Healthy Investment, the historic financial institution based in Bury, Greater Manchester, has made a donation of £450 to its local hospice on behalf of members who completed a recent survey about attitudes to ethical investment. Healthy Investment, which has its roots in the nineteenth-century temperance movement, has been a leader in ethical investment for more than 180 years.
Healthy Investment, which is headquartered on the edge of Bury town centre, is a mutually owned provider of ISAs, Investment Bonds, Junior ISAs, Child Trust Funds and Savings Plans. It was established as a friendly society in 1835 and remains owned by its members.
Members who responded to the ethics survey, which was carried out during June 2020, overwhelmingly backed the society’s current policy of not investing directly in the arms, gambling, pornography, alcohol and tobacco sectors – in many cases urging a more stringent stance.
Ninety per cent of respondents also agreed with a proposal that Healthy Investment’s flagship Ethical With-Profits Fund should actively seek out opportunities to invest in companies that have good environmental and social track records. This practice is known in the investment industry as “impact investing”, and seeks to back businesses engaged in activities that investors wish to encourage.
Environmental concerns were particularly important to respondents, with 76 per cent saying the society should seek out opportunities to invest in sustainable energy and 77 per cent backing investment in environmental sustainability more generally. Fifty-eight per cent wanted their funds to be used to support low emission cars and transport.
Peter Green, chief executive of Healthy Investment, said, “I would like to thank all those members who took part in our survey. We were really pleased to be able to make a donation to Bury Hospice on their behalf.
“Healthy Investment was one of the pioneers of ethical investment, and it remains a key element of our identity. Eighty-five per cent of members who took the time to complete our survey said it was either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to them that their investments reflected their personal ethics.
“We have our roots in the religiously inspired temperance movement and have always avoided investment in companies that are directly involved in socially harmful industries. With such a long heritage in ethical investment, though, we wanted to make sure our practices remained aligned with our members’ values.
“Based on the results of this survey it appears that members do still share the values of our founders. However, they do not simply want to wash their hands of social ills, they also want their money to make an active contribution to creating a better world, particularly in the field of environmental sustainability.
“We will be taking these findings on board and, over the coming months, will adjust our investment mandates accordingly.”