Can we change the world for the better?
Our future is looking increasingly uncertain – the environment and our economy are both under huge pressure. And while there are heated debates about whom or what is contributing most to that pressure, we can all agree on two things:
- Pollution is a ‘bad thing’. We are polluting our environment, poisoning the air we breathe and the land and seas that provide our food. We’re slowly poisoning ourselves and our children
- Waste is a ‘bad thing’. We’re wasting limited resources at a terrifying rate, creating shortages. Prices will inevitably rise and our future will become more volatile and frightening
There are many ways to live a less polluting and wasteful lifestyle and there are many great people and publishers that promote those lifestyles.
But you need to follow the money…
In reality, it is financial markets that drive most of the world’s activity. For every single dollar, euro, pound or yen traded in the real world economy on real goods and services, 26 (that’s twenty-six) are traded in shares, commodities, derivatives and currency. For every pound spent on low energy light bulbs, £26 is traded on currency, derivative or stock markets. It’s what we invest in that shapes our economy, which then creates the pollution and waste.
What very few invest in, will shape everyone’s future
Blue & Green Tomorrow follows the money and asks tough questions of private and institutional investors about the future they are investing in.
If we can encourage more people and institutions to invest in companies that are sustainable and then buy more from those same companies, we can harness the considerable power of financial markets to make the world a better place.
We want to tell you about the people and organisations that are doing amazing things in science, technology, construction, business, agriculture, forestry, social enterprise, charity and finance; the ones who are reducing pollution and waste in all their forms; the ones who are building a better tomorrow and represent the most exciting opportunities for investment today.
We want the world to be as blue and green tomorrow as it was yesterday.
Can you change the world for the better? There is no plan(et) B.
How it will work
We write about the people and organisations that are making a difference every single day.
At Blue & Green Tomorrow, we believe in great long-form journalism. Journalism that is evidence-based, impartial, optimistic and responsible. But, great journalism costs and advertisers often want to pay for favourable or ‘bad’ journalism.
Corporate and government press releases aren’t journalism.
That’s why we need your help.
Each month we want to produce an in-depth report on one aspect of sustainability.
Where you come in
Planned reports for the remainder of 2012 will cover:
- Sustainable banking
- Sustainable investment: Part 2
- Ethical retail
- Responsible media – post-Leveson
We want this to be about our readers rather than advertiser or corporate interests, so if you can help us by pledging as little as £10, we can do this together.
What the money pays for
It pays for the reports - our researchers, writers, sub-editing and designers. Most importantly though, it pays for distribution to the widest possible audience possible. If we can get the reports into the hands of political and business decision-makers as well as the wealthiest investors we might just get them to make some better decisions about what they invest in. Critically we aren't preaching to the converted but hitting those who might even be sceptical about climate change and its causes.
Who are we?
Blue & Green Tomorrow is run by ex-media (Northcliffe Newspapers, Daily Telegraph, Auto Trader and Emap) and financial services (Abbey, Barclays, AXA, Prudential and Fidelity) chap, Simon Leadbetter. He founded the digital magazine Blue & Green Tomorrow to merge his media and financial services experience with the aim of promoting a step change in sustainable investment.
We are staffed by recent graduates providing experience for those with the fewest opportunities in the current economic climate – ably supported by talented and experienced journalists. Leading them is first class honours graduate and Blue & Green stalwart and Editor, Alex Blackburne. The 'all-I-want-to-be-is-a-sports-journalist' when he joined, soon became an expert and quoted writer on sustainable investment and clean energy.
Our award-winning (as judged by David McCandless of Information is Beautiful fame) and seriously-talented data journalist Ben Willers produces infographics that will blow your mind as pieces of information and artwork in their own right.
We can’t do this without your help.
With your support we can create the reports. With your support we can get the reports into the hands of investors and decision-makers. And maybe, just maybe change the world by convincing more wealthy and powerful people to invest and consume sustainably.
To help, you can pledge anything from the cost of coffees with friends to a £2,500 biggest fan level.
For as little as £10 you’ll help us and receive a limited edition infographic postcard from our award-winning infographic designer.
