What is Sustainable Investing?

9th April 2021

Here at Shepherds Friendly, we always have our members’ best interests at heart. Now, we are delighted to introduce two new savings plans which will not only help our members save, but also make a positive impact on society through sustainable investing.

What is sustainable investing?

Sustainable investing is the practice of trading in a wide variety of investments which ultimately will have a positive impact on society. This is also known as ESG investing which stands for Environmental, Social and Governance investing.

At Shepherds Friendly, we’re proud of being a fair mutual for everyone, so it makes sense that our sustainable investments would reflect this. With our sustainable investments, we won’t trade with businesses or make investments which could harm the environment or society, or who aren’t conscientious about their corporate governance. For example, trading with a business who have high carbon emissions, high pollution rates, mismanagement of privacy and data and have a lack of diversity within the business.

Introducing the Sustainable Stocks & Shares ISA and Sustainable Junior ISA

  • Sustainable Stocks & Shares ISA – You can invest regular monthly premiums and/or lump-sum investments. The minimum monthly premium is £30 a month, which can be increased at any time by a minimum of £10 a month. While the minimum lump-sum you can invest is £100.
  • Sustainable Junior ISA – The Sustainable Junior ISA works similarly, with monthly premiums and/or lump-sum investments available. The minimum monthly premium is £10, which can be increased at any time, or you can invest a minimum lump-sum of £100.

We will invest your money in sustainable investments, which hold a mix of assets including equities, property, gilts, bonds and cash which are then held within the with-profits fund.

What is the difference between the Sustainable Stocks & Shares ISA and the Stocks & Shares ISA?

There are key differences between the Sustainable Stocks & Shares ISA and Sustainable Junior ISA and the Stocks & Shares ISA and Junior ISA.

The Stocks & Shares ISA and Junior ISA is primarily invested in the Royal London Multi Asset Strategies Fund (MAST) which has holdings in gilts, bonds, equities, commodities and cash.

Whilst the Sustainable Stocks &Shares ISA and Sustainable Junior ISA are also stocks and shares ISAs, these are invested in an ESG fund. An ESG (which stands for (environment, social and governance) invests in a diverse range of asset classes, that are deemed to make a positive contribution to society.

Why open an ESG Stocks and Shares ISA or ESG Junior ISA?

With more of us becoming more socially aware than ever before, we want our investments to reflect this and our money to help make a difference.

Which is why this kind of product is suitable for those who are socially aware and actively want to make a difference in the world through actions such as recycling, reducing their carbon footprint, shopping sustainably, charitable giving etc.  

How to switch over to an ESG Investment ISA

You can transfer stocks and shares and cash ISAs from other ISA managers to us, and you can transfer your Shepherds Friendly Sustainable Stocks and Shares ISA to another manager at any time. You can only transfer the whole amount of the current year’s subscription, but you can transfer all or part of previous years’ subscriptions.

We will only send and receive transfers in monetary form. It is not possible to transfer other assets, such as shares, into the Sustainable Stocks & Shares ISA.

Warning: do not close an ISA account and transfer the money yourself, as you will lose the tax exemption.

If you wish to transfer a stocks and shares ISA to us, we will send you a transfer form to sign and we will send this to the existing manager so they can send the money to us.

If you wish to transfer your Sustainable Stocks & Shares ISA to another manager, you should ask the new manager for a transfer form. The ISA regulations state that we must transfer the money to them within 30 days.