• Awareness of the ability to invest and have a positive impact is higher than ever, according to Triodos Bank’s annual Impact Investing Survey.
  • Almost half (45%) of UK investors would move their money to an impact investment fund as a result of news coverage about the climate emergency.
  • A third (32%) say recent climate protests have made them consider where their money is invested.
  • More investors (66%) would like to support companies that contribute positively to society and environment than in any previous year of the Triodos annual survey.*

The climate emergency is leading a movement towards impact investing, with 45% of UK investors claiming they would move their money to an ethical fund as a result of news about the environment. More than three-quarters (78%) of younger investors, aged 18-24, would be prompted to move their money to an impact investment fund in response to the climate emergency.

Investors are relatively unaware of the impact of some of the world’s biggest companies on the environment, despite the fact that their money is likely to be invested in them1. Almost three-quarters (71%) of investors are unaware that over 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have come from just 100 companies.However, 43% would consider impact investing as a way to avoid their money going towards these polluters.

Triodos Bank’s latest annual Impact Investing Survey finds that awareness of impact investing is higher than in any year since the survey was started in 2016. Still, more than half (55%) of investors have not heard of impact funds – though this is down from 67% in 2018. Almost two-thirds (62%) have never been offered impact or sustainable investment opportunities, down from 73% last year.

Bevis Watts, CEO, Triodos Bank UK, commented: Investors are waking up to the fact that there really is no such thing as a neutral investment. Every investment has an impact and UK investors are looking for opportunities that allow them to support pioneering and innovative companies making a positive difference in the climate emergency, while receiving good long-term returns. They increasingly recognise the power of money to be a powerful tool for change."

The survey finds that two-thirds (66%) of investors would like their investments to support companies that contribute to making a more positive society and environment. This figure has risen by 11% since 2018, indicating a growing awareness of the impact that money can have on some of the biggest global challenges.

Examples of companies in the Triodos Impact Funds include musical instrument manufacturer Yamaha, Danone, Adidas (for supply chain innovation), packaging company DS Smith and Central Japan Railway.

The climate emergency is shifting investors’ mindsets about the impact their money can have, as the survey reveals:

  • 45% would move their money to a different fund if they found it was invested in fossil fuels. In 2018, only 17% of investors said they wouldn’t consider investing in a fund that was involved with fossil fuels.
  • Investors would put an average of £3,744 in an impact investment fund, an increase of £1,000 compared to 2018.
  • More than half (53%) agree that choosing carefully where you invest your money is one of the best ways to protect the planet. This rises to 76% among investors aged 18-24.
  • Three-quarters (75%) agree that financial providers need to be more transparent about where people’s money goes, rising to 81% among female investors.

Hannah Mackintosh is a trainee Chartered Accountant from Bristol and a Triodos Bank customer: “Money is a powerful tool that can do both good and bad. As soon as I had some money to invest, I wanted it to go towards causes I believe in. Investing in companies that are doing good for people and planet is a logical step for me. it’s very important because it’s easy to be removed from the consequences of your investments.

“Seeing the power of the fossil fuel divestment movement and the fear it put into the industry really made it hit home how powerful where you invest can be, then realising that there’s a bank that allows you to use your money for good, it was a no brainer to invest with Triodos.”

Triodos Bank offers two award-winning Impact Investment funds in the UK – the Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund and the Triodos Global Equities Impact Fund.


*This is the fourth year that Triodos has completed a survey looking at impact investing – first conducted in 2016.


1 FTSE 100 companies represent about 81% of the entire market capitalisation of the London Stock Exchange


For interview requests, case studies and photography:

Ed Grattan

Ellie James

Notes to editor

About the research

A nationally representative sample of 2,020 UK adults (aged 18+) were surveyed by Opinium Research on behalf of Triodos Bank between 1-4 October 2019.  

About Triodos Impact Investment Funds

  • The Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund aims to generate positive impact and competitive financial returns from a concentrated portfolio of small- and mid-cap companies pioneering the transition to a sustainable society. It has generated an average return of 10.1% over the last 5 years.
  • The Triodos Global Equities Impact Fund aims to generate positive impact and competitive returns from a concentrated portfolio of equities issued by large-cap companies offering sustainable solutions. It has generated an average return of 12.3% over the last 5 years.

About Triodos Investment Management

Triodos Investment Management connects a broad range of investors who want to make their money work for lasting, positive change with innovative entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses doing just that. In doing so, Triodos IM serve as a catalyst in sectors that are key in the transition to a world that is fairer, more sustainable and humane.

With Triodos IM's highly professional investment teams, they have built up in-depth knowledge throughout their 25 years of impact investing in sectors such as Energy & Climate, Inclusive Finance, Sustainable Food & Agriculture, Arts & Culture, and Sustainable Real Estate. Besides the direct impact investments in these sectors, they also invest in listed companies with an above-average environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. Assets under management as per end of 2017: EUR 3.5 billion.

Triodos Investment Management is a globally active impact investor and a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV.

About Triodos Bank

Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable banking globally. As an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking, it does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return. Instead it believes that they reinforce each other in the long-term.

Triodos Bank has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain, Germany and France as well as Investment Management activities based in the Netherlands but active globally. Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of 54 sustainable banks. Together these banks want to grow sustainable banking and its impact on the real economy substantially.

Triodos Bank UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008. VAT reg no 793493383.

Important information: Your capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed. Currency fluctuations may affect the value of your investment. Tax benefits depend on circumstances, and tax rules may change.