Stroud named as 'rising star' for ethical investments
STROUD has been named as a ‘rising star’ when it comes to ethical investment.
Residents from the Five Valleys are part of a growing move towards positive investments which not only offer a financial return, but also provide social and environmental benefits, a report has shown.
Researchers from Ethex, an ethical investment trading platform, examined investments by postcode, ranging from shares in ethical coffee and green energy suppliers to ethical building societies.
The report identifies the Stroud Valleys among what it describes as five ‘rising star’ communities, in which a significant number of people are making investments which ‘do good’.
Stroud MP Neil Carmichael said he welcomed the news.
"It is emblematic of Stroud's reputation and demonstrates that by looking down the route of green and ethical investments we can work towards growing in a sustainable way."
Deputy mayor and Green district councillor John Marjoram added: "Historically Stroud has always had a radical edge and social conscience.
"In this town people act locally but think globally. They are very aware of what is going on in society and the world.
"I hope it continues in this way so that we invest peacefully rather than funding war."
The report found that most of the investments and savings have been made in businesses, social enterprises, credit unions and community share offers that give people the chance to invest directly in issues that they care about.
Positive investments tend to be in areas such as fair trade, renewable energy, poverty alleviation, organic farming, community shops and pubs, sustainable forestry, green transport, organic food and farming and social property.
According to Ethex, hotspots are characterised by their strong sense of community, thriving cultural life and large numbers of independent shops.
They tend to have strong arts scenes and have an independent attitude to finance, with many having their own currency.
Green county councillor Sarah Lunnon (Stroud Central) said: "Investing positively recognises that you don't have to separate financial returns from environmental concerns or social justice.
"We can be financially astute without having to invest in sweatshops, the killing industries of bombs and tobacco or polluting oil fields.
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