies have shown that a reduction in the sulphur content in fuel oil from 35,000 p.p.m to 1,000 p.p.m could reduce the SOx emissions by as much as 97%! The IMO has already begun to ensure that ships with the Emission Control Areas of the globe, such as the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel, are using this lower sulphur content fuel, but it needs to be enforced around the world to make a significant difference.

As it’s not currently practical or possible to completely phase-out heavy, conventional fuels around the world, a sulphur scrubber system can be added to the exhaust system of ships to help reduce the amount of sulphur being emitted.

Better Port Management

As more and more ships are travelling around the world, congestion and large volumes of cargo can leave ports in developing countries overwhelmed. Rapidly expanding ports can be very damaging to the surrounding environment, take Shenzhen for example, it’s a collection of some of the busiest ports in China and there has been a 75% reduction in the number of mangroves along the coastline. Destroying valuable ecosystems has a knock-on effect on the rest of the country’s wildlife. Port authorities need to take responsibility for the environmental impact of construction and ensure that further expansion is carried out sustainably.

Some have suggested that instead of expansion, improved port management is needed. If port authorities can work with transport-planning bureaus, they will be able to establish more efficient ways of unloading cargo to reduce the impact on the environment caused by shipping congestion.

Continue Reading


What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?




shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

Continue Reading