Investing in a Brighter Future Bob DeAngelis
You know the climate is warming and you may even know why [the Greenhouse Effect due to man-made emissions]. You know there’s an imbalance in nature because you’re experiencing wild extremes in weather and have watched at least several television specials about the extinction of plant and animal species. Perhaps you shrug – what can you do anyway? Well, there are many things that each of us can do to lessen our carbon emissions and support our planet. You probably know some.
Perhaps you have a friend that drives an electric car and your neighbor suddenly has solar panels on their roof. Your colleague at work may be cutting back on meat and your Town Supervisor sent you a letter encouraging you to sign up for Community Solar to save money on your electric bill and support the move to renewable energy.
You may be personally associated with emissions that you don’t even know you have. There may be a stealth polluter that you haven’t even thought about. These are the emissions from the companies you invest in!
Would you invest in a company that murders people for a fee or that tortures children? How about one that slaughters wildlife for no good reason? Well, think about the impacts of investing in a company that is not environmentally responsible. Will it result in premature deaths, or disease, or reduce the biodiversity on our planet?
Making good investment choices can not only help the planet and lifeforms, but it can be financially beneficial. We cannot make investment advice here, and, as you know, there are no sure things, however, investments in environmentally responsible companies can be profitable. And continuing to invest in environmentally irresponsible companies just adds fuel to their fire.
If you are fortunate enough to have investments, please consider what you are investing in. Investments are commonly rated by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. From an environmental viewpoint, this considers whether the company is a good steward of the environment.
Some good things about investing responsibly:
- You may be able to avoid companies that are accruing environmental liabilities, such as large stockpiles of hazardous waste (as from coal mining and burning).
- The footprint of pollution (things contribution to global warming, water and air pollution etc.) will shrink.
- Clean energy is coming. Your thoughtful investing could pay off nicely and help fund the change.
Some things to avoid:
- Companies that extract, produce, transport or sell fossil fuels.
- Companies that have poor or no plans to reduce usage of fossil fuels.
- Companies that have a track record of violating environmental regulations.
- Companies that have a conflict of interest in their governance that could result in higher levels of pollution.
Many investment firms offer mutual funds or EFT’s that are already screened for ESG criteria. That takes a lot of work on their part, and makes it easier for you, the investor.
How about spending some time on your investment portfolio? Let’s invest in a Brighter Future!