Barchester Green Investment, the leading independent ethical and environmental financial adviser, has announced its engagement with charities to ensure that their funds are ethically invested. They are currently working with two leading Social Enterprises (SEDEX and WDM World Development Movement) on the design and selection of pension schemes.
The Charity Commission is considering including the following statement in its Hallmark Standard for Charities: “The charity considers ways in which it can take an environmentally responsible approach to its work which is consistent with its purposes, even when its purposes are not specifically related to the environment.” It is seen as increasingly important to eliminate any perceived credibility gap between how charities describe themselves and their actions.
While charities have clearly stated aims and objectives for their work, many have found it challenging to invest their company pension funds in a way that reflects their ethics and ethos. Barchester is now working with a number of charities and not for profit organisations to help them create schemes that are in line with their business objectives. Due to the increase in the number of ethical funds available the selection process is made easier for charities than it would have been in the past.
Tom Smith, Marketing Manager at Sedex, says: “Our central objective is to drive improvements in the supply chains of our 17,000 members. As this is our central mission we have to ensure that we are helping to promote ethical practice within our own business activities.”
John Ditchfield, director at Barchester Green, says, “Year by year, increasing numbers of charities realise the importance of having their funds ethically invested. Not only is it vital to their reputation but is of increasing importance to their donors. More and more charities are asking benefactors to donate through regular schemes so they have some control over their income and, in return, have realised the importance of having their investments and pension schemes committed to funds that follow the same ethical lines as the charity’s mission statement.”
According to the latest research from ACEVO (a leading body for Chief Execs of Charities www.acevo.org.uk) 34% of charities have already taken this route and consider ethical/responsible investment when they come to selecting pension schemes, and other charities are keen to follow suit. This can be a difficult transition owing to the lack of expert investment knowledge within the charities, but, with the help of advice from specialist ethical investment companies such as Barchester Green Investment, funds can be invested ethically, while generating healthy financial returns.
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Notes to Editors:
Sedex (Suppliers Ethical Data Exchange) is a membership organisation that enables companies around the world to share ethical data on issues such as labour standards, the environment, business integrity and health and safety. Over 17,000 companies, suppliers and auditors from around the world have chosen Sedex as the secure place to store and share their ethical data. Sedex was launched in 2004 by a group of major retailers and their first tier suppliers. For more information please visit www.sedex.org.uk
Barchester Green Investment Ltd is the UK's longest established Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) specialising in socially responsible, environmental and ethical investment. The company has been in business since 1985, advising both individuals and companies, with 3,500 clients and £90 million under management. Barchester Green provides a complete range of advice, from individual and company pension management to mortgages, life assurance and wealth management. Restructured in 2008 to become a partnership, it is wholly owned by the advisers and the administrators. Barchester Green is committed to donating a fixed percentage of its annual profits to charity and social enterprise businesses. Barchester Green Investment is a founder member of the Ethical Investment Association (EIA), an association for financial advisors in the ethical arena, and of UKSIF, the sustainable energy and finance association. For more information on Barchester Green please visit http://barchestergreen.co.uk/
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