Opinion 

Investing responsibly isn't charity - it is good sense

Bruce Bratley

Investing in green enterprises isn’t charity, it’s good business sense.

As a nation, we’re consuming more than double the resources we produce. More greenhouse gases are in our atmosphere than at any other time in history and the ocean is 26 per cent more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution.

I could go on listing terrifying statistics for days, but the reality is that on top of saving the planet (understandably) most investors want to see returns on their cash.

The good news here is that green investments do not have to be entirely philanthropic. In fact, as Claire Perry, minister for climate change stated last month, “the transition to a low-carbon economy is a multi-billion- pound investment opportunity”. 

It’s with this in mind that the government has just launched the Green Finance Taskforce, along with leading figures at the London Stock Exchange, Bank of England and major corporation Barclays, HSBC and Aviva.

For those who are new to the sector, the government’s Green Finance Taskforce may prove to be a useful resource. Within the next six months, the taskforce has pledged to share proposals on how to increase investment in the low-carbon economy.

So what makes the low-carbon economy a multi-billion- pound investment opportunity? Sheer force from regulation will play a huge role. The government has set itself some steep targets to cut carbon emissions for 2020 and demand for enterprises that can make these promises a reality will continue to rise as the deadline looms.

The rise of the millennial workforce will also have an impact. Already more than 100,000 people in the UK work in renewable energy and it’s been proven that the younger generation wants to work for and invest in corporations with a sense of responsibility towards the environment and society.

We’re seeing huge corporations taking this seriously – just this month, Adidas has launched a new trainer line that uses waste plastic from the ocean. 

Put simply, going green has finally become mainstream, not least because green businesses are making use of some of the most forward-thinking technology developments out there.

In the recycling sector alone, we’re already making use of telematics, big data and seat pressure sensors to make waste collection as efficient as possible. In the next few years, we’re expecting robotics, AI and driverless vehicles to disrupt this space even further. 

Green businesses are the future; continuing with the current state of play is simply unsustainable, so now is the time for investors to take a good look at this space.

It remains to be seen how effective the Green Finance Taskforce will be, but I’m assured that a variety of factors will push up investor interest in this space.

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