Would you invest your 401k/403b money into a fund that is doing more to reduce their “ugly footprint”, YES or NO?
Great, this article is for you.
Don’t lie. Yes, you would.
Last night I went to get the coveted East Coast Pizza in Cardiff which is down the street from my house and was a staple establishment in my 20’s (I’m 30 now, so I can say things to make it seem like it was ages ago when in reality it was last week). I got my 2 slices and a drink for 7 bucks and when I filled up my cup with iced tea, I noticed the plastic lids and straws sitting next to the vending machine. I thought to myself, “huh. I wonder how many people take these, use them only once and throw them away 30 minutes later?” My point is, making a conscious decision to not use the lid and straw made me think that there are 2 less pieces of trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) which apparently is now twice the size of Texas.
Want a few fun facts on plastic?
- In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles—are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day. 1
- The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plasticper year. 1
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.1
- 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies. 1
- Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one liter bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.1
This is what I mean by “ugly footprint”. There are some companies that are out there that might be producing these products that end up in the line-up or on the beach. Ain’t nobody got time for that! But what is so cool about socially responsible investing, is that you can choose to invest in companies that are taking action to reduce their plastic production or plastic consumption. What’s even cooler is that if you’re a business owner, you can add these funds into your 401k or 403b and give you and your employees a chance to change the world and keep the sand at your vacation home in Barbados as pristine as ever.
Companies that offer Socially Responsible Investments (SRI) in their fund line-up may help drive participation in their retirement plan. The vast majority of participants (89%) find the concept of responsible investing appealing, with four in 10 saying it is highly appealing. Ninety percent (90%) of eligible non-participants also find the concept appealing. More than half of eligible non-participants (56%) indicated they are more likely to participate in their retirement plan if it offers a responsible investing option.2
What does that mean?
It means you should ask your 401k/403b plan advisor (or employer) if SRI funds would be a good idea for your plan. If you want to get more of your employees involved with your retirement program at work, this might be a great way to get them interested. The numbers speak for themselves, now its time to make it happen.