A strong majority of investors want their money to do good, but most don’t know how it’s used


  • 63% 18-34 year olds keen to invest in projects tackling climate change
  • Survey launched alongside Ethex 10-year impact report: £120 million invested in social & environmental projects
  • Ethex announces 5-year target to raise £200 million

A new survey launched today shows that two-thirds (67%) of UK investors and savers want to see their money being used to positively impact the planet and society. But more than half (56%) say they’re unsure where it actually goes.

The survey, carried out on behalf of positive investment platform Ethex by OnePoll, also reveals that the younger you are, the more likely you are to want your money to do good - with almost four-fifths (79%) aged 18 to 24 saying this was important to them.

Lisa Ashford MBE, CEO, Ethex, said: “If you care about creating a better future for all, what you choose to do with your money is just as important as recycling, saving energy or supporting charities. It’s encouraging that our survey shows such a high level of awareness of the importance of investing for a positive impact, especially among younger people. But it also shows that there isn’t nearly enough transparency from the financial sector about how they use the money people trust them with. Savers and investors rightly need to know exactly what their money is being used for.”

The sectors people are not comfortable supporting include businesses with links to human trafficking, countries initiating conflict, tobacco, vaping, and arms and weapons, the survey said. But awareness of the ethical investment alternatives remains low, at only 39% - although younger people are more savvy, with 63% of 18 - 34 year olds in particular keen to invest in companies or projects tackling climate change.

The survey is being published in tandem with Ethex’s 10-year Impact Report as the company celebrates 10 years of making ethical investments accessible to all. Since launching in 2013 the non-profit has raised over £120 million from everyday people looking for positive social returns alongside fair financial returns, and built a registered investor base of more than 25,000 people.

Ethex lets people invest directly into specific projects, so they can always see the positive impact their money is making. All the projects or companies listed on Ethex help tackle climate change, social inequality or the breakdown of communities, with many being grassroots or community organisations. This produces a highly replicable model to ensure a just transition to a fairer more resilient society

Lisa Ashford added: “We believe that our money is the most powerful transformational force for environmental and social change, and over the last decade, we have seen the power of people’s pounds in action. We have connected thousands of ordinary people with extraordinary projects, making it easy for them to use their money to support organisations taking real steps to accelerate climate action, build stronger communities and reduce poverty.”

Over 200 projects from businesses and organisations across the UK have raised funds through Ethex to promote environmental and social change. They include 90 UK renewable energy projects that generate enough clean energy to power more than 50,000 UK homes each year.

  • Solar for Schools, which raised £6.1 million to work with schools and communities to provide decarbonisation and energy education through solar installations in schools across the UK.
  • Low Carbon Hub, which raised £9.6 million for a range of pioneering green energy hubs in Oxforshire, from community solar to electric transport
  • Energy Garden, which raised over £1 million for community solar and green spaces in London

For the last 10 years, Ethex has been led by CEO Lisa Ashford, who was awarded an MBE in 2023 for services to Impact Investment. Looking ahead, Lisa and the Ethex team want to build on Ethex’s successful first decade by launching an exciting, ambitious target, based on a strong and credible growth plan, to reach the new milestone of £200 million in social investment in the next five years.

Lisa explains: “Sometimes it feels like Ethex is the investment community’s best-kept secret! Today, as the cost of living continues to rise and climate change is an even bigger threat, our mission is more relevant than ever. We plan to become bigger and bolder and get many more people involved to create a huge collective impact - reaching an ambitious £200 million deployed to do good in the next 5 years. It’s time to invest your money in line with your values and help us make it happen!”

To find out more, visit the Ethex website here. CEE has a list of all the latest share offers in the sector here