Ethical Investment Letter – Don’t Harm the Environment
How we look after our money is part of being a good steward.
Do your investments harm the environment?
Christian Ecology Link invites you to use the letter below (or parts from it) to write to your investment adviser, banker, mortgage provider or pension provider
As one of your customers, I am writing to express my concern that my investment may be funding areas of agricultural and business activity I believe to be unethical and unsustainable. I would therefore like to ascertain whether you invest, directly or indirectly, in the following:
* businesses active in the manufacture of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals
I believe that over-reliance on agrochemicals contributes to decline in soil fertility, and to biodiversity loss, eutrophication and water pollution, and threaten pollinating insects.
* businesses active in the production or extraction of fossil fuels
I believe this poses a clear risk for agriculture as the manufacture of pesticides and fertilisers depends on the petrochemical industries, which are unsustainable in the long-term.
* businesses active in extracting unconventional fossil fuels by energy-intensive methods, especially low grade coal, oil from tar sands and gas by hydraulic fracturing
I believe this contributes to global warming, which causes harvest-damaging climate change.
* businesses active in developing and patenting genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
I believe GMOs pose many problems, from concerns over intellectual property to cross-pollination with other species, creating superweeds.
* businesses active in intensive (factory) farming of animals
I believe this to be incompatible with animal welfare, environmental wellbeing and human health.
* businesses active in unsustainable deforestation and land clearance
I believe this contributes to soil erosion, declining biodiversity and loss of carbon sinks.
* index funds related to commodity futures
I believe these pose a significant threat to food security in developing countries.
I am considering moving to a financial provider which excludes such companies and funds from its investment portfolio. I would like my financial provider to support, rather, businesses which seek to have a positive impact on society and the environment – such as free-range or organic farming.
I look forward to your reply.
IM “A few years ago I finally closed my account with Barclays and opened one with the Co-operative. Their policy on agricultural chemicals and factory farming was central to my decision. And as someone who struggles with the ways in which we are all mired in economic structures at odds with Jesus’ teaching, investing with a more ethical bank seemed one concrete positive response.”
JA “Around about five years ago, I learned a few things about the business practices and investment strategies of my bank Lloyds TSB, and I became unsettled about this. Then they began to advertise air miles, and that, coupled with their potential strategy to invest in new coal-fired power generation, I decided to switch banks. I joined the Co-operative, as I was impressed by their ethical commitments and their foundations as a socially responsible bank. I must say I have been more than impressed.”
WE “I go to my Building Society Financial Adviser who looks at the list of ethical stocks and shares I have invested in or am thinking of, from a likelihood of good returns point of view and a likelihood of consistency point of view. I get my list from places like Trucost produced about 8 years ago which showed the carbon footprint of many investment funds and from the Ethical Consumer magazine.”