Figures released today by EIRIS, the London based non-profit responsible investment research specialists, show that as at 31st December 2009 the amount of money invested in Britain’s green and ethical retail funds (i.e. those funds open to the general public) reached £9.5 billion.
The £9.5 billion represents approximately three quarters of a million investors in ethical funds, up from around 200,000 investors in 1999 when around £2.4 billion was invested ethically in the UK.
The last ten years has also seen the universe of UK ethical retail funds expand considerably. There are now almost 100 green and ethical funds available to UK investors – a decade ago there were just a couple of dozen.
Growing consumer interest in ethical finance is backed up by the findings of EIRIS’ recent Ipsos/MORI survey national consumer which explored post credit-crunch attitudes to ethical finance and found that 44% of the British public are interested in finding out about the ethical credentials of the next financial product or service that they buy. Three-quarters of those interested also said they are likely to take this into consideration when next buying a financial product or service.
Mark Robertson, EIRIS spokesperson said ‘2010 is a critical year for rebuilding public trust in UK financial institutions. It’s clear that increasing numbers of consumers are turning to those financial institutions which offer financial products that make money whilst making a positive difference to the world’.
‘The world is changing fast and many of the issues targeted by green and ethical investment funds such as the need to tackle ageing populations, reduce levels of obesity, address the global power shortage, tackle water scarcity and climate change are creating attractive business opportunities, which in turn are creating great investment opportunities which consumers can take advantage of’ he continued.
Growing consumer interest in issues like climate change, human rights, fairtrade and poverty is set to drive demand for green and ethical investment which will be further boosted by the recent launch of the UK’s first ever consumer website dedicated to ethical finance, YourEthicalMoney.org. This independent, non-profit website provides free advice to help anyone wanting to learn about how and where their money is invested, search for green and ethical financial products, or find out how they can help make finance more sustainable.