Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Ethical Purchasing and Money


It is important to think about our consumption and reduce this where possible as everything we buy and use has its own carbon footprint. To reduce the impact of the items we use you can:

  • Only buy/order what you really need – can items be reused? Do you have a stationery re-use point or scrap paper collection between colleagues?
  • Look for packaging that can be re-used or recycled.
  • Select items, such as paper and pencils, with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation.
  • Request paper with the highest percentage of recycled content as possible or made with pulp from sustainable sources and is either unbleached or processed without chlorine.
  • Where possible, use items that can be refilled.
  • If items require batteries, use rechargeable batteries as opposed to those with single use.


There are over 300 banks in the UK, all of them offering different loans, schemes, overdraft options etc. Opting for a bank that makes sustainability and ethics a priority is important, yet can be hard to decide upon this, with greenwashing being a common problem amongst certain banks. Have a look at our recommendations at which UK banks appear most ethically and sustainably focused!


Make My Money Matter calculated switching to an ethical pension could be 21x better for the environment than stopping flying, going vegetarian and switching to a green energy suppliers. Currently there’s £2.6 trillion in UK pensions - a significant amount of that is funding unsustainable businesses and projects. Make My Money Matter has a lot of information about how to make your pension more sustainable - including which pension funds are green, and how you can ask your employer to switch to a green pension or ensure pensions are divested from fossil fuels.

You have a right to say where your money goes, therefore if you are part of a workplace pension scheme, you can still invest in a sustainable pension! You can find out who your pension provider is through your workforce, and request information about what funds your money is being invested into. If you are not happy with these funds you can request for your investments to be switched into a sustainable and ethical fund, by asking your company directly. Finding out what your money is being invested into and how to change this can sometimes require quite a lot of effort, depending on how transparent the provider is


The best way to make your mortgage sustainable is by through an ethically and sustainably focused company. The Ecology Building Society prioritises only funding environmentally focused and sustainable businesses, including supporting sustainable projects, charities and community-led housing organisations. The company also offers discounts and funding for environmental renovations and refurbishments. While the Co-op Bank offers mortgages, and prioritises social and environmental responsibility. The bank funds a large number of charities including Amnesty International UK and The Gola Rainforest Conservation Project, and refuses to invest in businesses that do not line with their ethical policy.

Alternatively you can apply for a mortgage through a regular bank/business and apply for a Green Mortgage. By paying into a Green Mortgage you will be financially rewarded for making your home energy efficient. These generally fall into two categories:

-Being rewarded for buying an energy-efficient home e.g. if the property has an EPC of A or B, being rewarded with better interest rates and cashback

- Being rewarded for carrying out green home improvements e.g receiving discounted interest rates or cashback on money borrowed to pay for sustainable home improvements, such as installing solar panels, replacing single glazing etc.

Many banks such as Nationwide, Natwest, Halifax etc. offer their own Green Mortgage plans. However the reason Green Mortgages are considered “green” is due to an encouragement to buy an energy efficient house, or invest in sustainable improvements. Money the lender receives from you isn’t invested differently to other mortgage plans, and often banks will still use this money to invest in environmentally damaging industries, such as fossil fuels and dangerous arms manufacturing.