Beacon shine a Greener light
Last year at Beacon we celebrated 10 years of our five risk rated Ethical Portfolios. This is unusual for any practice, and is something that we are extremely proud of.
In the early years many people saw Ethical investing as the investment choice of sandal wearing, tree huggers and take up was low. The choice of companies to invest in was limited and costs were higher. Today, all this has changed, and these same people are seen as evolutionary.
Fund growth/performance has been strong for a number of years. Compared to the industry professionals we have measured very well, beating all twice in recent years and achieving second in another when we were not top.
Our Ethical Investments
Our Investment Manager, Rachel, who has been overseeing the portfolio for the last 8 years has used processes established in our internal investment team to great effect. Whilst the last 10 years has seen markets hit by Brexit as well as an oil crisis, international trade wars, currency devaluations and the recent Covid crash of March 2020, the average risk portfolio has still achieved 141% (ten years ending 31/12/21) which is an average of 9.18% annualised, our cautious portfolio has achieved 114% and our high risk portfolio achieved 197%. (funds can go down as well as up and past performance is no guarantee of future performance).
It’s true that an Ethical portfolio has extra share screening costs, but now processes have moved on over the last 10 years the difference is small.
Our own fees are the same regardless, as we have never charged extra.
It takes a long time to really understand the science of Ethical investing, and whilst past performance is no guarantee of future returns, we have done well. Don’t just take our word for it, we have been short-listed for the last two years as Ethical Advisers of the year by Professional Adviser.
Times have changed and today everyone speaks about sustainability and saving the Earth, and we are no different. We are evolving, the same as everyone is, and our Ethical Investments are just the start.
A dedicated team within Beacon has been reviewing what we do as a company and how we can make changes, both big and small, to make a difference with our own carbon footprint, as well as those of the Ethical Investments, and we wanted to share those changes with you.
As well as donating the 500 sqm wildflower meadow to our local riverside park last year, we have also implemented the following across the group:
- Over 10 years of Ethical Investments – with smaller carbon footprints than whole of market.
- We are donating the wildflower meadow to the Riverside Park in St Neots again in 2022.
- Client Portals to reduce paper.
- Air source heating to lower emissions.
- Smart meters to also lower emissions.
- Renewable energy provider – to be reviewed annually to ensure that we are as green as possible.
- Cycle to work scheme to reduce emissions.
- Plantable Christmas and birthday cards to reduce paper wastage. It is also good for bees and wildlife.
- All of our waste is separated into green/food waste and recycling.
- Our water bottles at our water stations are made from recycled plastic. They are refilled and re-used until they are eventually recycled into other useful items – avoiding landfill.
- All of our non-confidential waste paper is made into note pads for staff.
- We purchase sustainable tea and coffee brands.
- A red acer tree has been planted in our garden at our Kimbolton office to mark 10 years of Ethical Investments.
- A Christmas tree has been planted in our garden at our Kimbolton office to grow. We will use this every year, instead of buying new ones.
But we will not stop there.
Things to change immediately:
- Bug hotels in our gardens.
- More Eco-Friendly client gifts.
Continuously Reviewing What We Do
We will be constantly reviewing the efforts we make to go greener and we will always strive to do more. Keep checking back to see what other new changes we are making.
Our campaign has certainly got our staff thinking about their own lives and how they can make changes to go greener so remember, any changes you make, big or small, will have an impact on saving our planet.