We were very pleased to have Stuart Barry speak at the World Environment Day Dinner held 2 June 2018. Stuart gave us three ways we can use our money, however meagre, to change the world. Stuart is the author of The Rich Greenie.
Through volunteering and donating to good organisations we can really make a difference to help with environmental protection. Being informed and using this in the political system also helps. I believe the third leg, and most under-utilised for environmental protection is using the power of our money to shape the world for the better.
The three simple and incredibly effective ways for “greenies” to use their finances to change the world are:
1. Your bank
Hold your bank accountable – access to bank money is one of the key ways destructive projects get to proceed.
What to do? Send a short, simple email on a topic of interest to you. For example, ask if they fund fossil fuels. On response ask them for more detailed information about why. Threaten to leave if you’re not satisfied. The more of us who do any of these steps the more wary banks are of controversial loans like Adani.
2. Your super
Super funds are the second key source of money for bad corporations. 85% of members do not want to invest in industries that destroy the type of environment and society they wish to retire into. Super funds are keenly aware of this however they see it as their money to invest how they wish.
What to do? Contact your super fund and ask if they are investing your money in fossil fuels. If yes, ask how this makes sense given you are investing for the next 40 years. Ask isn’t this risky given we need to keep temperature increases to 2 degrees? This will make them very, very nervous. They know it’s insanely risky to invest long term money in a sunset industry. Threaten to leave them if you’re not satisfied. The super industry is already quietly panicking over customer concerns, more of these questions will help convert their panic into action
3. Your shares
Do you have direct shareholdings?
A tiny Canberra not-for-profit, the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility needs to hear from you. This little “David” has been taking on the “Goliaths” of the corporate world and has already achieved a series of absolutely stunning wins against corporate donations, transparency for big banks financing carbon emissions, had action agreed by two of Australia biggest polluters and recently took on BHP and RIO to stop financing fossil fuel industry lobbyists.
What you can do? Let them know what shares you own, if they have a future campaign against any of these firms you can add your name to help them achieve the 100 shareholders to get the campaign up.
Your bank, super fund, and shareholdings can be very easily and effectively used to drive real change in the corporate world to stop bad projects and industries harming the environment. Join the thousands of Greenies Australia-wide already putting the system on notice that it’s your money and they will forever lose your business is they don’t lend and invest it responsibly.