How does sustainable finance affect me?
Both firms and individuals increasingly factor environmental sustainability into their daily decisions, including when it comes to investing and spending.
The financial arena is not immune to society’s growing environmental concerns. You’ll recall that in a recent post we described the concept of sustainable finance. But how does it affect us in our daily lives?
- First, banks can offer us environmental investment opportunities, such as investment funds that operate in the clean energy industry or that are generally guided by sustainability considerations when choosing their investments.
- Second, spurred by the expectations of the European Central Bank and other institutions, banks are promoting so-called “green lending”, which is financing earmarked for certain qualifying projects aimed at helping to care for our environment.
Although most of these products are currently geared towards firms, as consumers we can apply for financing that offers favourable terms (lower fees and commissions and/or interest rates) for projects such as:
- Exterior cladding or paint work to insulate and soundproof your home.
- Fitting solar panels on your house.
- Buying energy-efficient or low-energy household appliances.
- Heating systems that reduce your energy bill.
- Buying an environmentally-friendly vehicle, such as a hybrid, electric or hydrogen car.
If you have any such spending or investment plans, ask your bank (and other banks; it's always best to compare) about what they specifically offer and any conditions you need to meet (they typically ask for an energy performance certificate).
Your concern for the care of our planet deserves a reward!
One last thing: even though your finances can contribute to sustainable development, keep in mind the “sustainability” of your own finances. Plan your income and spending properly and avoid becoming overindebted. Be the master of your own financial future and contribute to the future of the planet.