TYF Group Founder and Director Andy Middleton advises governments and business large and small on sustainable strategies. He’s had his own ethical pension for 15 years – so why did he transfer his pension to The Path?
The reason, Andy says, is simple. His pension now is not just ‘green’– it is as he explains ‘deep green’. This is because unlike other financial advisers all of The Path’s investments on behalf of its clients help to tackle climate change – not just some of them. Andy believes he should be using his pension to support businesses such as The Path that are 100% committed to doing the right thing when it comes to the climate – not just dabbling in it for eco credentials.
Andy’s own environmental credentials are second to none. He is well known through his work running TYF Group, a B Corp based in St Davids which is one of the UK’s best known adventure tourism and sustainable innovation businesses. Named as a top 100 sustainability influencers, he is also a strategic advisor to business and government in Wales and internationally, including through his work with NOW Partners a management consultancy which aims to ‘accelerate economic evolution to regenerate people and planet.’
He has given keynote talks on many occasions for business and government, in Wales, across mainland Europe, China, Hong Kong and India. He is also regularly invited as a guest on podcasts and the BBC to talk about sustainability issues. He says in many respects Wales is ahead of the rest of the UK in terms of the big conversations that are taking place around tackling climate change.
One of the projects I’m working on with colleagues is to change the international financial system. So, I can do that both in my work, and also through my savings and investments. Even if you only invested in ESG funds the world would still be in trouble – most pensions providers don’t care enough about that, and a long way short of what we need from investors – and that’s why I moved my pension to The Path.
A lot of my work – including with TYF Group – is about the power of individual action. I give the example of one constituent who wrote a letter to her councillor and as a result got helium balloons banned by the council where she lives in the Forest of Dean. Individuals are trained to think they can’t make any difference. At TYF Group we give young people the fearless confidence in their ideas and the belief that they can make a difference. And I seek out the people and businesses who are doing the right things and connect them to make bigger, faster change happen.
Andy has four children and two grandchildren and remains hopeful about the future. He’s sure that COVID can help accelerate a shift to clearer and more radical thinking providing that the extra time that people have to think, connect and plan isn’t wasted.
If you look at my diary I’ve now got 30% more time than I had before because I’m not travelling at all for work. That means I’ve got time to think and more time to connect as I’m not out of the office all day. People who it might have taken months to get a meeting with are much more contactable. There are a lot of people ready to have some very big conversations – there’s a recognition that we all have to do so much more to tackle some of the big problems the world faces.
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