Support (Positive Screening)

This is the other side of the coin to avoidance. It is about putting your money into banks or businesses of which you approve. You may, for example, bank with the Triodos Bank because you approve of its policies on ethical investment, or with the Ecology Building Society because of its support for renewable energy.

A variation on this is the “best in sector” approach. This involves picking out the bank in a particular sector that is doing best in terms of ethical criteria that are important to you, such as workers’ pay and conditions. Some argue that this is also financially beneficial, as such businesses are likely to perform better in the long term. In the short term, however, other companies may make greater profits from exploitative practices.

The “positive” approach is something that banks themselves can take up. Triodos Bank, will only lend money to organisations or businesses that it believes are making a positive social or environmental impact.