More and more investors now realise that investing ethically does not mean sacrificing returns.
Sustainable investing is in demand among both male and female savers of all ages and income levels, but just one in 10 think it is easy to make their retirement pot go green.
Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed by insurer Scottish Widows wanted clear fund options which allow them to invest only in environmentally and socially responsible companies.
The findings echo data from fund house Morningstar, which showed asset management giant BlackRock saw a net inflow of £1.6 billion in August, one of the highest on record for the fund group, with approximately two thirds going into sustainable funds.
Having ways to invest specifically their pension only in sustainable companies mattered to a third of people in every age group, from 18 to 65-plus, in the Scottish Widows research.
But despite green investing’s popularity, savers still believe it is complex and there is a lack of guidance on how to invest ethically, with the survey finding most UK savers are missing out on one of the most effective ways to invest sustainably – through their pension.
- Want to invest ethically? ii’s ACE 30 list of ethical investments can help
- Discover our ready-made diversified ethical portfolio here
- Ethical investing jargon buster
More than two-thirds of savers reported not knowing how sustainable their pension is, and 65% said they do not choose where their pension is invested. Half didn’t know they could switch their pension investments into greener funds, and one in 10 were unaware they had any choice about their pension at all.
Dropping the investment sector jargon could be a big help. Funds investing in specific green initiatives that are clear about what they support are popular among investors.
Over half (56%) of those surveyed by Scottish Widows said a fund themed around clean energy and low-carbon transition would make them more interested in their pension, while 54% said the same of a zero-plastic themed fund.
For younger savers, easier responsible investing could have an even bigger impact. Two-thirds (67%) of 18-34-year-olds said they would invest their money in a fund focused on clean energy.
Maria Nazarova-Doyle, head of pension investments at Scottish Widows, said: “Environmental, social and governance factors – including a company’s exposure to climate change – can pose investment risks, and responsible investments can be better for customer returns as well as the planet.
“If sustainable funds can encourage more people to engage with their retirement saving, we need to find more simple and effective ways to bridge the knowledge gap to help people align their saving with their values.”
- To find out more, check out our ethical investing page
- One year on: how nine ethical fund choices fared
- Take control of your retirement planning with our award-winning, low-cost Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)
To make it easier to find suitable ethical investments, interactive investor publishes an ethical investing long list – the ii ACE 30 - that is broken down into three investment styles: Avoids, Considers and Embraces to help steer investors.
The ethical ACE 30 rated list, the UK’s first, was launched last year, and an interactive investor ethical growth portfolio followed in January 2020 for investors who want a ready-made, balanced, multi asset portfolio run within a socially responsible investing framework.
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