Latest news on ethical and eco friendly living in the United Kingdom

published twice a week

 

Financial services, banking and ethical investments

Record year for ethical banking 02.01.13

After an annus horribilis for Britain’s high street banks, alternative and challenger banks look set to reap the rewards. Ethical bank Triodos Bank reports a 260% increase in new customers in 2012 against the same period in 2011. And following the recent round of cuts in savings rates at high street banks Triodos Bank’s rates are now even more competitive - as a result it expects this strong growth to continue into 2013.

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New review of evidence about onshore wind power to dispel myths for MPs 13.06.12

Onshore wind power clearly has a role in supplying the UK’s future electricity needs despite a number of myths about its costs and reliability, according to a new report by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy.

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Leading US Companies Contradict Own Actions on Climate Science 31.05.12

Half of Reviewed Companies Misrepresented Climate Science Despite Publicly Expressing Concerns. Many of US’s leading companies have taken contradictory actions when it comes to climate change science while pumping a tremendous amount of resources into influencing the discussion, according to an analysis released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

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On track for Rio+20? How are global companies responding to sustainability? 22.05.12

UK and continental European companies are outstripping their US and Asian counterparts, according to a EIRIS’ latest report. The German sportswear manufacturer Puma is named a global leader in EIRIS’ Sustainability Ratings report with British drugs company GlaxoSmithKline and the Dutch electronics company Philips also scoring highly.

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Sustainable Investment organisations launch global trends report 04.04.12

Sustainable investment membership organisations in major markets have agreed to join forces to create a trailblazing report on the global scope of sustainable and responsible investment. For more than a decade, these regional bodies have produced research reports, generally on a biennial schedule, on the trends in sustainable and responsible investing within their own markets. The release of this harmonized global “Trends” report, the first ever, is scheduled for December 2012.

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Ethical Banks: Forging a new sustainable path for finance 04.04.12

A new study Commissioned by the Global Alliance for Banking on Values shows that sustainable values-based banks, which base their decisions first and foremost on the needs of people and the environment, are outperforming traditional mainstream banks in many areas, including financial indicators such as return on assets, growth in loans and deposits, and capital strength, making a compelling case for values-based banking.

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Are British banks getting billions in hidden subsidies? 14.02.11

A new briefing from think-tank nef (the new economics foundation), released the day before Barclays announce their full year results.’ Feather-bedding Financial Services’ briefing asks whether banks would be making any profit at all without billions in hidden subsidies from the British taxpayer and bank customers.

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Triodos launches competitive online easy access savings account paying 2% 14.02.11

Triodos Bank, the bank that brings together people who believe in a better world with the organisations making it a reality, today launched the Online Saver Plus easy access account paying a competitive 2%.*

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From Greed is Good to Green is Good 10.11.10

New research, released as part of National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) 2010, reveals that increasing numbers of people want to use their cash to create a sustainable future. Savers and investors are adopting a new attitude of individual responsibility in the wake of banking and environmental crises, combined with huge Government spending cuts. Figures from YouGov show that more than half (54%) of all GB adults with investments want to make money and make a difference, doing their bit to ensure a resilient future.

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Ethical Investment on the rise 10.11.10

The Investment Management Association’s (IMA) quarterly statistics issued today, the fourth day of National Ethical Investment Week, show a 25% year on year increase compared to the 3rd Quarter of 2010. Net retail sales of Ethical funds totalled £74 million in the last quarter, above the average of £64 million for the past four quarters.

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Ecotricity launches EcoBonds for a Green Britain 09.11.10

Ecotricity Group Limited (“Ecotricity” or the “Company”), the UK’s largest independent green energy company, has announces that it is offering investors the opportunity to participate in ‘EcoBonds’. Proceeds from the EcoBonds will be invested into expanding the Company’s green energy generation capacity here in the UK, building new windmills, sunmills and renewable gas sources.

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Time to introduce kitemarking for ethical funds 08.11.10

Barchester Green Investment Limited, the leading ethical and environmental financial adviser, will be urging the introduction of kitemarking for ethical funds at their open seminar discussion on November 10th, during National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) following the recent press reports of some ethical and environmental funds pulling out of BP in the wake of the Deepwater disaster.

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Ethical Investments Given Dragon Den’s style treatment 06.11.10

Just as the value of the market for ethical investments in the UK is expected to be confirmed as surpassing £10bn for the first time, a Dragons’ Den style event taking place next week will highlight ethical issues and the wide range of ethical choices the consumer can now consider.

