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The Guide to Divesting

Like your actions, every dollar you spend has an impact both seen and unseen.

 

Divesting simply means shifting your money out of areas of negative impact, most commonly banks and super funds that bankroll fossil fuel projects.

 

By taking control of our financial footprint we can all help shift the economy to be renewable, sustainable and equitable. 

 

This is not a comprehensive guide to divestment. It’s a guide to how Human.Kind did it.  And an invitation for you to join the movement.

Adelaide Yoga Teachers Photo

Superannuation

In Australia we are lucky to have a great superannuation scheme that helps us save for retirement. For most Australians this money is their biggest cash savings and it's the job of the superannuation fund to grow that money by investing in long term projects both locally and overseas. Unfortunately, many superannuation funds continue to choose to invest in fossil fuels.

The strange thing is, in Australia over half of all shares of the ASX 200 are owned by superannuation funds. So in effect we are part owners in the businesses that are polluting our planet. It's time to divest!

You can do this in two ways. Write to your super fund and give them an ultimatum to clean up their act. Or make a point and move your superannuation to an ethical fund. It's your money and there are great ethical funds getting really high returns for investors in exciting green projects.

Who?
Most of our team are with Australian Ethical, Future Super or Verve.

Time it takes?
You can move your super in under 10 minutes! It's the biggest divestment impact you can make. If you only do one thing, please move your super.

How can I learn more?
The link below will take you to Market Forces which is an independent comparison site showing what your money is supporting while you sleep at night.

Banking

Your banks are also looking to maximise money. Sometimes for yourself but often for their shareholders chasing any short-term gain they can find.

You will be shocked at what your bank will do to make a dollar. Or maybe not. Either way, if you're still with a "big 4" bank (maybe the one that signed you up in primary school) you're due for a review. Fortunately there are more ethical banking options available when you include credit unions and co-ops.

Who?
The Human.Kind business (plus T&T) bank with Bank Australia. They are a B-Corp and they are lovely. They offer good rates and use your money to do beautiful things like buy land for revegetation. They also offer pauses on home loan repayments if you are investing in solar or battery upgrades. And their customer service is local and personal.

Time it takes?
Opening an account can be done online in minutes. There is a bit of admin to move your linked accounts with employers and service providers. But the process is easy and low stress.

How to learn more?
The link below will take you to Market Forces which is an independent comparison site comparing banks investment portfolios.

Electricity Provider

This is perhaps the most obvious switch we can make as it's directly connected to our carbon economy.

Ultimately Australia need to stop burning coal and gas to generate electricity. It's expensive, heinously inefficient and it's damaging our climate. Australia also has the most abundant solar and wind resources in the world. And we have all of the minerals needed to create new green energy and manufacturing hubs in our regions. The Morrison government has held been damaging to our country by slowing the transition. But in your home, you get to call the shots.

By moving your electricity provider to a renewables provider (solar, wind, hydro, battery) and choosing the 100% GreenPower option, you are directly funding renewables projects and shutting off the flow of cash to fossil fuels.

Better yet, Australian has the most affordable rooftop solar and battery scheme anywhere in the world. It's the cheapest form of electricity available and only getting cheaper. If you own your home, you can run it directly on sunshine.

If you want to learn more about the bright future ahead of Australia, read The Big Switch by Saul Griffith.

Who?
Human.Kind installed a 30kW solar system on our leased building. It makes more than we use. We're also connected to Energy Locals for top up renewable power with 100% GreenPower option.

Time it takes?
Home solar and batteries can be installed within a few weeks of making your order. Simply sign up with your new group and they will tell your fossil friend it's over.

How can I learn more?
The link below will take you to The Green Electricity Guide by Greepeace.

Phone and Internet

Why stop there? There are great ethical providers in every category. One that you'll probably be very happy to break up with is your phone and internet provider.

Who?
For our mobiles we use a great little Aussie business called GoodTel. They are also a B-Corp. They use the Telstra network so have good coverage and stability, and cost the same as most providers. But instead of spending money on big ads and retail shops they have a streamlined low cost business that sends 50% of their profits to meaningful projects in environment, refugee support, homeless shelters.

Time it takes?
It takes just a few minutes to sign up. You'll get SIM cards mailed to you and the process of porting your number is smooth. You'll still need to have a breakup convo with your current provider. And that could be painful waiting times but you'll be happy to finally see the back of them.

How to learn more?
The link below will take you to GoodTel.

Transport

Domestic energy use is a substantial piece of the energy puzzle. 69% of our home energy use comes from our car, so a change is needed here.

Electric vehicles (EV's) have suffered from poor policy and leadership in Australia which has lead to a low supply and high cost of EV's being offered here. But the tide is turning. For reasons of air quality, sound pollution and of course carbon emissions we will soon see rebates and incentives to accelerate our EV uptake.

Combustion engines are obsolete technology. Charging stations are everywhere and it costs next to nothing to fill up. Make sure your next car is EV.

Of course, that's not the only way to reduce your transport based emissions. Adelaide is a perfect city to ride, scoot and walk. Active transport infrastructure is critical to encouraging more people to feel safe on the roads.

And of course public transport is an important part of the mix.

Who?
Tessa and Triton bought and MG brand EV. It's got a shorter battery range of 280km which suits our lifestyle fine. We love it and fill it with free sunshine juice from our studio solar panels! There are around around 20 new models of EV being released in Australia in 2022. Now is definitely the time to make a move.

Time it takes?
This one takes a bit longer depending on your tastes in EV. Dusting off your bike takes no time at all.

How can I learn more?
The link below will takes you to Adelaide City Council's Low Carbon Adelaide "Have Your Say" Page where you can advocate for riding paths, EV charging and more.

Food

You're voting with your money every time you go to the supermarket.

The carbon footprint of food transported from the other side of the world often isn't reflected in the price tag. Buying locally grown, organic and low packaging items are the ideals; Adelaide's central and farmers markets are great for this.

But it's no secret that the biggest impact we can have in our food chain is reducing our meat and dairy intake.

It doesn't have to be zero. But Australian's currently eat more than triple the world average of meat per year. And the industrial farming and fishing practices that feed us are totally unsustainable.

It's not just the carbon footprint. There's the methane from burping cows (methane is 28 times more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2). The clearing of land for grazing and crops to feed the animals. The devastation of diverse ecosystems of land, waterways and oceans. The adverse health impacts on your family from the hormones, antibiotics, contaminants and plastics from industrial meat and fish. And of course the ethical concerns of animal welfare and human attitude of dominance over our living planet.

Who?
This one is on you and your family. Talk together about your motivations to reduce.

Time it takes?
If meat is at the centre of most meals right now, it might help to invest in a little up-skilling in plant-based cooking. The good news is with the money saved from the meat isle you can afford to go a little bit more fancy with everything else.

How to learn more?
The link below is to an easy to read summary of the environmental and health impacts of meat. There are plenty of impactful documentaries and plant-based recipes to help shift your patterns.