• Covid-19 is motivating over a fifth of investors (22%) to explore investing in ethical funds.
  • Over a third (39%) of Brits think ethical investments are the key to addressing climate issues to avoid future pandemics.
  • 22% of UK adults have seen an increase in their ability to invest due to increased savings as a result of COVID-19.
  • Transparency of investments remains a major issue - only 11% of investors are really confident that they understand where their money is invested.

The Covid-19 pandemic is driving the current growth in ethical investments, motivating one in five (22%) UK adults to explore ethical funds, a figure which increases to 35% of under 35s.

Triodos Bank UK’s latest annual Impact Investing Survey has found that awareness of impact investing1 is significantly higher than in any other year since the survey began in 2016. Only 14% of respondents in 2020 were not aware they could choose to invest their money in ethical funds, in comparison to 2019 when over half (55%) of investors had not heard of impact funds.

Not only is knowledge of and interest in impact investing on the rise, over a fifth (22%) of Brits have seen their ability to invest increase as a direct result of COVID-19 due to having saved more during lockdown.

If the 2.4 million Brits that currently hold adult Stocks and Shares ISA accounts switched to an impact investment fund, £22 billion2 per year could be channelled into businesses that are actively tackling and delivering measurable results in relation to the biggest global challenges we currently face.

The climate crisis and Covid-19 pandemic are key drivers in increasing demand for impact investment products. Over a third (39%) of Brits think ethical investments are the key to addressing the climate issues to avoid future pandemics.

Over half (52%) say that carefully selecting where you invest your money is one of the best ways to protect the planet and 49% would like their investment provider to be aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This rises to 58% of people age 18-34, demonstrating a desire from the younger generation for investments that benefit people and the planet.

Gareth Griffiths, head of retail banking at Triodos Bank UK, comments: It’s clear that many people want a green and fair recovery and are prepared to invest in making it a reality. The COVID-19 crisis has encouraged us to re-evaluate our consumer choices and appreciate the power behind where we invest or save, highlighting that impact investments make environmental, social and financial sense. Impact investors are a powerful force for change and  impact investments are helping to tackle the global challenges we’re all facing. We hope that as society recovers, more people choose to support companies that are prioritising the environment and behaving responsibly to help create a better future for all.”

While the demand for impact investing is increasing, investors are being hampered by banks’ lack of transparency. Only 7% of investors are satisfied with the level of knowledge and transparency about where their money is invested and almost half (49%) of investors say that investment providers aren’t helpful when it comes to revealing what their money is supporting. Triodos is completely transparent about every investment made and that information is readily accessible.

Hilary Jayne, a Triodos impact funds investor, commented: I choose to invest with Triodos because, unlike other banks, it aligns with my values. Many of the mainstream investment fund managers offer one or two token ethical investments, whilst continuing with business as usual for the majority of their offers. I don’t want my money funding the fossil fuel industry or suppressing human rights, I would much rather deal with Triodos because I trust them to behave ethically throughout their whole business. Sometimes you can feel a bit hopeless and helpless with everything that is going on, but by putting my money with Triodos I am making a stand.” 

Triodos Bank offers two award-winning Impact Investment funds in the UK – the Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund and Triodos Global Equities Impact Fund – as well as a newly launched Triodos Sterling Bond Impact Fund. Long term performance of the funds shows an average annual return of 11.08% for the Triodos Global Equities Impact Fund and 12.98% return with the Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund over a 5-year period3.  

Important information:

As with all investments, your capital is at risk and the value of your investment may go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Currency fluctuations may also affect the value of your Triodos Stocks & Shares ISA. As with all ISAs, the tax benefits of an ISA depend on your circumstances, and tax rules may change.


1Known for being the most powerful way of delivering and measuring environmental and social impact. This is the fifth year that Triodos Bank UK has completed a survey looking at impact investing – first conducted in 2016. 

2£22,618m subscribed into S&S ISAs from 2,424,000 subscribers of S&S ISAs in 2018/9: ISA Statistics Release June 2020 

3Taken on 30 September 2020. Past performance is not a guide to future returns and you may not get back the amount you originally invested.

A nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults (aged 18+) were surveyed by Opinium Research on behalf of Triodos Bank between 18-21 September 2020.   

Notes to Editors

Case studies, comment, photos and interviews available on request.

For further information please contact:

Ellie James

Ed Grattan

About Triodos Impact Investment Funds 

  • 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 11.08% over the last 5 years. 
  • 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 12.98% over the last 5 years.  
  • The Triodos Sterling Bond Impact Fund aims to generate positive impact and stable income from a concentrated portfolio of investment-grade, GBP denominated bonds issued by listed companies, semi-public institutions and UK gilts.

Past performance is not a guide to future returns and you may not get back the amount you originally invested.

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 and Germany 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.