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Shared Interest: Ethical Investment that understands fair trade 04.10.10

Shared Interest is a twenty year old investment organisation solely dedicated to investing in Fair Trade organisations. With just over £33 million invested in projects in 36 countries Shared Interest is the lender dedicated 100% to fair trade. Their deep understanding of the unique financial requirements of the fair trade business model means that they have been able to support over 450 Fairtrdae producers and buyers throughout the world.

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Greens adopt radical shake-up of banks at conference 12.09.10

The Green Party has adopted policies to restructure Britain’s banking system "to restore financial stability and regain control" over the economy.

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Triodos Bank sees record increase in lending of £34 million for the first six months of 2010 30.07.10

Triodos Bank, the global leader in ethical and sustainable banking, today announced growth to its UK lending of 14 per cent during the first half of 2010. Loans to customers including the Glastonbury festival’s Michael Eavis have enabled the bank to increase its total UK lending to £282m, a £34m net increase on the end of 2009.

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BP - Was this inevitable? 30.07.10

BP look to have finally managed to stop America’s worst oil spill in history. One wonders if it was an unfortunate accident or the result of a culture change in the company. The ethical funds have in the past loved this company, but lately that support has drained faster than the oil from their pipes, writes Investing Ethically founder Alan Kirkham.

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Green Campaign Builds for RBS’s Capital To Be Used Productively 28.07.10

Campaigners have called for the Royal Bank of Scotland to be transformed into a Green Investment Bank to kick start a wave of investment in green technologies, writes Socialist Economic Bulletin’s Michael Burke.

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New report argues RBS should be turned into Green Investment Bank 27.07.10

New research released today finds that transforming the Royal Bank of Scotland into the Green Investment Bank would kick start the green energy revolution. The research, by former Pricewaterhouse Coopers consultant, James Leaton, finds that it would bring 50, 000 new green jobs a year, increase efficiency, reduce the UK’s carbon emissions and improve international competitiveness - whilst not increasing the budget deficit. Source: Platform

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5 Point Guide to Greenwashing Adverts 04.06.10

With the rise in public interest in ethical investment a wide number of Banks have tried to re-position themselves, and their investment strategy, as somehow green and ’caring’. Your EthicalMoney, an EIRIS initiative, have done a 5 point guide to the more obvious greenwashing that advertising agencies have dreamed up to try and dress a goat as a lamb.

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UK ethical investment hits record high of £9.5 billion 03.06.10

Figures released today by EIRIS, the London based non-profit sustainable investment specialists, show that the amount of money invested in Britain’s green and ethical retail funds (i.e. those funds open to the general public) reached £9.5 billion*.

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Riverside Market Garden looking for £10,000 from ethical investors 01.06.10

Riverside Market Garden is a new ethical model for sustainable local food production. This new 10 acre market garden is being created close to Cardiff to make more fresh food available to the local community. To develop the project the project is looking for start up funds of £10,000. Initial investment starts from as low as £50.

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EU Emissions Trading scheme fails to reduce emissions 27.05.10

Sandbag has today released analysis showing how Europe’s carbon caps have turned into a carbon trap. This analysis is launched ahead of the European Commission’s communiqué expected this week, which will analysis the options for moving beyond a 20% emissions reduction target. Leaked versions of the communiqué have been widely circulated and indicate that the EU acknowledges there are problems with the systems and the oversupply of permits, recommending removing 1.4bn tonnes from the scheme from 2013-20. Sandbag analysis shows that that this number is too low, for caps to become effective 2.3bn tonnes need to be removed.

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London to host £1m Community Hydro Investment Event 26.05.10

Just before World Environment Day on 5th June individuals, businesses and social investors have a unique opportunity to support climate change solutions and save for the future. The launch of a £1m community hydro share offer is a chance to invest in hydro-electric power plants that will create clean energy for local communities and help reduce CO2 emissions.

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Charity workers want pensions to be more engaged with Ethical Investments 21.05.10

The Pensions Trust, the leading multi-employer occupational pension fund in the UK for the Third Sector, reveals that nearly three quarters (72%) of charity workers believe investment in companies that operate responsibly is one of the most important pension attributes.

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Alstom enters solar market by investing in BrightSource Energy 21.05.10

Alstom, a global leader in equipment and services for power generation, said today that it will complement its strong portfolio in renewables through a partnership with BrightSource Energy Inc to enter the high-growth solar energy market. Alstom today announces it is investing up to $55 million in BrightSource Energy Inc., with an equity stake that positions Alstom as one of the main shareholders in the company.

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Community hydro share opportunity for ethical investors 27.04.10

The launch of two new community hydro share offers – for a total of £1M - gives individuals who are committed to ethical investments and want a fair return on their money the chance to support climate change solutions and save for the future.

