Finance: Looking for eco-friendly investment

Investors are becoming increasingly worried about where their money is invested, with the vast majority concerned that their investments should not benefit companies which are harming the world, a report said yesterday.

Friends Provident, the life and pension group, is trying to persuade more financial advisers to ask customers at the interview stage about their ethical views. A survey carried out by the mutual organisation revealed that half the number of investors did not know where there money was invested.

Of 993 adults who took part in the survey, 94 per cent said they wanted their investment to benefit companies which were helping rather than harming the world. Some 93 per cent said they would like to make a profit without anyone getting hurt in the process. Environmental damage and pollution, unnecessary exploitation of animals and exploitation of developing countries were areas that investors were keenest to avoid. Friends Provident stressed one of the potential barriers to ethical investment was a perception that an ethical policy would damage investment returns.