More and more people want to avoid their money being invested in companies from the oil and coal industry, weapons corporations or other ethically and ecologically questionable enterprises or projects. For all forms of financial investments – whether it be a current account, savings account, investment funds or a Riester insurance – there are now sustainable alternatives to conventional investments.
Alternative or ecclesiastical banks, such as the GLS Bank, invest their money according to their own environmental and ethical criteria. These banks usually have just few or no branches, but they are all subject to the European deposit insurance scheme of up to 100,000 Euro per person. The interest rates are rather low but through the promotion of social or environmental projects there is an “ethical return on investment”. Some of the conventional banks and savings banks also provide individual climate-friendly and sustainable savings investment forms.
In addition to secure savings investments with banks, there are also riskier but more profitable investment funds that invest in shares, real estate, etc. A large number of such funds adorn themselves with names such as “sustainable”, “ecological” or “climate-friendly”. Since these terms are not protected, investors need to examine closely whether the climate protection and/or sustainability criteria of the appropriate financial product really correspond with one’s own ethical and ecological standards.
The following web sites can help in this regard: www.geld-bewegt.de of the Verbraucherzentrale (advice centre for consumer protection) – funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety – provides a wide range of information for ethical-ecological investments. Stiftung Warentest (foundation investigating and comparing goods and services) offers a product finder with detailed information on 109 different ethical-ecological income investments, which can be used after a payment of three euros. The Climetrics-Rating (of the non-profit organization “Carbon Disclosure Project” and the climate protection company “ISS Ethix Climate Solutions”) is a climate rating for investment funds. On the website, those funds are listed that have performed either well or very well in the rankings. Also on the site Nachhaltiges Investment (sustainable investment), you can find sustainable investment funds. You don’t have to compromise on the investment return: the yield on sustainable funds is, on average, on a par with that of conventional funds.
It is not only through resource-saving measures but also with the right financial investment that you can make a positive contribution to human well-being and the Environment.