Ethical Investment

Investment is the last word people wish to hear when live in areas which are economically challenged or we are in a boom and bust economy.

Think it …..            Look at ethical investments/trust/banks/charities and consider your options …

Make it …..         Start one small monthly standing order of money that you won’t miss …

Live it ………        Your contribution and others will all be pulling sustainable economics in the right direction …

Investment does not have to be big bucks ventures – rather a locally focused support mechanism to improve your locality (warmer housing, renewable energy co-operatives, local food production) which you can actively become part of.

Internationally we also can support many ventures vast distances from us. Fair Trade co-operatives have been evolving over the last two to three decades and have had a positive impact on the communities that you may potentially invest £15 upwards into.

Its not about a minority of rich people putting the big money into – it’s about the majority putting small portions of money and actively partaking in these positive benign ventures and initiatives. Below are some examples of existing ethical investments you may consider supporting:

Introduction
Café Direct
Cardiff Community Energy
Co-Operative Group
Credit Unions
Ecological Building Society
Egni
Ethical Property Company
Lend with Care
Out Of This World
The Phone Co-Op
Riverside Market Garden
Shared Interest
Triodos Bank Plc:
Other Links:

 Introduction

It is fully comprehended in this early 21st century that much of our limited human resources (and thinking?) and global resources will not thrive unless conventional everyday life and processes are joined with the viable alternative as opposed to be polarised.

Although the following organisations and links are to a multitude of worthy businesses and charities that Davius has worked with/supported over the last few years. This is not to reflect our ethical standards yet more communicated to you; as an encouragement to industry and the general public to get involved and take one’s own stance with supporting the following positive ethical investment organisations.

We encourage you to do your own independent research into these decent ethical sustainable organisations then consider joining them.

A sustainable investment strategy is recommended with a view to investing a regular small amount on the long term basis. Perhaps saving a nest egg for ones retirement in their 70’s or 80’s? Possibly save the premium for a new hybrid vehicle that isn’t quite in ones reach now yet will be in ten years’ time.

It is of no relevance when one individual invests £1 000 000 – it is better than 100 000 people invest £10 each a year and continue this trend for many decades to come (and encourage their friends and family to do the same). It is not just a question of the strong sustainable financial input; yet rather the exchange of knowledge and good practice that will be learned from such activities. This will encourage more benign sustainable practices on the domestic front, the banking economy and raise awareness of improving desperate situations in the locality of developing countries with micro loans and financial innovation.

Look into your legal and taxation guidelines, can your organisation use the investments for any form of tax relief? The Government may change policy to encourage more sustainable banking/investment practices. For your business or organisation to declare such investments would be a strong component to your CSR policy and encourage your stronger staff morale and business/local community relations.

Over the years strong investment into sustainable and ethical funds will generate billions into viable fair investments programmes with assured returns. What Davius (and others) began encouraging in the 1990’s has in he 2010’s become known as divestment – shifting your funds to more sustainable investment companies and away from fossil fuels and oppressive regimes.

Everything can be improved. A billion people making such sustainable contributions could lead to international social, economic, political and environmental peace. What token small input can you financially contribute and invest?

Here is a list of the businesses and investment charities Davius actively supports (the dates are not when the groups were established rather when Davius began investing in them):

Café Direct

(2004 – present) Fair Trade is a strong established process in the international community. Café Direct was established in 1991 raising awareness, linking industry to developing countries withglobal_logo_tm[1] emphasis on people who needed a fair deal and commenced fair trade. Café Direct opened their investment portfolio to the general public in 2004 for ethical investment for all to invest in Fair Trade coffee (and other commodities).

Café Direct have pioneered the field of fair trade tea and coffee and created the coveted Gold Standard in guaranteed minimum price above the market standard conditions ensuring developing country farmers get a better deal and improve their livelihoods and communities.

The more people that invest in Café Direct – opportunities to farmers [working in countries with brutal regimes or very unfair economic/political systems] will be given a genuine chance to improve their quality of life, get the fair minimum price without being harshly undercut by poor market conditions. Additionally the farmers and growers will gain more resources to create further skills acquisition, encourage more craftsmanship and secure education for their offspring. Your investment will support greater farming fairness, more natural/organic growing techniques and encourage education to grow everywhere.

Co-Operative

(1995 – present) Established in 1872 The Co-Operative Banking Group has consistently been a strong community orientated brand. With market expansion into banking, supermarkets and retail, insurance, funerals, travel agents and other areas it has a strong history of investing in communities and setting strong ethical conduct code in industry.

The Co-Operative has seen very difficult times in the 2008-present recession; now a significant relaunch is planned for 2017 – the Co-Operative has led by example by reducing customer prices whilst increasing/stabilising procurement support behind our British Farmers.

