Millennials can help us all save a packet while saving the world

Young adults are helping to change the world of investment, by forcing companies to behave better

Simon Read
Personal Finance Editor
Monday 19 October 2015 13:04
Good Money Week: Simon Read speaks to Amanda Young from Standard Life Investments

There’s a new generation of socially- and environmentally-aware people who are going to help us change the world. They’re the much-maligned millennials, reckons Amanda Young, head of responsible investment at Standard Life Investments.

Because they’ve grown up in a time of incredibly fast technological change, they’re spending in a different way, she says. Specifically they buy less because of old-style brand-values and are more like to choose products or services from firms that have values or ethics they sympathise with.

Triodos used the display board at Nasdaq in Times Square to publicise their different approach to banking

It means they’re turning away from global multi-nationals who pay little tax on the UK, for instance. Instead they’re looking for forward-thinking companies that are reaction positively to the growth of the emerging sharing economy.

That’s not just peer-to-peer firms which cut costs by cutting on the middlemen, but firms which are sharing their profits with communities that need them, whether on a local or global scale.

Amanda says there’s been a “huge and significant shift” in the way young adults are choosing to spend and choosing to invest. Their collective power is forcing companies to behave better which, in turn, is helping companies to build more sustainable businesses and growing profits.

But, to mark Good Money Week, it’s time to think differently about ethical investment. Rather than simply avoiding firms that you think harm our world, she says all investors should consider instead impact investment, where you back firms that have a positive social and environmental impact.

Watch our video interview to get her full insight.

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