"How green is your pocket"?
On our quest to know everything and anything about sustainable finance to inform you all, our team was present at the GreenBuzz event ( https://greenbuzzberlin.de ) on the 29th January 2020 in Berlin on the topic of “How green is your pocket?”. Here is our summary.
Our environment is changing, facing increasing issues and today, being sustainable appears to be more important than ever. Options to reverse the trend are available. The trend towards sustainable finance is growing and when one understands it well, it gives you the opportunity to align your investments with your values. But in order to be more sustainable with your money, the first step is to ask yourself “How green is my pocket”?
Oliver Ginsberg was the first to speak. Graduated from the Technical University Berlin, Oliver Ginsberg is now working as a sustainable investment consultant at Tetrateam. https://tetrateam.blogspot.com/
Oliver gave us two pieces of advice based on his personal experience :
→ Politics matter
→ Don’t use all your money on a project
The main topic he addressed was: “Why should we invest sustainably and why is it not just ethical but also rational”?
If you choose to invest in companies that are not sustainable, your investment has a long term risk to decrease drastically and suddenly because of catastrophes or scandals.
One of the most relevant examples he mentioned is the Fukushima disaster. The Tokyo Energy Company stocks plummeted and the company had to declare bankruptcy.
Another example is the crumbled of a big textile plant in Bangladesh in 2013. This incident killed over 1.100 people and the clothes company. https://cleanclothes.org/campaigns/past/rana-plaza
These cases show the risk you can have by investing in companies that are not sustainable. As an investor, you have a long term risk and all of your investments could vanish. If you think rationally, companies that are sustainable are less inclined to meet these kinds of catastrophes. Did you know that?
The second speaker was Julia Dubslaff from the ONG Facing Finance. https://www.facing-finance.org/en/
She and her team provide an enormous amount of information on banks and insurance companies. They classify banks and insurance companies on their level of sustainability and their level of ethics. They created a system divided into multiple categories which give points to banks or insurance companies following multiple criteria.
The result is a great and complete database that can be read easily. You can actually see the classification of banks and insurance companies and check their sustainability. Moreover, they created a recurrent report called Dirty Projects that report on banks that invest in unsustainable activities.
The last speaker of the night was Inas Nureldin, one of the co-founders of Tomorrow Bank. https://www.tomorrow.one/en-de/
The goal of Tomorrow Bank is to create a bank that is sustainable but also digital and ethical. Being a digital bank, Tomorrow Bank allows you to create accounts or make savings from home. Tomorrow Bank is planning on launching a new product that would calculate your CO2 emissions through your expenses. An easy way for you to find out how sustainable you really are.
To sum up, as Oliver Ginsberg said “Big Banks are like Dinosaurs, they are scary but the comet is coming, stick to the little mammals they are the future”
GreenBuzz events are a great way to spread awareness on sustainable finance, we actually encountered people that decided to change their banks after what they learned at the event. What about you?
And as Epicurus said, “it’s never too late to start doing philosophy” or to change your bank.