Looking at the Co-Operative Banking arm: The Co-Operative is supporting many international organisations with such focus on micro-loans in developing countries, investment in UK Renewable Energy, ensuring all customer’s accounts are carbon neutral. ‘Practicing what they preach’ with their own internal teams procuring resources and services from sustainable sources. Purchasing other High Street Branches to add to the Co-Operative brand – this business banking system is increasingly expanding.

Credit Unions

(2002 – present) Credit Unions are very ‘locally focused’ and Davius encourages you to get involved with your own local credit union. Your money (something as minimum as £5 a month saved) could really make the different to people living in challenging circumstances – giving desperate people a safe small short term loan (for those with poor credit rating) instead of turning to dangerous loan sharks or extortionate high interest pay-day loan organisations. For many people Credit Unions are not just a savings/loans opportunity – it has strong routes in supporting many local organisations and safe guarding some vulnerable people’s lives.

Ecological Building Society

(1997 – present) Established in 1981 The [EBS] Ecological Building Society has made incredible sustainable financial gains and reallyebs_logo[1] put a strong face on Sustainable Housing financing and mortgages. Even in recession the EBS continue to grow consistently and outwardly creating higher standards in sustainable housing and encouraging more people to undertake sustainable renovations to save potentially beautiful old buildings that may become derelict. Protecting such cultural significance on our landscapes is important in society.

Supporting new builds homes, renovation of homes, farm houses, listed buildings – the portfolio is vast and the EBS produce a regular newsletter updating the public of the fantastic advances they make. Leading by example their offices are a paragon of sustainable low impact professional building with energy saving and water saving measures in place.

More economic incentives exist with very low mortgage rates (given to people how attain the Gold standard in Building performance) as the EBS encourage highest environmental performances for all its customers. For those who just wish to save money with the EBS – such facilities are additionally available to continue to support the sustainable economic progression.

Egni:

(2014-present) Egni – South Wales Valleys Solar Photovoltaic Co-Operative – Launched in 2014 with £155, 000 share investment from many local supporters – Egni (Welsh for energy) which has solarised 5-7 community buildings in the Tawe Valley area.

A 2nd share offer from Egni is due in near future, with a view to invest in a further 5-10 community buildings.

Ethical Property Company

(2002 – present) EPCo: The Ethical Property Company, established in 1990’s: strongly fulfils its namesake. The ethical leasers havelogo[1] invested in property regeneration and then building strong alliances with the new tenants (often from sustainability inclined organisations) that take up residence in the Ethical Property Companies offices and workshops.

Each few years, the Ethical Property Company open investment opportunities to people who wish to invest their money into sustainable and socially responsible property development and ethical professional landlord operations. The list of clients who are leaseholders of these offices is impressive with strong social/local economic/environmental credentials; your investment furthers the outreach to support many positive organisations.

Organisations like the Ethical Property Company have stepped up and replaced terrible infamous, reckless and opportunist irresponsible business landlords. Pulling the office/workshop renting service industry in a new ethically benign direction. Leading industry by example and proving strong ethics, business transparency and social performance indicators can perform very well.

The Ethical Property Company has branched out all over the UK with investing in office property. In recent years they have branched out with their new IT Company and the sustainable ethical stock market arm called Ethex. An excellent strongly recommended organisation.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, in 2015/16 – two sites in Cardiff have been absorbed by EPCo and we look forward to them absorbing more properties in near future.

Lend with Care

(2012 – present) Innovation is a driving force many countries Governments and Industry hope will delivery us from the globalLend with Care recession. In the developing world it is a challenge to bring a new product into a market that is stagnant, saturated or set to collapse under its own weight. It is more frustrating for developing countries with impoverished people who have no hope of bringing a really good produce to market.

For as little as a £15 investment you could improve an inventors opportunities in the developing countries, helping them bring their product to micro markets. A recommended £15 investment which you can ‘fire and forget’ will have a very positive effect upon many broken communities and encourage real innovation in the developing countries in places where they will never secure conventional funding. Your input could improve the quality of life and support real independence for many who currently reside in poor social conditions.

Out of this World

(1995 – 2007) OOTW (Out of this World) was established in 1995 with a view to open a sustainability retail franchise. They beganlogo[1] calling for members and investments from across the UK. This led to four shops opening successfully showing a market niche for organic, locally/ cultivated foods and fair trade products to support the international communities in developing worlds – pioneered long before the main high street big supermarkets showed any interest.

Sadly and regrettably out of this world went into administration in 2007. Fortunately one of the established shops is still making excellent trade and we strongly encourage you to visit it if you are in the Nottingham area then please consider visiting the shop. They additionally have internet ordering facilities for people around the rest of UK.