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The Cuts Won’t Work- 2nd Green New Deal Report 11.12.09

This second report from the Green New Deal Group argues that the UK is currently missing a historic opportunity in the pre-budget report to tackle public debt, create thousands of new green jobs and kick-start the transformation to a low-carbon economy.

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90% of fund managers say ethical investments have performed well through the financial crisis 12.10.09

Based on a survey of the global readership of WealthBriefing and featuring comment and analysis from a panel of prominent RI experts, Responsible Investment and Wealth Management: Opportunities for the future published by EIRIS in association with wealth management newswire WealthBriefing explodes the performance myth that responsible investments under-perform. It identifies a growing awareness of environmental, social and governance issues amongst High Net Worth (HNW) individuals and finds that the financial crisis has had a positive effect on the view that wealth managers take towards RI.

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Fair Pensions reviews top 30 UK schemes responsible investment policies 07.05.09

Many pensions schemes now throw around words like responsible, ethical, sustainable. But in reality how do they live up to the trendy sales spin? FairPensions, who have been campaigning for real responsibility in pensions funds reviews the top 30 in the UK. Top prize goes unsurprisingly to the Universities Superannuation Scheme and the wooden spoon to Lloyds TSB Group Pension Scheme.

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SRI fund sales hit 1 billion euro mark in December 2008 26.02.09

Sales of European SRI funds brushed the €1bn mark in December last year reports Responsible Investor, ith European Green Funds now valued at 12.8 billion euro.

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UK banks have 1,207 subsidiary companies in tax havens claims TUC 06.02.09

The TUC is calling on the Government to make the banks in which it has shares or who are receiving assistance from the Bank of England fully reveal their tax haven activities

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Co-op’s ethical policy says no to £1 Billion of business 03.02.09

The Co-operative Bank today (2nd February 2009) unveiled a radical new Ethical Policy. The value of business turned away since launching its ethical stance in 1992 has now passed the £1 billion mark; however, over the same period, the Bank’s total commercial lending has grown from £571 million in 1992 to £4.4 billion in 2008, an average of 14% per annum.

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Ethical Consumerism Report 2007 28.11.08

Household expenditure on ethical goods and services has almost doubled in the past five years according to the eighth Co-operative Bank Ethical Consumerism Report published 30th November 2007.

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Fairtrade and ethical investment - a perfect partnership 07.03.08

As Fairtrade Fortnight draws to an end, James Caldwell from Fairinvestments.co.uk looks at the link between the ethics of Fairtrade and ethical investments.

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18 Fairtrade ideas for Fairtrade Fortnight 28.02.08

With Fairtrade Fortnight reaching the end of its first week, the Fairtrade Foundation has come up with a18 tips and nuggets of Fairtrade information to spread the word about the UK’s fastest growing grocery sector.

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Ethical ISA interest now at 85% says Co-op Bank research 28.02.08

As ISA season approaches research from the Co-operative Insurance. indicates that ethical investment has hit the mainstream with the number of consumers willing to invest ethically increasing by 18 per cent in the past year to 85%.

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Allianz Global Investors launch Global EcoTrends in UK 15.02.08

Allianz Global Investors has announced plans to launch a Global EcoTrends UK OEIC3, after the success of their Global EcoTrends franchise of funds across the world.

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Climate Change Investment- all the rage in 2008 08.02.08

How green are ethical funds, how ethical are green funds? A surprising report from Holden & Partners, ‘A Guide to Climate Change Investment’ shows how many ethical funds are under investing in environmental companies- and may be missing a key growth sector.

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Friends of the Earth launches Co-op Visa card 08.02.08

Friends of the Earth today launches its affinity credit card with The Co-operative Bank, offering a new and easy way to support the UK’s leading environmental charity and campaigning organisation.

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Standard Life’s Ethical Investors drop airlines after 2007 survey 06.02.08

Leading investment house, Standard Life Investments has announced that the Standard Life ethical funds will no longer invest in airline stocks following a survey of its ethical investors.

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Cumulus Climate Change Fund the 3rd CC fund launched this year 05.02.08

Hot on the heels of Virgin Money and Cowen Asset Management, the London-based investment management team at Cumulus, on the PCE Investors Limited platform, have launched the latest Climate Change fund.

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EIRIS Ethical Funds Directory 2008 launched 04.02.08

Global Sustainable Investment specialists EIRIS have launched a new Ethical Funds Directory to help consumers and financial advisers find a green or ethical fund which matches their ethical interests and concerns.

