The UK Social Investment Forum (UKSIF) has announced today that it is to organise the first ever National Ethical Investment Week for May 18-24 2008. UKSIF – the non-profit ethical investment membership body - says the aim of National Ethical Investment Week will be to "encourage people to consider green and ethical investments".
Around six times as much investment is going into green and ethical funds now compared with a year ago and sales of fair trade goods have doubled over the past two years; UKSIF says that National Ethical Investment Week will be a good opportunity to further raise consumer awareness of the benefits of ethical investments.
Leading providers of green and ethical investments Henderson Global Investors, Norwich Union and Friends Provident have already agreed to sponsor the inaugural week, and UKSIF will be launching a huge PR campaign with promotional materials to encourage consumers, financial advisers and community groups to get involved.
“Over the last few years, UKSIF’s training and support has enabled an increasing number of financial advisers to assist clients wanting advice on green and ethical funds. We hope that advisers will highlight their skills and experience in advising on green and ethical investments to interested consumers during National Ethical Investment Week. We believe that the time is right for this exciting new move, ” explains Penny Shepherd, UKSIF chief executive.
George Latham, Head of SRI at Henderson Global Investors, one of the sponsors of National Ethical Investment Week says that the initiative is "a welcome and necessary contribution to the ethical debate," as consumers are clearly interested in ethical investment.
“The evidence can no longer be ignored: consumer interest in sustainable and responsible investing is continuing to grow rapidly and what was once considered a niche market is proving itself to be a long-term growth trend," said Mr Latham.
And James Dalby, Fund Propositions Manager at Norwich Union, another of the week's sponsors said: “There are many myths surrounding green and ethical investing. One example is ‘ethical funds usually under-perform’. This is generally untrue – and National Ethical Investment Week will help to bust this and other common myths surrounding this growing area.”
Julia Dreblow, SRI Marketing Manager at Friends Provident, the third joint event sponsor, says that although ethical investment has enjoyed fantastic success over recent years, many people are still not aware of the range of green and ethical choices now available. “National Ethical Investment Week will raise the profile of ethical investment as an option for all investors. Fairtrade Fortnight has shown how this sort of week can really make a difference,” she said.
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