Ethex celebrates 10 years, aims for £200 million by 15th birthday


Impact investment platform Ethex is celebrating its first decade of putting £120 million of small investors’ cash to good use in green energy and other community-focused projects.

Ninety volunteer-led energy schemes are among the 200 and more projects whose backers have used Ethex as a fund-raising source to promote environmental change. Alongside solar cooperatives in Bristol and Wales, the platform’s energy ventures include:

  • Solar for Schools, which raised £6.1 million to work with schools and communities to provide decarbonisation and energy education by means of PV installations across the UK.
  • Low Carbon Hub, which raised £9.6 million for a range of pioneering green energy hubs in Oxforshire, from community solar to electric transport
  • Energy Garden, which raised over £1 million for community solar and green spaces in London

Having directed £120 million of small backers’ and trust money to projects, now the platform led by Lisa Ashford MBE pictured, aims to raise another £200 million by 2029.

Timed for its birthday, the social investment fund launches a new survey showing that two-thirds (67%) of UK investors and savers want to see their money being used to positively impact the planet and society. But 56% told the platform’s researchers that they’re unsure where it actually goes.

Conducted by OnePoll, the survey reveals that the younger people are, the more likely they are to want money to do good. Almost four-fifths of under 24s, or 79%, stated this goal was important for them.

CEO Lisa Ashford was awarded the MBE in 2023 for services to impact investment

She said: “If you care about creating a better future for all, what you choose to do with your money is just as important as recycling, saving energy or supporting charities. It’s encouraging that our survey shows such a high level of awareness of the importance of investing for a positive impact, especially among younger people. But it also shows that there isn’t nearly enough transparency from the financial sector about how they use the money people trust them with. Savers and investors rightly need to know exactly what their money is being used for.”

Since its launch, the non-profit outfit has built a registered investor base of more than 25,000 people.

The survey is being published in tandem with Ethex’s 10-year Impact Report as the company  celebrates 10 years of making ethical investments accessible to all.

It faces challenges. Awareness of the ethical investment alternatives remains low, at only 39% – although younger people are more savvy, with 63% of 18 – 34 year olds in particular keen to invest in companies or projects tackling climate change.

CEO Ashford explained: “As the cost of living continues to rise and climate change is an even bigger threat, our mission at Ethex is more relevant than ever.

Lisa Ashford added: “We believe that our money is the most powerful transformational force for environmental and social change. Over the last decade, we have seen the power of people’s pounds in action. We have connected thousands of ordinary people with extraordinary projects, making it easy for them to use their money to support organisations taking real steps to accelerate climate action, build stronger communities and reduce poverty.”

“We plan to become bigger and bolder and get many more people involved to create a huge collective impact – reaching an ambitious £200 million deployed to do good in the next 5 years”

More details here.


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