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1st National Ethical Investment Week gets website support 31.01.08

Participating in the UK’s first National Ethical Investment Week was made easier today with the launch of a new website and suite of support tools to help raise awareness and understanding of green and ethical investments.

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Virgin Money Climate Change Fund launched 31.01.08

Climate Change Funds are sprouting up across the range of financial institutions. While being fundamentally different from classic ethical investments funds they seek to invest in companies involved with mitigation of or adaptation to global climate change.

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Cowen Climate Change Fund launched in UK 30.01.08

Cowen Asset Management, the subsidiary of the US-listed investment bank, has launched the Cowen Climate Change Fund, targeted at pension funds and multi managers. The fund is benchmarked against the HSBC Global Climate Change Index .

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Barclays backs Catalyst Social Venture Capital Fund with £5 million 17.01.08

Barclays has today (17 January) announced that it will invest £5 million into a pioneering £25+ million social investment fund managed by Catalyst Fund Management & Research.

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Halifax launches 2 green competitive mortgage deals 10.01.08

Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, has announced the launch of two new products exclusively available to customers buying their home from selected homebuilders. The products feature some of Halifax’s most competitive rates.

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Ethical market worth £32.3bn in 2006 30.11.07

The Co-op Bank’s ethical consumerism report for 2006 show the sector has grown from 29.3 billion in 2005 to £32.3bn in 2006. Household spending on ethical goods and services is now £664, up from just £366 in 2002 an 81% increase in five years.

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National Ethical Investment Week 2008 launched by UKSIF 27.11.07

The first ever ‘National Ethical Investment Week’ will take place in 2008, organised by the UK Social Investment Forum. It will run from 18-24 May 2008 (Sunday to Saturday) and will encourage everyone to consider green and ethical options for their investments.

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Ethical Investment tops £5.8 billion in the UK 14.11.07

Ethical investment funds have shown a remarkable surge in 2007 according to the Investment Management Association. A recent report from the United Nations shows that responsible investment does not reduce returns.

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ibuyeco green car insurance offsets 25,000 tonnes of CO2 since June 07.11.07

Since its launch on World Environment Day in June, ibuyeco customers have now offset over 25,000 tonnes of CO2 as part of their car insurance policies. While carbon off setting is no replacement for cutting down car use it remains a useful tool to off set unavoidable carbon emissions.

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‘Think’ the UK’s 1st ethical credit card from the Co-op Bank 01.11.07

The ’think’ card from The Co-operative Bank offers the growing band of ethical consumers, who shop with their conscience on their sleeve, a lower rate of interest for designated ethical purchases and a package of other benefits, whilst at the same time also helping to save the rainforest

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98% of FTSE-All Share companies paying lip service to environmental in 2006 23.10.07

The ‘Environmental Disclosures Report 2007 marks slow progress in terms of meaningful environmental reporting by the listed companies. In the words of the Environment Agency reporting lacks ‘rigour, depth and quantification’.

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FTSE ET50- a new clean technology index 09.10.07

“There’s money in muck” goes the old Yorkshire expression. Well nowadays there is even more money in sorting muck out. The FTSE group have teamed up with Impax Asset Management to launch an index in clean technology companies.

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Providers not catering for ethical investors 05.10.07

A recent survey conducted by Trustnet in conjunction with Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRiS) has shown that although ethical investment is growing in popularity the investment industry is failing private investors and advisers.

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F&C launches £40m ethical bond 28.09.07

An ethical bond managing initial assets in excess of £40 million will be launched next month(October) by F&C, the asset management company that runs the Stewardship range of funds, the largest ethical funds in the UK

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New European Equity Ethical Fund launched by Standard Life Investments 24.09.07

Leading fund manager, Standard Life Investments today announced the launch of its European Equity Ethical Fund which will be available to investors from Monday 24 th September .

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Ethical Investments 4.6% ahead of average over last 12 months 30.08.07

The latest survey by Moneyfacts.co.uk reveals that ethical investors are being rewarded for following their conscience, with ethical fund returns surging ahead of mainstream traditional funds.

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6% discount on Animal Friends life insurance for non-meat eaters 16.08.07

Not eating meat has been known to have major health benefits but now it also has financial benefits as well. It pays not to eat meat says Elaine Fairfax managing director of Animal Friends Insurance Services, as they launch the first life insurance targeting Britain’s non-meat eaters.

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32% annual growth for ethical investment 13.08.07

Ethical investment funds have never been popular according to the latest results from the Investment Management Association, the total invested ethically passed £5 billion in January and now stands at £5.6 billion.

