Perspective

Our 10 steps to going green


We have been feeling inspired about our company’s efforts to be more environmentally friendly and have been looking for ways we can be greener in our own lives. There are some easy wins, as well as some more fundamental changes in behaviours. We thought we would share with you our sustainability team’s top 10 tips for choosing green.

  1. Change your energy provider to one that uses clean energy
    This is one of the easiest and biggest impact changes you can make. My experience suggests there is little difference in cost (it may even be cheaper) and it takes very little effort to switch. An average household would save up to 1.5 tonnes of Co2 per year, the equivalent of 1,653 pounds of coal burned.
  2. Cut down on electricity use altogether
    No matter your provider, using less electricity is always the best option. Shop for the most energy efficient electrical goods, swap old light bulbs for LED’s and make sure you turn the lights off when leaving a room. You will save on your bills too!
  3. Introduce meat-free Monday
    Co2 from meat consumption accounts for 14.5% of green house gas emissions. Reducing the meat in your diet by 50% can reduce your carbon footprint by 35%, creating an annual Co2 saving the equivalent of burning 100 gallons of gasoline. Not to mention the health benefits.
  4. Reduce food waste
    If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse emissions. Freeze more foods and pre cook meals. My mother-in-law had a great tip of slicing turning fruit like oranges, lemons and limes and popping them into the freezer. You can then add a frozen lime slice to your G&T… Saving food from landfill has become even easier as companies like Oddbox collect over-produced or misshapen fruit and vegetables straight from the farm and deliver it to your door. Added bonus – it comes with no plastic packaging!
  5. Line-dry your clothes
    The average household could save £30 in electricity bills and 90kg of Co2 every year just by line-drying clothes in summer. That’s the equivalent of driving 101 miles in a car.
  6. Don’t support fast fashion
    If you think a £5 top sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. The planetary cost of the materials is far higher than that, not to mention the resource and labour. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. At today’s pace, the fashion industry's greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50% by 2030. Buy clothes less frequently and focus on quality over quantity.
  7. Re-use, repair and recycle
    A circular economy is our best hope at achieving sustainability. Throw away less by mending, upscaling and recycling where possible.
  8. Swap plastic for sustainable materials: This month I have swapped my plastic sponges, plastic scrubbing brushes and cotton make up wipes for ones made from natural and biodegradable materials. Granted they cost a little more but they also last longer and the quality is excellent. What can I swap next month?
  9. Offset your carbon emissions
    Reducing emissions is essential, but one way to accelerate your positive impact is to support carbon offset projects. Our sustainability team have all signed up to offset our personal emissions through social enterprise Ecologi, which funds carbon negative projects around the world. It’s easy and inexpensive – plus you get to see your forest grow and read about the great environmental projects you have supported. Offsetting the emissions of one adult costs just £4.50 a month. Find out more at ecologi.com
  10. Choose to invest sustainably
    And of course we couldn’t talk about choosing to be greener without thinking about our investment choices. Studies have shown that investing your savings in a sustainable portfolio could have 27 times more impact on reducing your carbon footprint than eating less meat, using public transport, reducing water use and flying less. Our sustainable growth portfolio has a carbon footprint 50% lower then that of the global equity index, and actively invests to support the energy transition through renewable energy generation and green bonds. Give us a call to discuss how you can invest for the planet today.

    Sources: Carbon equivalents, Environmental Protection Agency. Carbon savings of sustainable investments: Nordeas research

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Marc Brodard

Marc Brodard

Head of Private Clients - Switzerland
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