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Yara: Expressing a holistic approach to sustainability

Author: Finance for the Future

Published: 17 Dec 2021

Award Winner Yara
Contents
The profile for Make My Money Matter: winners of the ‘Driving change in the finance community' category in the Finance for the Future Awards 2022.
  • Winner: Driving change in the finance community

What?

Make My Money Matter was launched in 2020 by film maker and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocate Richard Curtis.

The campaign aims to democratise finance, giving citizens more knowledge about their investments and more say in where their money goes. Its current focus is on creating a wholesale shift in the UK pensions industry so that pension investments become a force for positive action on climate and the SDGs.

The public awareness element of the campaign uses creative and accessible content – and influential spokespeople – to change the culture and narrative around the impact of people’s money. Meanwhile, its work with employers helps organisations to put pressure on their pension providers and to align their pension schemes more closely with their values and sustainability commitments.

In its advocacy with the pension industry, the campaign urges pension providers to act more sustainably and set their own net zero targets. Make My Money Matter also uses its platform and its research to lobby regulators and the government for change.

Banking will be the campaign’s next focus area, and it is currently defining a strategy for this work.

Make My Money Matter links research, advocacy and most of all a huge amount of creativity to drive cultural change. They are bringing money into the mainstream of the fight against climate change for the UK pensions market, with future plans to extend that impact.

Finance for the Future Awards judges

Why?

Make My Money Matter recognised that there was an unintentional disconnect between people’s beliefs and their actions when it came to their personal finances.

In recent years, people have become increasingly aware of sustainability issues and in particular the need for urgent action on climate. The challenge, though, is that most people lack any real understanding of how their money could affect the world around them, in both positive and negative ways. So individuals’ day-to-day actions to minimise their environmental impact were being undermined by how their money was invested.

At the same time, the scale of the UK pensions industry – £2.7 trillion – presented a huge opportunity. Collectively, people’s pensions could be an enormous force for tackling climate change and making progress against the SDGs.

The campaign aims to bridge the gap between challenge and opportunity, tapping into people’s desire to tackle climate change and other sustainability issues, and giving them the information and tools to have more say in how their money is invested. 

We’ve managed to build some smart, tactical and strategic relationships with good media partners, who I think are interested in this story and are genuinely interested in a new area for climate action. Something that is a message of urgency but also – and I think more excitingly – empowerment for individuals and empowerment for change. I think that’s really captured the imagination of several of our partners.

David Hayman, Campaign Director, Make My Money Matter

Why?

Make My Money Matter recognised that there was an unintentional disconnect between people’s beliefs and their actions when it came to their personal finances.

In recent years, people have become increasingly aware of sustainability issues and in particular the need for urgent action on climate. The challenge, though, is that most people lack any real understanding of how their money could affect the world around them, in both positive and negative ways. So individuals’ day-to-day actions to minimise their environmental impact were being undermined by how their money was invested.

At the same time, the scale of the UK pensions industry – £2.7 trillion – presented a huge opportunity. Collectively, people’s pensions could be an enormous force for tackling climate change and making progress against the SDGs.

The campaign aims to bridge the gap between challenge and opportunity, tapping into people’s desire to tackle climate change and other sustainability issues, and giving them the information and tools to have more say in how their money is invested. 

Make My Money Matter receiving their award
Make My Money Matter holding their trophy

How?

To drive cultural change and systemic reform, Make My Money Matter works with the public, employers, the pensions industry, regulators and the government:

  • The public campaign raises people’s awareness of the importance of their pensions as a vehicle for climate action and energises them to get involved and push for change. Make My Money Matter shares the campaign through mass media, and has built strategic relationships with media partners such as The Guardian. Resources available on the campaign’s website help people to understand more about the issue and how they can act. These resources include a 10-step guide to individual actions, including putting pressure on pension providers and employers to have more sustainable pensions.
  • Make My Money Matter’s public campaign uses storytelling and creative communications to change the culture and narrative around the impact of money. Content is designed to be accessible. Videos use non-traditional spokespeople, such as actors and comedians, to talk about pensions in a playful, entertaining way that both engages and challenges people.
  • Supporting this public campaign is Make My Money Matter’s work with employers. In May 2021 the campaign launched its Green Pensions Charter. Each organisation that signs commits to engaging with its pension provider to explore how its workplace pension scheme can become aligned with net zero by 2050. Signatories are also encouraged to support the Make My Money Matter campaign by sharing the campaign through their own networks and becoming advocates for green pensions. As at December 2022, over 100 organisations have signed the charter.
  • The campaign then uses the growing awareness, engagement and pressure from individuals and businesses to lobby the pensions industry for more sustainable practices. Key campaign asks are for pension providers to commit to net zero targets and to increase their investments in climate solutions. The goal is to spark a shift in the industry and make default pension schemes more sustainable.
  • All of the campaign’s work is underpinned by robust research and analysis on the relationship between pensions and climate change. Where possible, research is produced in-house, supplemented by partnerships with specialists for larger and highly technical areas. Make My Money Matter uses this research to engage with regulators and government, advocating for changes to the macro-policy environment.
  • Impact is measured through regular polling, working with a polling provider. The campaign tracks brand awareness, awareness of the issues and how likely people are to take action in the next year. Since launch, Make My Money Matter estimates that its message has reached 22 million people in the UK.
Examples of assets from the Make My Money Matter campaign