The amount of money put into ethical investments has hit a record high, according to EIRIS (Experts in Responsible Investment Solutions).
As of 31 December 2009, the amount in green and ethical investment funds which are available to the general public had reached £9.5billion.
The EIRIS says this figure represents around 750,000 investors who are choosing ethical funds, up from around 200,000 in 1999, when UK investors had around £2.4billion in ethical investment.
To reflect the growing demand for ethical investment, there are now about four times as many ethical investment funds on the market compared to 10 years ago, with investors now having about 100 funds to choose from.
Growing consumer interest is also reflected in public opinion about investing in ethical funds, as an EIRIS survey of post-credit crunch attitudes to ethical finance revealed that nearly half of the UK takes an interest in the ethical credentials of the financial products they buy, and take this into consideration when deciding which ones to go with.
Following the financial crisis, "2010 is a critical year for rebuilding public trust in UK financial institutions," says Mark Robertson, spokesperson for EIRIS. "It's clear that increasing numbers of consumers are turning to those financial institutions which offer financial products that make money whilst making a positive difference to the world."
It is not only an ethical choice but a financially sound one, Mr Robertson continues, explaining that ethical investment is "creating attractive business opportunities, which in turn are creating great investment opportunities which consumers can take advantage of' he continued."
Some of the areas of investment he mentions include those which tackle aging populations, climate change, obesity levels, the global power shortage, and water scarcity.
The EIRIS believes that a growing consumer interest in climate change, human rights, poverty and fair trade will drive demand for green and ethical investment.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd
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