Financial Activism – Use Your Money For Positive Change
How do we face the astonishing challenges that 2020 has brought into stark relief?
We have known for many years that our ever-increasing consumption, and the resulting demand for energy, land, water and resources, is driving the planet to the brink. In 2020, our planet is on fire.
For years, we have been witnessing a deepening gap between rich and poor, with wealth increasingly amassing in the hands of the few. In 2020, billionaires’ wealth increased by 27% ($10.2 trillion) in just four months.
Faced with this shocking reality, how can we effect positive change? When governments and corporations are not always a force for good, what can we do? 2020 has reminded us that rallies, marches and petitions are effective ways to make our voice heard, demonstrating the power of combined, collective action.
Financial activism is a movement which is quietly gathering pace. While as individuals we may not have the financial wealth of billionaires, governments, or large corporations, more and more of us are deciding that our money should be used to support the wellbeing of people and planet. This collective power is a catalyst for positive change. Time for the movement to get louder.
Ethical Consumer Week reminds us that we can be socially and environmentally responsible consumers. For example, we are reminded to buy from ethical brands, shop local, shop with co-operatives, shop pre-loved and embrace less is more.
Good Money Week reminds us that our decisions on banking, pensions savings and investments can also drive positive change. We need rapidly to move to a world where money saved in bank accounts, pensions and investments supports an economy which creates value for people and planet. Examples are accelerating the growth in clean, renewable energy and increasing the energy efficiency of people’s homes through measures such as improved insulation. Financial institutions must be transparent about the projects they fund, to enable investors to make informed decisions.
By choosing an ethical bank, whether you are saving or borrowing, you are part of a collective movement enabling the bank to channel funds into projects that benefit society.
At Ecology Building Society, we are part of a growing, global movement for mission-led ethical financial institutions – the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Our mission is clear, we are a mutual organisation, owned by our members, dedicated to improving the environment and society by enabling sustainable buildings and communities. Our role is simple, we enable our saving members to use their finances to achieve positive change, through funding sustainable mortgages for borrowing members who want to build or renovate energy efficient housing. Achieving positive impact has been at the heart of our organisation since our formation in 1981. Financial activism needs to get louder. 2020 is the catalyst.
Published: 26 October 2020
Author: Jennifer Whiteside