How Millennials and Women Are Paving the Way for Sustainability


By Anum Yoon, Guest Contributor

Published 4.16.15

 Millennials and women today are approaching investments a bit differently than men and women in the past. Statistically speaking, their investments are based on more than the chance to receive the highest return possible—they’re also based on the social and environmental impact of the investment.

Consider the Statistics

According to Morgan Stanley, 40 percent of women investors consider the impact of their investment before taking action. The research also finds that only 23 percent of men consider the impact of their investments.

Also, millennial women are twice as likely to consider the social and environmental support they will provide through their investment. And 78% of millennial men and women believe that companies have a responsibility to better the world.

Does all of this mean that women and millennials don’t care about the return on their investments?

No, not at all. They do care.

But they tend to choose investments that satisfy both factors – sustainability and lucrative returns.

The Positive Impact of Sustainability Investing

As more people engage in sustainability investing, the world will experience positive changes, such as the following:

  • A decrease in pollution
  • More affordable housing
  • Increased help with the poor and sick
  • Better healthcare
  • More conservation of natural resources
  • A greater contribution to other global problems

Sustainability investing will also lead to many new initiatives that will leave a positive impact on the planet. There will be increased funds available to help organizations and entrepreneurs support their missions. New entities will arise with similar missions, and all of them will see investors coming forward to help.

Women, Millennials and the Future

In 2014, 72 percent of S&P Index published sustainability reports, which is a testament to the positive changes that are occurring. However slow they may be, there’s no denying this positive change.

Considering how only 14% of women consider themselves knowledgeable about financial services, this is a huge leap for both millennials and women.

By 2030, women will own two-thirds of the nation’s wealth. Remember that millennials are a diverse generation, there are over 80 million of them in the US and they value economic sustainability.

If this demographic is becoming wealthier and putting money into sustainability, it translates to a positive world impact.

But there is still work to be done. Over half of individual investors believe that there is some degree of trade-off when it comes to investments that promote sustainability and those that are most profitable.

And the global economic crisis is a mounting – and critical – dilemma.

There is no doubt that both women and millennials will play a vital role in bridging the gap between profitability and sustainability. As the demographic works toward this goal, they will continue to reinvent socially responsible investing and work toward continued positive impacts through investing.

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Anum Yoon
Anum Yoon, Guest Contributor

Anum Yoon is a writer who is passionate about personal finance and sustainability. She often looks for ways she can incorporate money management with environmental awareness. She developed her sustainable lifestyle during the years she spent living in the Himalayas. She also further delved into the subject when she was attending Penn State and discovered their Sustainability Institute. You can read her updates on Current on Currency.

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