A woman showing money

What Is Sustainable Investing And Why Should I Be Doing It?

How women can use the power of financial feminism to invest in a more sustainable future.

There’s no doubt that 2020 was one of the toughest on record and, for many of us, the toughest of our lives. But we can also learn from the experiences of 2020 to build a better and brighter future for us all. 

One of the big learnings from last has to be how interconnected we all are. But at the same time, it reminds us of the glaring inequalities we face. In the same vein, 2020 highlighted that there are global challenges that we face and must solve together, as a united world. Challenges like climate change

To do that we need to utilize all levers of change – this is where the money comes in. Money – or rather, how we use money – is a hugely powerful way to bring about change. Enter sustainable investing.

What is Sustainable Investing?

Investing is allocating money to something in the expectation of some benefit in the future. In finance, the benefit from an investment is called a return, historically financial returns. You invest money in the hope that you will reap higher financial returns in the future.

However, this has all started to change. Over the last decade or so, more and more people have begun to look beyond financial returns – more and more people are looking to non-financial returns such as positive impacts on society and the environment.

You may have heard of various terms, such as sustainable and responsible investment, impact investing or ESG (environmental, social and governance). These all have a commonality – the goal of achieving positive change in an area in which the investor is passionate about. And invariably, this will have a social and/or environmental dimension.

what is sustainable investing

Sustainable Investing – The Specifics

To be clear, sustainable investing is not philanthropy or charity. Sustainable investors are still looking for a financial return but they seek other impacts. For the environment, an investor may look at what impact a company has on the resources that sustain it. They may look at the company’s contribution to climate change – say, Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG.) Or the investor may seek out companies looking to solve climate change – such as clean energy or climate tech companies.  

On the social aspect, investors are increasingly thinking about how companies translate their role in society – for example, how a company treats its suppliers or the local communities it operates in. A sustainable investor would be concerned about labour standards and illegal child labour. A sustainable investor would also care about issues like diversity and gender equality within the companies that they invest in.

Why Does This Matter Now?

The harsh reality is that the world faces some pretty big challenges. Our air is polluted, so is our water, our natural resources are rapidly depleting, biodiversity is under threat. At the same time, about one in five people in the developing world live below the extreme poverty line. And yet our throwaway consumer culture means that every year if we put all that waste on trucks, they could go around the world 24 times.

We need to do something about it, and we need to take action soon. And this is where money comes in. Simply put, money is a construct. Humans came up with it. Money is used as a way to organise our economies and our societies. Money is not an end in itself – rather, it’s actually a means to create the world that we want to live in. 

sustainable investing funds

So How Do You Get Started?

Sustainable investing is growing – which means that it is becoming easier for us. First of all, prioritize what you care about. Ask yourself – what kind of issues are important to me? Then translate your priorities into sustainable investment beliefs. These are the guiding principles that spell out who you are and what you want to achieve with your investments. 

Next, do some goal setting. What do you want your investments to accomplish? The more specific you are, the easier it will be to identify how and where you want to invest. Then it is time to get more educated and more empowered. There is a wealth of information and analysis out there so use it to your advantage. Even if you commit just one hour a week. Once you are ready, start action planning – what are the actions that need to take you for A to B. 

Time To Take Action

Being a sustainable investor is about making well-informed, well-considered decisions. Perhaps speak with your pension plan provider about alternative fund options or new funds that may become available in the future that are more closely aligned with your values. Follow up with a financial advisor or your bank on investment products that might be of interest.

It can be daunting to become an active sustainable investor, but don’t be put off. Even small amounts put aside each month can be directed towards something that drives positive impact. It is also worth speaking and sharing with your friends and family – you may be surprised how much others want to get involved in the sustainable investing trend too.

Jessica is the author of Financial Feminism – A Woman’s Guide to Investing for a Sustainable Future. 


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Unlocking Prosperity: Three Fundamental Money Principles for Abundant Living

Wealth Unveiled: Prosperity Principles

Money affects every part of our lives. It can bring joy and security, but it can also bring stress and worry. As women, we tend to have a different relationships with money. One thing is certain though: We all want to live a life of abundance and prosperity. Here are some “Money Principles” are not just theoretical concepts, but practical guidelines that can and should be applied in our daily lives to manage our finances effectively. Let’s create a positive relationship with money.

Understanding the dynamics of money and how it works is the first step towards achieving financial prosperity. Firstly, money, in itself, is not the end goal, but a means to an end. It is a tool that can provide us with the resources we need to live a fulfilling life. However, without the right knowledge and understanding, money mismanaged can be a huge blow to our dreams and sustainability. Therefore, it is crucial to learn and understand these fundamental money principles.

The Importance of Money Principles

Money principles serve as a guide for our financial decisions and actions. It’s about creating a framework for managing our finances effectively and responsibly and help us make informed decisions that align with our financial goals and values.

Its imperative we develop a healthy relationship with money. Instead of viewing money as a source of stress or worry, we can see it as a tool without our emotional involvement. Once we remove anger, fear, lack and other negative feelings from the equation, a shift is created in our energy field. This shift in perspective can have a profound impact on our financial well-being and overall quality of life. It can help us overcome financial challenges, achieve our financial goals, and live a life of abundance and prosperity.

The Three Fundamental Money Principles

Principle 1: Spend Less Than You Earn

This may seem like an obvious principle, but it is one that many people struggle with. As of today, we are an out-and-out consumer-driven society. This is an easy trap for anyone to fall into leading to overspending and living beyond their means. This is how one gets sucked into financial stress and debt, hindering our ability to live a life of abundance. It is therefore crucial to develop the discipline to spend less than we earn and live within our means.

The first step to implementing this principle is to create a budget. This involves tracking your income and expenses and setting limits for your spending. It may require making sacrifices and cutting back on unnecessary expenses, but it is crucial for living within your means and avoiding debt. A budget not only helps us control our spending but also gives us a clear picture of our financial situation, enabling us to make informed financial decisions.

Another important aspect of this principle is to save and invest wisely. By setting aside a portion of your income for savings and investments, you are not only preparing for the future but also creating a safety net for unexpected expenses. This can also help you achieve long-term financial goals, such as buying a house or retiring comfortably. Think about building wealth over time.

Principle 2: Give Generously

What goes out must come in! True prosperity is not just about accumulating wealth, but also about sharing it and using it to improve the lives of others. We are not talking about just giving to charity, but also being generous with our time, talents, and resources. It encourages us to share what we have with others and use our resources to make a positive impact in the world.

Giving generously not only benefits others but also brings blessings and abundance into our own lives. It helps us cultivate a mindset of abundance and gratitude, and reminds us that we have more than enough to share with others. By giving generously, we also contribute to creating a more just and equitable society, which ultimately benefits everyone. Give that tip to your hairdresser, sponsor a kid, help out a local charity in UAE.

Principle 3: Seek Wisdom and Guidance

The final fundamental money principle is to seek wisdom and guidance when it comes to managing our finances. This can involve seeking advice from financial experts in the UAE, reading books and articles on personal finance, or even seeking guidance from religious or spiritual leaders. This principle encourages us to continuously learn and grow in our understanding of money and financial management.

When we learn from the experiences and knowledge of others it also helps us stay accountable and motivated in our financial journey.


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