Don’t be a fossil fool!

Today we are launching a new campaign, Don’t be a Fossil Fool, on behalf of Triodos Bank UK to encourage savers and investors to divest from fossil fuels and choose an ethical ISA.

Bevis Watts

In spite of the climate emergency – and increasing pressure on government and industry to divest – many individuals are unwittingly supporting oil, gas and coal production through their savings and investments.

Do you know where your money goes?

According to NGO BankTrack, the top UK banks have poured around £150 billion into fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2016. And Triodos estimates that as much as £16 billion of everyday savings could be supporting fossil fuels through British stocks and shares ISAs.

Yet many savers are completely in the dark. A survey commissioned by Triodos revealed that two thirds of us (65%) have no idea whether our savings are currently supporting fossil fuels, and an even greater majority (70%) want banks and savings providers to be more open about where our money is invested.

Bevis Watts, CEO of Triodos Bank UK and a passionate advocate for greater transparency in the banking sector, commented:

“The UK’s banks should be using the money saved or invested with them to protect the long-term interests of their customers in creating a sustainable future. Instead, they’re making fossil fools out of them, by using their savings to fund fossil fuel projects that are harming everyone’s future. This is all in spite of a clear climate emergency and a growing divestment movement across the world calling for action.”

Spreading the word

Greenhouse launched the campaign about ethical savings and investment options to coincide with ‘ISA season’, the countdown to the tax deadline on 5 April.

The team has secured more than 20 pieces of coverage to date, with a combined readership of over 190 million, including in-depth features in The Sunday Times, MirrorOnline, The Independent, Evening Standard and the Daily Mail.

Triodos coverage 2020

To bring the campaign to life digitally, and amplify reach across social media channels, we commissioned a series of digital assets and worked with our partners at Rubber Republic who developed two short films.

We also invited Triodos customers to share their stories about why they chose an ethical ISA – and got a great response. One such customer is Dr Trevor Shields from Birmingham, who said:

“We can all make a big difference with how we spend and save our money. As soon as I heard about ethical ISAs, I was keen to invest in one. I’d never want my cash to be invested in fossil fuels or anything that damages our planet. I now know exactly where my money is going.”

Change your bank, change the world

While the climate emergency can sometimes feel overwhelming, switching to an ethical bank or savings provider is actually one of the easiest and most impactful ways to take action.

We asked eminent environmental scientist Dr Alexandra Jellicoe to join us in backing the Don’t be a Fossil Fool campaign and she provided these words of encouragement.

“The fossil fuels industry is by far the most damaging to our global climate. Reducing our dependence on these polluting fuels is arguably the single most urgent challenge we face if we are to avoid a really unmanageable climate crisis in the next few decades. We all need to make sure our money isn’t supporting an industry that is harming our planet. Switching your bank or savings provider is an effective way to make a difference and reduce the flow of money towards oil, gas and coal projects.”

Power of community

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder to us all of our interdependency as human beings and the importance of community. Triodos empowers people to know where their money goes and use it as a force for good, by only investing in projects creating positive social and environmental change. To find out more visit https://www.triodos.co.uk/ethical-isas.

Greenhouse PR works with organisations and leaders who are pioneering climate action. Whether it’s finance, food, fashion or farming, if you’ve got a great story and need our help to tell it, get in touch with the Greenhouse team on 0117 214 1250 or email info@greenhousepr.co.uk.

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