News and Analysis | Written by Victoria Redsell, Paraplanner, 17 November 2023

Path at Ethical Consumer Week 2023

November played host to the annual Ethical Consumer Week 2023, and Path Financial were again more than pleased to be one of the main sponsors of the week, along with ecotricity, Ecology Building Society, The co-operative bank and Practical Action. 

Ethical Consumer, is a not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder co-operative and has been running since 1989. Ethical Consumer produce a monthly magazine and run a website that aims to provide the information and inspiration to revolutionise the way we spend, save and live. Akin to ‘Which’, Ethical Consumer is the go to resource for those of us who care about our impact on the world and want to make informed, better choices before we checkout.  Covering everything from chocolate to bookshops, energy to sunscreen, electric bikes to biscuits, the website is a veritable A – Z of what to buy and what to avoid.

Every year, Ethical Consumer run a week of a themed events, webinars and an in-person conference; and this year’s focus was the role of consumer activism in creating thriving communities; and explored topics including: Global and local supply chains and community activism around them; Community energy; Ethical finance and how communities can raise capital for projects; Sustainable food; Regenerative enterprise and economies; Challenging corporate power and Researching corporate ethics.

This year’s week ran from the 7th of November and culminated in the sold-out in-person conference at the Rich Mix centre in Shoreditch, London. A wide range of sessions and webinars ran throughout the country and over the internet and covered a fascinating variety of topics such as ‘is it possible to have a sustainable marriage’, which was nothing to do with divorce rates,  ‘how to create ethical supply chains’, which included testing ethical ice cream and kombucha, ‘from fast to fair’ a discussion on the role of the consumer in the fashion industry, ‘how circular economies are offering an alternative to food air miles’ – which covered regenerative farming; to name only a few of the sessions on offer.

Path Financial hosted a ‘Be the Change’ webinar which focussed on the power locked up in our money. Did you know for example, that there is currently £3 trillion invested in UK pensions. £3 billion of that is linked to deforestation alone. And, it doesn’t stop at pensions; you may think that the money in your bank is passive; but it doesn’t just sit in your savings and deposit accounts – the world’s 60 biggest banks have poured over £5.5 billion over the last 7 years into the fossil fuel industry, driving climate chaos and causing significant harm to communities, wildlife and the environment.

Campaign groups such as ‘Make my Money Matter’ have produced powerful short films that really punch home the impact our money could have; if we make the effort to move it. One such campaign quantifies that our money can have 21 times more impact than any other lifestyle change we make put together. You may have already switched to meat free Monday or a veggie or vegan diet, you may wash your clothes at 20 degrees, have turned down the thermostat or switched to a greener heating system; but not many of us have thought about what the money we are saving is invested in. For many of us, our pensions and savings will be invested in things that are destroying the future we’re saving for – so less about saving for a raining day, but investing in Armageddon – how crazy is that!?!

Part of Path’s mission as we see it, is to spread the word that ‘green is good’ and that ‘you don’t need to trade your principals for profit’ The Ethical Consumer Week’s webinar was an ideal platform to continue our crusade. The webinar was filled with facts, figures and practical take-aways for people to ‘green-up’ and it was great to hear Rowan Harding and David Macdonald from Path, deliver an excellent session.

Thursday 9th of November saw most of the Path team head to Shoreditch to attend the in-person conference at the Rich Mix centre for the sold out event. Casey Goodwin from Path said:

“It was great to be in a space with like minded people,  who share our passion and commitment to make the world a better place.”

The team at Path are spread all over the UK and the day was a great opportunity to get together face to face and meet with each other and existing Path clients. Being a Path client means that you are not only receiving expert financial advice with a Positive Impact mandate, you are also joining a wider network, which serves as an excellent resource through your adviser to connect with organisations and third parties.

Jack Clancy, our Financial Planner from Totnes runs a monthly drop in session at his local climate hub and was able to connect a client who is looking to set up a renewable energy project with experts in the field, who could offer valuable first hand help and advice. Click here for further information.

The Ethical Consumer conference was jam packed with interactive sessions and workshops on this year’s theme of consumer activism. Our fabulous UN Sustainable Development Goals inspired Path ‘tree’ once more took centre stage and provided a great visual prop for the workshop held in the same space by the organisation, Think like a Tree!  Path Financial also had a stall along with Fair to Nature, EQ Investors, Naturesave, SHI, ecotricty, Ecology Building Society and the Co-operative Bank, which were all busy during the session break-outs.

The team from Path Financial had a day filled with interesting conversations with conference attendees who were interested to find our more about what Path do, and the difference we can all make by moving our money to a Positive Impact investment strategy.

You can book a free consultation with Path here.

Path at Ethical Consumer 2023
Path at Ethical Consumer 2023

As always with investments, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. This information should not be regarded as financial advice.

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