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  • Juliana Suárez, Author |

2 min read

Before entering the world of financial services, I thought that my personal contribution to reducing climate change and the consequences that come with it, was limited to recycling, reducing my meat consumption, carpooling, and fighting with my dad about not getting plastic bags at the supermarket.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a completely naïve idealist… I was aware too, that the institutions around the world which manage large amounts of money on a daily basis, by default, are able to exercise greater control over the world’s overall carbon footprint and thus have a greater impact on mitigating the repercussions of climate change. Yes, I could recycle, upcycle and downcycle but I was conscious that my contribution would never be as influential as that from a government or multinational company with a big budget to spend on ”making the world a better place”.

Ultimately, the ability to make decisions that impact our planet on a large scale, is concentrated on the hands of the people who lead our governments, our energy suppliers, our transport providers, our food suppliers, our clothes manufacturers, and the financial institutions which support all of the above.

It’s not all doom and gloom

For the longest time, this is the way I thought. Pessimistic? Maybe. Realistic? Hopefully not… Until one of my friends pointed me to a very simple thing I could do, which would make my contribution a little bigger: simply, actively choosing the funds to invest my personal or workplace pension on. In hindsight, this might seem like the most obvious of things. But the truth is, not a lot of us are aware of the impact we can have with just a few clicks. Especially not me, barely a year on the job (and in the country!) trying to figure out where my taxes were going, how much to save, how much is actually acceptable to pay for London rent, and (pre-COVID) how to fight my way through the Northern line in the morning.

Our personal or workplace pensions will potentially be one of our largest investments throughout our lives. Deviating away from institutions that deliberately pollute, trash and contaminate our world, takes away their power. Restricting them from the millions of pounds, dollars, euros they count on, will ultimately force them to change. 

And we can all see that now. As consumers, taxpayers, employees, and individual investors, people like you and me, are becoming more conscious of how our actions – from what we buy in the supermarket, to how many overseas holidays we take each year – affect the world we live in. As we grow more informed of our choices and more in control of our lives, and in this case, finances, we as individuals can dictate to the institutions around us, what we want and how we want it.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how to make sustainable financial decisions - Our Financial Services ESG team would love to hear from you. Or visit our ESG homepage to meet our team and find out more about what we do.