CASE STUDY

Becky and Roy Francomb – grandparents who want their pension to make a difference and help tackle climate change

Becky and Roy live in Seaford on the South Coast. Grandparents, with six children between them and two grandchildren, they care deeply about climate change and trying to take practical action to address some of the problems facing the planet.

Becky, 55, has worked in the NHS for 31 years and is a senior project manager while Roy, 60, is a community family worker working with looked after children. After careful consideration, they are about to retire at the end of the year. Becky currently works part-time but is going to retire as she needs more time to look after her mum who has dementia and lives with them.

The couple moved their pension to The Path early in 2020 after extensive research, and almost giving up that what they were looking for was even a possibility.

‘We found The Path through an internet search and came across a list of ethical financial advisers. We didn’t want our pension invested in anything that was causing harm – fossil fuels, weapons anything like that. Before that, we had had meetings with other financial advisers and they had been quite dismissive – one had even told us we might as well give our money to Greenpeace. We had been given the impression that there was nothing like The Path out there which is why we are so pleased to have found them.”

The couple, who are both members of XR, are founding members with friends of Seaford Environmental Alliance. The aim of the groups is to help share skills and ideas about living more sustainably; improving the resilience of their local community. They no longer fly and have a mainly plant-based diet but they do both have cars – Roy due to his work with looked after children and Becky because she needs to take her mum out and about. They have however cut down on local journeys and use the cars as little as they can, cycling instead.

But they also realise that making their money matter by moving their pension is one of the biggest contributions anyone can make to help tackle climate change.

“This for me is the most responsible thing I could do. We write letters to our local MP, we take part in XR (Extinction Rebellion) protests, we’ve even been arrested. But moving our pension so it is making a difference is a huge deal for us.”

“The performance for us wasn’t the main thing – but it’s been really great especially at a time of such uncertainty due to COVID. We feel like we’ve made a good choice and everything is so transparent. The paperwork was easy to understand. It’s something anyone can do – not everyone can or wants to be an activist. But moving your pension is something we can all do.”

The couple now want to encourage more people to make their money matter and move their pension to help tackle the climate crisis.

“Time is running out – doing something makes you feel better. I think a lot of people are in denial and refusing to accept the situation we are in. But if you face it and do something it helps you deal with it. It’s using the power of being a consumer in a positive way. It’s very empowering.”

Becky and Roy are now invested in positive impact strategies, that seek to maximise alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These strategies seek to provide financial performance and security, whilst actively helping people and planet. At time of writing, 7 months since switching to The Path, their portfolio has seen 7.4% growth, and saved an estimated 68 tonnes of carbon dioxide (15 cars equivalent), recycled 5.3 tonnes of material (5.2 household’s annual waste), generated 39.6 MWh of renewable energy (12 households), along with a whole host of other environmental and social impacts.

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