Triodos Bank UK released the survey to coincide with Good Money Week, the national campaign to raise awareness of sustainable, responsible and ethical finance. The results reveal a widespread desire for change, with eight out of ten (79%) investors saying they want to see a fairer and more sustainable society.

Interestingly, most believe that business, not government, has the answers:

  • Over half (55%) believe businesses have the power to solve many of the biggest challenges the world faces today.
  • Nearly three quarters (71%) say businesses have the power to create positive social and environmental change.
  • By contrast, half of those surveyed (50%) said the Government seems powerless to change society for the better – rising to 60% of the over 55’s.

Two thirds (67%) also say that for the economy to succeed in the long term, investors need to support progressive and pioneering businesses tackling the big issues we face. By calling on business to take more responsibility, consumers position themselves as the engine for positive change.

As Bevis Watts, Managing Director of Triodos Bank UK, points out: “Our survey shows that an overwhelming majority of UK investors increasingly recognise the power of money to be a powerful tool for change.

Investors have a right to know how their money is being used
Bevis Watts, Triodos Bank UK MD

“They know they can exert a positive influence on our wider society by simply channelling their investments into things that benefit not only themselves but also the world around them. They are looking for investment opportunities that allow them to support pioneering and innovative companies making a positive difference, while receiving good long-term returns.

“Triodos Bank actively seeks out such companies and provides opportunities to invest in groundbreaking environmental technologies that are contributing to a more sustainable future for all.”

Triodos Bank offers two award-winning Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds in the UK – the Triodos Sustainable Pioneer fund and the Triodos Sustainable Equity fund. The Triodos Sustainable Pioneer fund is a global equities fund investing in small and medium-sized listed companies that are focused on the sustainable themes of climate protection, healthy living and clean planet, or are pioneers in corporate social responsibility. Examples include wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, medical equipment manufacturer Smith & Nephew, and electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors.

While many investors recognise the risk associated with investing in companies that damage society and the environment, with 42% saying they will not be successful in the long term, over half (56%) don’t know which companies or industries are included in their investment funds or pension.

Bevis Watts adds “Investors have a right to know how their money is being used. We want people to really think about what their bank or financial provider is doing with their money. At Triodos Bank we offer complete transparency and believe other financial institutions should – and will – follow suit. We encourage all investors to think about and ask where their money goes and make a conscious decision to invest in companies that are good for people and planet – as well as providing a financial return.”

“Until recently, I never thought to ask what my savings are being used for. When I learned that most banks invest in fossil fuels and other things I don’t want my money to support, my wife and I decided to look for alternatives. We wanted our savings to be invested ethically and to support innovative businesses. I did some research and found Triodos offered a unique type of ethical banking, one that screens positively to rule out the risk of investing in arms or fossil fuels. So we chose to move our savings into two Stocks & Shares ISAs offered by Triodos.”

Find out more about Triodos Bank UK Impact Investment Funds

With impact funds, capital is at risk and the value of an investment can fall as well as rise, income is variable and not guaranteed, and individuals may get back less than invested.