The Paris Climate Accord has been in the news recently. This agreement deals with issues addressing greenhouse-gas emissions. These issues are being tackled by multinational corporations, along with state and local governments. What about the rest of us? What can we do to support the planet we live on?
- Receive your statements online.
Frequently we receive our statements in the mail. Sometimes monthly. Often quarterly. Are you the person who puts those statements in a pile and says, “I’ll get to it later”? Six months later, you still haven’t opened the envelope. The next thing you know, you’re shredding everything as you clean up your house. This used to be me. How have I changed my behavior? I receive all my statements online. You should too. Your investment company will usually send you an email to let you know when your statements are available. Go online. Take a look. Save the PDF if you want. Make it simple.
- Support causes that are important to you.
There are a number of organizations that support a better earth. Whether it’s work related to local farming, getting water to drought-stricken communities, or issues related to deforestation in vulnerable areas, you can make contributions to issues important to you. Be strategic: make a direct contribution to your charity of choice. The contribution may be tax-deductible, or if you are 70½ or older you can make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) directly from your IRA. Finally, consider using a DAF (Donor-Advised Fund) which allows your tax-deductible contribution the potential to grow using the fund’s underlying investments. Donations to your favorite charities and/or nonprofits can be made over a period of time—whether it’s weeks, months or years later—but you receive the deduction in the year the deposit is made to the DAF.
- Research the companies you invest in.
There are many different companies that are making proactive changes to their business models to decrease carbon emissions. What are companies doing? Using recycled packaging materials, purchasing newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles, investing in newer, more energy-efficient manufacturing operations, and creating greener work environments. Companies are actively sharing their goals and processes. If climate issues are important to you, here’s a list to help you get started.
- Invest in your values.
Take some time to identify what’s important to you. As a Financial Advisor, I have found that women executives are frequently searching for effective investments strategies that support their values. What is important to you and your family? There are a number of opportunities for you to be proactive with your investment strategies. There are numerous companies, who are taking the lead in business practices that are less harmful to our earth and climate. It’s also a good business model. Forward looking enterprises are always looking for a better way to do business.
- Speak to your financial advisor.
Supporting our earth and its climate can be part of your overall financial strategy. However, it can be a bit overwhelming to get started. Therefore, it’s a good idea to begin the conversation with your financial advisor. She can recommend strategies that are appropriate for you based on your personal values and resources. These strategies can be charitable—you can donate money or, perhaps, volunteer your time—or they can be investment related. Or a mix. The goal is to find what works best for you and your family.
For more about the Paris Climate Accord, see René in a CNBC Closing Bell Exchange.