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What is the carbon cost of your investments? 27.07.07

A groundbreaking report from Trucost shows the carbon foot print of the UK leading investment funds. While the three lowest carbon emitting funds are ethical funds, investing ethically is no guarantee of a low carbon foot print.

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Cracks in ‘Green’ consumer conscience when it comes to tax 27.07.07

Figures out from Unbiased.co.uk claim half of UK consumers not prepared to pay more tax to combat green issues. One in five air travelers are happy to pay ‘green tax’ on ‘carbon-miles’ air travel, while one in 20 don’t care about green issues at all.

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Co-operative Bank turns away over £700m of loans since launch of ethical policy 17.07.07

In the 15 years since the Co-operative Bank launched its famous Ethical Policy, figures released today show it has declined loans totalling more than £700m for ethical and ecological reasons.

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HSBC launches international survey of public attitudes towards climate change 16.07.07

New Research Shows Developing Countries Most Concerned About Need to Combat Climate Change. HSBC’s first international survey of public attitudes towards climate change highlights a surprising spectrum of opinions across the world. Climate change may be a global issue, but reactions to it vary strongly.

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Breathe a little easier with Barclaycard 09.07.07

Barclay’s Bank has launched the Breathe credit card, with a promise to donate 50% of the cards profits to carbon emission reduction projects round the world. The card will also offer enhanced discounts on green options from British Gas, to Natural Collection.

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Who are today’s ethical consumers? 03.07.07

Peter Shield, editor of Natural Choices, looks at the latest research on ethical consumption, and how ethical consumers profiles have changed in the last six years. Which sectors will continue to grow and what are the blocking points?

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Schroders launch Climate Change Fund 12.06.07

Schroders Global Climate Change Fund, the first UK fund to specialise in companies involved with mitigation of or adaptation to global climate change, coincides with a report arguing that UK fund managers ignore climate change.

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Ethical Fund’s great results – are they sustainable? 07.06.07

Demand for ethical investment funds were up 80% in the first four months of 2007 on the same period last year according to Fidelity’s FundsNetwork. Investors are moving into the ethical investment sector as it out performs the markets looking for profits not principals.

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Climate Change- the investment upside 07.06.07

“Global Change and the Financial markets”, a paper from Aegon Asset Management, is a fascinating look at which industrial sectors stand to benefit from the global battle to reduce emissions and dealing with the impact of climate change.

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Ethical Fund managers are today’s true revolutionaries 31.05.07

Hugh Cuthbert, Fund Manager of SVM’s All Europe SRI Funds talks to Naturalchoices about how engaged ethical fund managers are the new revolutionaries, out there battling with companies about the issues that ethical investors care deeply about.

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Ecology Building Society opens the 10,000th saving account 18.05.07

The Ecology Building Society, a unique mutual building society providing a range of straight forward green mortgages and ethical savings accounts, celebrates its 10,000 account after 26 years of providing funding for green housing projects.

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’Blowing in the Wind’ - Companies Want Wind Energy: if Only They Could Get it! 16.05.07

Red tape surrounding "green" wind energy is hampering UK companies looking to significantly cut their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions says the Co-operative Insurance in a wish list sent Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for the Trade and Industry and backed by 10 of the UK’s major corporations.

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Co-operative Insurance makes ethical finance child’s play 14.03.07

Welcoming the Government’s increased commitment to including finance in school curriculum Co-Operative Insurance, the UK’s first ethical Child Trust provider, suggests ideas some fun ideas for teaching kids at home.

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Friends Provident Stewardship funds pass £3 billion mark 01.03.07

Friends Provident, the first provider of ethical investment fund in the the United Kingdom and now the largest ethical funds provider, has announced that at the end of 2006 it had £3 billion under ethical fund management.

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CIS Sustainable Leaders Trust- Out Foxing the Market 13.02.07

The Co-operative Insurance (CIS) Sustainable Leaders Trust, a green and ethical fund managed by Mike Fox, is in premier position for the twelve months up to the end of January 2007 in the UK All Companies unit trust sector.

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Investors challenge companies on Climate Change 02.02.07

How powerful are investors in getting companies to tell the truth about carbon emissions? Well when those asking the questions represent $41 trillion in investments on the whole they tend to get listened to. The Carbon Disclosure Project has just started its 5th Global survey.

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Book Review- Smarter Investing by Tim Hale 13.01.07

“Smarter Investing- simple decisions for better results “ by Tim Hale is the clearest, best written introduction to intelligent investing published in 2006. Hale reiterates the simple truth that the individual investor cannot beat the market over the medium term, nor should they try.

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