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Ethical investment set to rise with generation of 'green teens'

20 May 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Financial institutions are being urged to up their green credentials as 'Green teens' grow up with a sense of responsibility to their environment, hassling their parents to invest in ethical companies.

The next generation of investors and consumers has spoken, and the word is 'green', the UK Social Investment Forum (UKSIF) has revealed. Teenagers have issued a warning to investment fund providers that they will be directing their future spending power towards social and environmental issues.

A report commissioned to launch the first National Ethical Investment Week (May 18th – 24th) entitled 'My Generation: Social Spending Power', has revealed that 73 per cent of teenagers believe that supporting ethical issues will help to determine their future choices concerning financial providers and products.

Four in five teenagers believe they will be able to influence companies by controlling where they spend and invest, while more than half believe that their generation has a better understanding of this 'financial clout' than their parents' generation.

When it comes to demanding that ethical options be made available to them, today's teenager says that savings accounts

and investment products will be their main priorities, followed by green mortgage and pension products.

They also named and shamed a number of 'no-go' areas which they said would not get hold of their investment, such as tobacco companies and weapons manufacturers, favouring ethical investment companies that avoid child labour and that are innovating new ways to protect the environment.

Penny Shepherd, Chief Executive of UKSIF, which is organising NEIW, said: "Financial services providers, and indeed, all businesses, cannot afford to dismiss the results of this report as youthful intent. This will be the most socially-aware generation of consumers yet, who have been exposed to more information about social and environmental issues, and are also very aware of the power of the pound. If they are to attract and retain their custom, providers must sit up and take notice of their views."

UKSIF also found that these socially aware teens are demanding that their parents invest in companies with ethical credentials, and its research has revealed that for adults, children rank equal to the media in influencing their green decisions.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd