How to make sure your personal values are reflected in your day-to-day actions

Many of us, especially millennials, are conscientious consumers – trying to keep an eye on how our actions affect the planet and those around us. There has been a consistent cultural trend towards sustainability, and that trend is here to stay.

In a recent Millennial Pulse report by Shelton Group, they discovered when millennials trust a company’s social and environmental practices a staggering 90 percent say they’ll buy from that brand, and 95 percent say they’ll recommend the products to their friends and family – largely via social media. Considering millennials spend $600 billion per year, according to a recent Accenture report, those numbers have a massive significance for brands – and, optimistically, a big impact for the environment.

But sometimes even our best attempts to be environmentally-conscious and planet-friendly fall flat. As well-intentioned as we try to be by choosing reusable coffee mugs or driving hybrid cars, our personal values aren’t reflected in all of our day-to-day choices, unbeknownst to us.

Doing well by doing good

One surprising area in which our personal values and our actions often don’t match up is investing. UBS and T Brand Studio, The New York Times have teamed up to create a six question survey that helps investors discover which causes are most important to them, and how their investment choices should reflect their personal values.

82 percent of investors believe the returns of sustainable investments will match or even surpass those of traditional investments

This is also called sustainable investing: creating meaningful environmental or social change, whilst also generating a financial return. This may sound too good to be true, but in fact, 82 percent of investors believe the returns of sustainable investments will match or even surpass those of traditional investments, according to UBS Investor Watch 2018.

A few of the sample questions are: if you were looking to do some good in the world, which of these actions might you take? Or, imagine you have $100,000 to invest in a startup, which would you choose? You’re then encouraged to select up to two answers which reflect the causes most important to you. When you arrive at the results page, you’ll be given a personalized profile that shows you which causes you should invest in as well as more information about sustainable investing.

To take the survey and get your own personalized results, check it out here.

Or, want to learn more about sustainable investing in general? Check out UBS's online resources to learn more about putting your money to work in more ways than one.

The value of investments can go down as well as up. Your capital and income is at risk.

ESG/Sustainable Investing Considerations: Sustainable investing strategies aim to consider and in some instances integrate the analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the investment process and portfolio. Strategies across geographies and styles approach ESG analysis and incorporate the findings in a variety of ways. Incorporating ESG factors or Sustainable Investing considerations may inhibit the portfolio manager’s ability to participate in certain investment opportunities that otherwise would be consistent with its investment objective and other principal investment strategies. The returns on a portfolio consisting primarily of ESG or sustainable investments may be lower or higher than a portfolio where such factors are not considered by the portfolio manager. Because sustainability criteria can exclude some investments, investors may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as investors that do not use such criteria. Companies may not necessarily meet high performance standards on all aspects of ESG or sustainable investing issues; there is also no guarantee that any company will meet expectations in connection with corporate responsibility, sustainability, and/or impact performance.

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