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Earth Day 2021: Doing well, for organisations that do good

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Yesterday, we marked the 51st Earth Day with our team closely watching how the world responded. From Greta Thunberg reacting to Boris Johnson’s pitiful speech by changing her Twitter bio to ‘Bunny Hugger,’ to Joe Biden vowing to slash US emissions by half at the Earth Day Climate Summit, we began to think long and hard on how everything we do, and every action we take, has an impact on people, communities and the planet.

With this in mind, we felt inspired to share an example of our exceptional client’s work.

At High-Rise we’re fortunate enough to work with clients that hold a sense of responsibility at their core – one of which is the UK’s first impact-only financial advisory firm to focus solely on helping people to invest their savings and pensions in only the very best environmental and ethical innovators, The Path.

Having worked with The Path since its inception, we felt on reflection of Earth Day 2021, it was only right to share a quick snippet of what this has involved:

Detecting a problem, and being the solution

After founding The Path in 2018, David Macdonald reached out to High-Rise for support in sharing his unique story.

When David suddenly realised how his role at SJP was contributing to the climate crisis through advising clients to invest in funds based on return alone, despite being packed full of oil companies, mining companies and the likes – he knew something had to change.

He considered taking himself out of the game completely. Yet he instead was driven to create a solution – confident that, if investors had the option to put their money towards positive impact industries, they would.

While he can now look back and say he was right, this move was seen as radical – especially when the space around green finance and impact investment hadn’t really been developed yet.

We set up an interview between David and CityWire’s New Model Adviser about this, and the full article can be read here.

Changing the way people think about pensions 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, attitudes towards people and the planet began to swiftly change. All of a sudden, people were taking more time to value their loved ones and the world around them, and – importantly – while stocks in conventional funds plummeted and economies were shaken, positive impact funds remained resilient.

We saw this as an opportunity to start sharing the stories of people who The Path had helped. One special example of this is the experience of retired grandparents from Seaford, Roy and Becky Francomb.

After a lifetime of living sustainably in whichever way they could – stopping flying, eating a mainly plant-based diet, cycling instead of driving where possible, writing letters to their local MP and even being arrested at an Extinction Rebellion protest – the couple started to think about their pensions. But were met with resistance. In fact, one financial adviser told them that they might as well give their money to Greenpeace.

Fortunately, they found The Path and soon set up a portfolio that reflected their lifestyle. Just 7 months later, the couple’s portfolio had saved 68 tonnes of carbon dioxide (the equivalent of 15 cars), recycled 5.3 tonnes of material (the equivalent of over 5 households’ annual waste), and generated 39.6 MWh of renewable energy (the equivalent of 12 households) – as well as seeing their funds grow by 7.4%.

Details of their story and the success that their portfolio with The Path had seen, was covered in a number of national titles including The Guardian and Daily Express.

Expansion of the team

Like David, there were many other financial figures out there who wanted to use their experiences to make a positive impact and change an outdated industry. The Path began to expand its team – and this created an opportunity for us to help share the new and improved faces of finance.

For example, it recently appointed Brighton-based young passionate professional, Casey Goodwin, as its newest paraplanner.

Keen to speak directly to the environmentally conscious people of Brighton and Hove, we secured Casey an interview on BBC Radio Sussex, discussing all about her new position, the ins and outs of impact investing, and the gender imbalance within the male-dominated financial advisory industry.

We offer straight-up and strategic PR and communications to clients across a range of industries who are wanting to do well and do good.

Sound like you? Drop our MD an email at [email protected] or call her on 07921 021326.

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