How Sustainable Are Your Savings?
Is your savings provider ethical? Do they care about sustainability? How can you tell?
If you’re a Member of Ecology Building Society, chances are you’re as passionate about sustainability and our environment as we are and that’s one of the reasons you save with us.
In July we spoke to 1,019 people in the UK who want to shop sustainably. This research showed:
- Awareness around sustainable and ethical finance existing is low.
- Sustainably-minded people want to make ethical choices when managing their money.
- 45% of people we spoke to believed they were already with a sustainable or ethical savings provider but were less certain on what they were doing in this space.
- The most common reason for not being with a sustainable or ethical provider (given by 54% of respondents) was that they didn’t know such providers existed.
So how can you ensure your Savings provider is aligned with your values?
1. Find out what your money is used for
This can be easier to understand with a building society, as typically savings money is used to lend to borrowers for a mortgage. With banks, money can also be invested with other companies, which might not be aligned to your values. Online tools like https://bank.green/ can help you find out where your money goes.
Another clue is whether sustainability is something your savings provider cares about? Do they highlight it on their website or in their financial results? Do they have targets for what impact they want to have? This is a good indicator on how high sustainability is on their agenda. But beware of ‘greenwashing’, where a product or service is packaged as ‘green’ with little or no evidence or with token gestures.
2. Find out what Sustainable savings options are out there
Ethical Consumer and Good with Money are some great examples of online publications who rank providers on their sustainable and ethical practices, rather than just comparing by interest rate. They’re independent of any financial organisation and provide information and analysis on which providers are or are not sustainable.
Building societies were founded by people who realised they could achieve more by working together – collectively we really do have strength in numbers . Together, we can send the message that sustainability in finance does matter.
Here at Ecology, we’re passionate about making a positive difference to our world through finance and building a more sustainable future. Working with our Members who share this passion, we can make this a reality.
Published: 18 September 2023
Author: Pauline Crawford