Right back in 2016, Katy and myself agreed that we needed to get an up to date view of the matters that were most concerning our Pro-Ethical clients. We decided to ask them collectively to prioritize the areas of ‘screening’ that meant the most to them.
Initially, we used surveys in the post, but we soon moved to online surveys that allowed us to ask ‘quick fire’ questions to allow clients to tell us their priorities inside a few minutes.
This year, we sent our survey out to our 79 Pro-Ethical households using ‘smart survey’. We asked them to again prioritize both the things they wanted to try and avoid (Negative Screens) and the things they would like to support (Positive Screens).
Within two weeks we had received some 54 returned surveys and this allowed us to draw some conclusions about the collective feelings of our clients.
These collective feelings are important as they help us at Thomas and Thomas to look out for certain criteria in the Ethical Funds that we select.
We asked our clients to score the following topics from 1-3.
|Animal Testing for Cosmetics||Animal Testing for Medical|
|Pornography||Poor Human Rights|
|Non-Sustainable Timber||Nuclear Power|
|Genetic Engineering||Intensive Farming|
Clients were able to score 1 for ‘not important’, 2 for ‘some importance’ and 3 for ‘very important’.
The ‘big news story’ this time was that ‘Animal Testing for Cosmetics’ had slipped from always being the second or even most important negative screen to third place. Nonetheless, it still remains very important to our clients.
Poor Human Rights topped the negative screen, with Tobacco a close second. Pornography fell out of the top three ‘red lines’ but again was high up the list.
As usual, Alcohol was the least important with Genetic Engineering a close second.
We then asked our Pro-Ethical clients for their views on the most important following areas to try and support within their investments (the Positive Screens).
|Climate Change||Air Pollution|
|Sustainable Forestry||Ocean Waste|
As with last year, the amount of waste in the Ocean was a key concern and clients wanted to support any investment that could help reduce waste such as single use plastics. They were equally concerned by Climate Change and wanted to support investments that could help to reduce this impact. Sustainable Forestry was in second place with Air Pollution closely behind.
Social Housing was again the least important collective area to support. However, the increase in people now scoring this as a 2 ‘of some importance’ was remarkable. I do wonder if the recent housing crisis we are seeing in Pembrokeshire has focused minds here.
We love the comments section! We received many clients asking to avoid Russia. We also received comments about single use plastics and the need to support clean water projects. Furthermore, we had one client asking for a more involved scoring methodology to limit the amount of ‘3’ scores. We are thinking on this point!
In conclusion, we learned a lot from our Pro-Ethical clients in this years’ survey. My hunch is that the ‘smart survey’ was not quite as user friendly and we are considering how to perhaps do things differently next year.
If I were to sum up our collective Pro-Ethical clients, they are a wise group of people! They really can’t tolerate making profit at the expense of poor working or living conditions for Humans or Animals. They also want to try and support investments that help our environment in the sea and on land.
A huge ‘Thank you!’ to everyone who took part. We love working for you and our business is centred around you as people. As ever, if there is anything you need me to clarify or you wish to add – please just let me know.
My very best wishes indeed. Darren