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Ethical investments hit record high

Ethical investments hit record high

Category: Investments

Updated: 14/10/2011
First Published: 14/10/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The amount of money invested in Britain's green and ethical retail investment funds has reached a record high of £11.3 billion, latest figures have revealed.

According to the non-profit sustainable investment research firm EIRIS, there are now over three quarters of a million investors in green and ethical funds.

It means the number of ethical and green investors has more than tripled over the past decade, having increased from around 250,000 investors in 2001 when £4 billion was invested ethically in the UK.

The data comes hot on the heels of statistics from the Investment Management Association which showed that gross retail sales into UK ethical funds were up by 25% in the second quarter of 2011 compared with the same quarter in 2010.

At the same time, the suggestion of an increased interest in ethical finance is backed up by the findings of EIRIS' latest Ipsos MORI national consumer survey which explores consumer attitudes to ethical finance in Great Britain.

The poll of 1,030 adults found that 38% of the British public with a financial product or service are interested in green or ethical financial products and services.

Furthermore, of those who expressed an interest, 90% said they would be likely to switch to a different provider if it offered green or ethical investment products.

Mark Robertson, head of communications at EIRIS, said the huge increase in the amount of money being invested ethically has gone hand-in-hand with the interest in ethical consumerism in general.

"Since the credit crunch, people are better informed about the impacts that their spending and investments can have, both positive and negative, and more of us are turning to ethical investment which takes a longer-term approach," he added.

"By avoiding companies with a negative impact, or focusing investment on those providing positive products and services tackling key sustainability challenges, green and ethical funds offer the opportunity to both make money whilst tackling global problems."

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