The most common actions Australians are taking to reduce their carbon footprint include recycling paper, plastics and glass and drying their clothes on a line or rack instead of using a dryer, but a new whitepaper published by Australian Ethical has found installing solar panels on your home, switching to a green energy plan and switching your superannuation to an ethical fund are the three actions that have the most impact.
‘A Little Goes a Long Way: How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint’ includes research from the UTS Business School of Research that measures and ranks the most effective actions individuals can take to fight climate change, and Lonergan Research provides insights on Australians’ attitudes towards climate change and actions they are already taking.
The UTS research found that the top five ways to reduce your carbon footprint are installing solar panels, switching to a renewable energy plan, switching your super to an ethical fund, living car free and switching to a hybrid or electric car.
Switching your superannuation over to an ethical or responsible fund was the third most effective way to reduce emissions, but one that most consumers had not considered – with only two in five Australians saying they were an investor, despite almost 90 percent having their retirement savings invested in a superannuation fund.
Switching super or investments to an ethical option makes it harder and more expensive for those companies that are not aligned to the Paris Agreement to access capital or insurance, and acts as a powerful signalling mechanism when collective action is taken.
“The research tells us that many Australians care about climate change, so much so that 96 percent of them are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint,” says Australian Ethical’s Chief Customer Officer, Maria Loyez.
“But many people are not sure about the amount of CO2e emissions generated through various everyday actions, and the vast majority are unaware that investing their superannuation in an ethical fund can have a big impact by directing money away from companies that are contributing to climate change.”
Australians on average produce a staggering 15.4 tonnes of CO2e per person each year, which is among the highest in the world, and more than seven times the two tonnes of CO2e per person we need to reach in order to prevent catastrophic carbon change.
“Our footprint is influenced by heavy reliance on coal-generated power, low EV car penetration, and our food choices, with our beef consumption the second highest globally, just behind Argentina,” said Ms Loyez.
“We punch well above our weight as individuals when it comes to CO2e emissions, and we really hope that this information will help people realise what small changes they can make in their own lives to fight climate change.”
Want to learn more?
Download the https://www.australianethical.com.au/low-carbon-fund/full report and discover how your individual actions can contribute to lowering carbon emissions and lead to transformative change. The results may surprise you.
Source: Australian Ethical Investment Limited (AEI)
Australian Ethical is Australia’s leading ethical investment manager. Since 1986, Australian Ethical has provided investors with investment management products that align with their values and provide competitive returns. Investments are guided by the Australian Ethical Charter which shapes its ethical approach and underpins both its culture and its vision. Australian Ethical has over $8 billion in funds under management across managed funds and superannuation.
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© 2023 Australian Ethical Investment Ltd (ABN 47 003 188 930, AFSL 229949). Australian Ethical Superannuation Pty Ltd (ABN 43 079 259 733, RSE L0001441, AFSL 526 055) Trustee of the Australian Ethical Retail Superannuation Fund (ABN 49 633 667 743, USI/SPIN AET0100AU).