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Emerald Investing

20 May, 2021

We love an idea that hits two birds with one stone.  

In the UK, women are less likely to hold investments than men. This has contributed to a pension gap of approximately 40%, and 62% of women in heterosexual relationships, still defer to their partners to make long-term financial decisions. At the same time, the climate crisis continues on, and the OECD estimates that $6.9 trillion in funding is needed, per year, up to 2030 to meet our climate objectives.  

Enter: OwnIt, a partnership between Friends of the Earth and Enrol Yourself to create a peer support network that helps women take climate action through their personal finance choices. The initiative uses a social accountability model, whereby women become trained as “hosts”, and empower their peers to take actions on their investments that align with their values.

Through simple actions such as changing their pension provider or making their first ethical investment, the impact is staggering. By engaging only 140 women, over £1.2 million has been moved to climate action funds to date. They are now looking for employers to help them scale-up, create more peer networks taking action and achieve their target of moving £1 billion by 2030 (you can sign-up to their briefing event here). 

Research shows that women are more likely to promote sustainable habits in the home, so empowering women to align pensions and investments to their values is a no-brainer. However, we know that climate change is not a “women’s issue”, and perhaps this model could be taken up by anyone. Make Your Money Matter is another campaign calling all individuals to “green” their pension, no matter how big or small. 

So, whether you’re a business owner that could back OwnIt or you only have £1,000 in your pension pot, we can all do something to help plug the multi-trillion funding gap for climate action.  

By Jennie Mitchell

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