The Phone Co-Op

(2002 – present) Established in 1998, the Phone Co-op (more commonly referred to now as The Co-Operative Phone and imagesCA2WHGRFBroadband) is a somewhat unique organisation that makes a significant contribution to the telecommunications industry. With a wide business co-operative portfolio of positive strong services in digital communication:

  • broadband fast internet
  • mobiles
  • landlines

With excellent cost competitiveness and performance – The Phone Co-op can support your business. Retaining low costs year after year; the Phone Co-Op invests and donates into many local and beneficial social/environmental projects and groups.

You can save money with the Phone Co-Op (similar to a Post Office account) with a competitive rate of return. Like the majority of these organisations – even in a period of recession they all continue to grow in an economically sustainable manner.

“Become part of the communications co-operative.”

Riverside Community Market Association

(2002 – present) Farmers Markets are imperative to improve local food/agricultural economies and local community links to farms.logo-final[1] Reduced food miles make a significant positive contribution to the global environment, reducing transport time and costs to farmers and consumers. Local cultivation, local sourcing and local agricultural sales will improve every countries agricultural economy.

The Riverside Farmers Market Association Established in 1997 with a mission statement to provide low cost, locally produced nutritious organic food for local people from low income backgrounds. Within a decade this group have produced excellent results with greater outreach of local farmers/producers and setting up four separate local farmers markets each week for local people. This has generated closer local social and economic interconnectivity, new partnerships and several spin out organisations. The farmers markets have become an integral part of the local economy.

One of the spin out organisations is The Riverside Community Gardens which became its own CIC entity in 2014. It is established on a large scale allotment which has encouraged local people to engage in healthier cooking, skills workshops and improving community links on a city wide scale. This has branched out further into an orchard programme. Industry (as part of team building and CSR policy) will spend a day at the Community Gardens volunteering.

Riverside Market Garden

(2010 – present) Taking further steps in the last 2000’s, the RCMA have now purchased local farm land which the community can investlogo-final[1] in. Please consider investing [£50 a share] in this co-operative farm. Investors are given the opportunity to become actively involved in the sites running with labour and ideas to the farm site. Permanent new jobs have been generated and the farm site has additionally established a weekly food ‘box scheme’ to sell the farms produce to over a hundred locals who partake in the scheme.

Shared Interest:

(2005 – present) Established in 1990 Shared Interest opened their portfolio for specialised ethical investment to support global fairshared-interest-logo[1] trade. With thousands of supporters across the UK, Shared Interest has investment accounts which we can save money with to support fair trade markets across the world. As with many of these organisations – investing a small amount each year with a regular standing order each month will make a significant ethically improved difference in developing country’s economies.

A regular newsletter informs the shareholders and investors of the significant improvements made each few months opening up new markets and supporting new growers/customers partnerships. Your power of e.g. £100 saved a year could have a significant positive social/ethical/ and most importantly EMPOWERING impact upon people in difficult conditions thus improving their quality of life.

Triodos Bank:

(1997 – present) Established in 1990 in the Netherland, the UK branch opened in the 1990’s. An ever expanding sustainabilityuken_logo[1] focused bank which has seen continual growth in a recession when high street banks have needed to be bailed out by the tax payer.

Triodos Bank offers conventional banking facilities of internet banking, various accounts and loans. Their business includes investing loans in renewable energy, charities, co-operative groups, private ethical businesses. With additionally bids for investment in renewable energy initiatives such as the Wind Fund established in 1995 and grew into the now renamed Triodos Renewable Fund; giving opportunity for anyone to invest their money into renewable energy projects.

The more people that invest, the national sustainability portfolio will increase as we economically prove that renewable energy, community projects, special needs people, society and art, organic farms and assorted social/environmental charities that have now been established as the mainstream must now strive for 100% market share. A world of 100% renewable clean energy, 100% naturally cultivated locally sourced foods, 100% socially included society is attainable by the end of this century.

We all need savings plans. A mortgage deposit for you or your children, college tuition fees saved over twenty years, money saved up for a car, a long overdue holiday. We all need to save. All that we ask is your consider how much weight your money has. Where you invest it has global impacts.

Realistically – we need to think of long term savings programmes for ourselves. A difficult concept in an era of recession riddled with debt and under productivity and with banks being too scared to invest.

Even in recession when many markets are crashing – the sustainability/ethical related investment field continuously has maintained steady consistent growth which you can read in their annual reports. The growth may be too small for the greedy – yet at least it is consistent and does not obey the foolish Boom and Bust economic/social phenomenon.

You contribution will make many positive social/economic/environmental improvements to other people’s lives. The ethical investment and sustainable economics options are available should you wish to consider it.

Other Links:

Share offer hub for Community Renewables: ‘Renewables in UK Share Offers

Local Food: ‘Food Co-Op Wales’

Sustainable Housing: Association of Environmental Conscious Building

"Sustainability: Think it … Make it … Live it!"

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