More and more of our conversations with clients when discussing your investment or pension funds are turning to the opportunities for responsible investing. Over the last number of years, we have seen the emergence of Ethical, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria being applied to investment funds, and many of our clients want their money invested in a way that doesn’t damage the environment or have harmful impacts on society.
But there is lots more that we can all do to reduce the impact of climate change beyond the responsible investing of our money, and the purpose of this article is to remind you of some of the areas in which you can have a positive impact.
Since the war in Ukraine began, the impact of energy supply has regularly dominated the headlines. While the conversation was driven by Russia’s control over gas supply, it also elevated the conversation about the need to develop renewable energy sources to reduce the impact of climate change. We can all do our bit by more careful use of energy at home, optimising the use of smart meters and by looking at alternative energy sources. With the generous grants available, is it time now to consider solar panels or a heat pump as an energy source at home?
There are many ways we can help to counter climate change through better travel methods. Electric Vehicles are replacing gas guzzlers, more use of public transport and electric bicycles and scooters are all better than using the car. Of course, nothing will help the environment better than old-fashioned walking or cycling!
While we spoke earlier about energy sources at home, there is lots more we can do. Ensuing your home is insulated properly and using more energy efficient appliances will make a huge difference to your energy usage. We’ve also all become much better at recycling – who would have thought 20 years ago that we’d have a green, brown and black bin? All these things make a significant difference.
Thankfully the days of arriving home from the shops with 10 plastic bags of groceries are long gone. Those bags were an environmental disaster and a blight on our beautiful landscape as they were a constant sight in our hedgerows. Now it’s just normal to go shopping with our own shopping bags. But we can do more. Avoid purchases with lots of packaging or buying from companies who have poor environmental reputations.
Buying local is best, for both the economy and the environment. Food that has to travel vast distances won’t be as fresh and the transporting of it damages the environment. Some local produce may cost more, but assuming you can afford it and the environment is important to you, the extra cost is worth it.
These are just some ways that you can have a positive on our environment and reduce the impact of climate change.
Article first produced on PPS Monthly May 2023 Newsletter.