This post with created in partnership with Vancity Credit Union. Opinions expressed here, as always, are entirely my own.
As I gaze down at my sweet little girl, sleeping on my chest, I can’t help but feel an immense sense of responsibility. I want the world to be a better place for all of us. Like many of you, I try to use my daily actions to minimize our carbon footprint, shatter glass ceilings and destroy racism so that, hopefully, future generations won’t have to, so that those things no longer hold us back.
Leaving the planet better at the end of my days, that’s the goal.
We talk a lot about investing in socially conscious initiatives on this blog so let’s talk big scale, real world social change. What do you do after you’ve already signed petitions, thrifted or upcycled your clothes, bought organic, and volunteered in your community? How do we change the system, build a better world, make good choices for our future in the little things that often get overlooked?
For me, one of the little things I hadn’t thought about was my banking and how my financial investments were being used. So when I first learned about socially responsible investing, I knew it was something I wanted to hear more of. We all invest our money in financial institutions who, in turn, invest that money into corporations or initiatives that can either help or harm the environment and communities who depend on it. Making wise financial decisions that further my investment goals while also furthering causes that I care about only makes sense.
If my money is going to be invested anyway, why not invest it in initiatives that align with my values?
One of the most effective ways to bring about positive social change to any issue is to transform the system from the inside out, which is exactly what socially responsible investing seeks to do. One way that they accomplish this is through shareholder activism, in which they buy up shares in a corporation or industry and then use that position to bring positive change from within. For example, some of the projects where socially responsible investing can be applied are conservation efforts to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, fossil fuel free funds and advocating to have more women working on corporate boards, but the possibilities are endless.
Furthermore, socially responsible investments bring accountability and holds corporations to a higher ethical standard. This gives us a voice to call out companies with an exploitive supply chain, unsafe working conditions or environmentally unsustainable practices. We can protect the earth and help diminish things like human trafficking by being involved in the right kind of investment opportunities.
So I’m rethinking where I place my investments. Because building a better world is entirely possible when we change the system from the inside out.
Photos by Madison of M&Him