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  • Archive for January, 2013

    Investing in trees can help prevent deforestation

    2013 - 01.24

    If you’re looking for an investment project that can actually help the environment and society as a whole, especially in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions, you might think your options are somewhat limited. It’s true that most investment funds seem to focus on unsustainable asset classes – some even invest directly in fossil fuels and other carbon-heavy industries. However, a truly ethical investment option does exist and it will even make you money!

    No longer are ethical investment and profit mutually exclusive. Investing in sustainable, responsibly managed plantations of non-native trees in regions that are rich with natural forests, like Canada and Brazil, can actively help to reduce deforestation in these regions. It’s quite simple – if you provide an alternative source of timber to cutting down rainforests, it will help to reduce pressure on those natural resources. If the alternative timber grows more quickly and is available in a cyclical pattern (so it never runs out), even better.

    In Brazil, for example, Greenwood Management’s teak and eucalyptus plantations provide coal for the local steel industry. The steel firms used to use charcoal made from burning rainforests and many of them don’t need to do that any more. It’s not rocket science – just common sense.

    Ethical investments really are the future

    2013 - 01.24

    Investing in ethical assets and projects will always be popular now and in the future, despite some believing that the current interest in philanthropy and green investments may be a fad in response to the economic crisis. Surely, though, it’s simply a cultural response to the knowledge that we all need to make changes in order to reduce climate change and help those affected by war, poverty and, indeed, the impact of climate change.

    This can’t just be a fad. I believe there has been a fundamental shift in the way many of us perceive our planet and those we share it with. Sure, the financial crisis may have given us the kick up the butt we needed to realize the error of our ways, but the reaction will last and last.

    A growing number of individuals – ranging from the very wealthy to your average man on the street with a few bucks to spare – are looking for ethical investment opportunities. At the very least, most of us are beginning to see the importance of avoiding unethical investments.

    Ethical investment opportunities are rising up all over the place in response to this trend. Some of us are choosing to put our cash into impact investment and social enterprise funds that provide low-cost loans to small businesses in deprived areas. Others are investing directly in sustainable forestry projects, like those run by Greenwood Management, in order to do their bit to reduce deforestation.

    Whatever your reasons and whatever your choice of ethical investment, you are in good company.