For just £250, you will join our editorial board guiding the direction of the title and helping us commission articles and decide the focus of our in-depth reports.
If you, a friend or family member or colleague could pledge even a little, we can make a difference and produce the independent evidence-based journalism that is sorely lacking in one of the most important debates of our time.
Our climate is changing and what we do today will echo down the generations tomorrow.
“Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us.”
Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm”. We didn’t hit our ambitious crowdfunding target, but we underwrote the team until the end of the year and for that we are indebted.
Earlier this week, we described the genesis and evolution of Blue & Green Tomorrow. We also closed our Sponsume crowdfunding campaign, raising enough funds to allow the team to sleep in their beds knowing that they’ll be paid until Christmas, and to help the production and distribution of two more in-depth reports before this year’s out – The Guide to Ethical Shopping and The Guide to Responsible Media.
“People don’t have to like or support you, so you always have to say thank you”
To everyone who supported us, we want to say thank you. We are preparing your rewards, which will be with you by Christmas.
To the 41,000 unique visitors and our 12,000 regular readers, we want to say thank you. Keep reading and if you want to contribute, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
To the early adopter band of superb IFAs, Good Energy, Ethical Superstore, Original Travel, Charity Bank, Reliance Bank, Triodos Bank, Virgin Climate Change Fund and Quadris Environmental Forestry Fund who have supported us since we started, we want to say thank you.
To the various people who have worked under the umbrella of B> David, Lori, Dominic, Angus, Charlotte, Rob, Alex, Rich, Jess, Emily, plus many, many more, we want to say thank you.
The next chapter: 2013
2013 is going to be an interesting year if we survive the end of the Mayan long count calendar on December 21. We will, by the way. It’s superstitious hokum, described by one leading academic as, “a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in”.
In January, we will see the inauguration of the next US president. There will also be an international academic conference in June to celebrate 200 years of peace between the US, Canada and Great Britain.
In January, Israel elects a new parliament and Iran elects a president in June, which could affect us all and be one of the first big international headaches for the new US president.
China’s new leadership will be settling into the start of their 10-year rule, while attempting its first unmanned Moon landing. India will launch its Mars probe.
It’s the UN’s International Year of Water Cooperation, which seems apposite if you consider the words of Ismail Serageldin, former vice president of the World Bank, in 1999, “If the wars of this [20th] century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be about water.”
Amidst all this, Blue & Green Tomorrow will be here to report on how sustainable investment has the potential to create a better world and unsustainable investment risks wrecking it.
Just as the first words went to Churchill, so do our last, “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”
Blue & Green Tomorrow was two years in the making and today we’re two years old. The simple idea was to write about the connection between investment and the world we live in - without jargon. With our crowdfunding campaign ending at midnight tonight Simon Leadbetter looks back at the four-year ebb and flow of a fledgling publication.
Remember, remember the fifth of November
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts
“To lose one editor is unfortunate, to lose two, careless”
Onwards & upwards
With six days to go until our Sponsume campaign ends, we’re exploring tenuous numerical links to the number of days left. This one isn’t overly tenuous, as there are six core ‘untouchables’ in the ethical investment universe. Simon Leadbetter explores the sordid, slaughtering end of investment.
Alcohol kills an awful lot of people
Smoking kills an awful lot more people
Freedom and choice or brainwashing and exploitation
Heads the gambling industry wins, tails you lose
Sex sells, so sell sex
Profits of war
Nuclear power is an explosive issue
All’s well that ends well
Our Sponsume campaign ends. In the final countdown to the campaign deadline on Bonfire night and our two-year anniversary, Simon Leadbetter explores a relevant theme. Today, it’s lucky number seven.
We’re five reports into our ‘Guide to…’ series, which began with the inaugural Guide to Sustainable Investment back in April and continued most recently with a report published to coincide with National Ethical Investment Week.
We’ve got two more coming up in 2012 – The Guide to Ethical Shopping and The Guide to Responsible Media – but here’s a round-up of all the reports we’ve published so far – all of which you can download for absolutely free. These reports are what the money we raise through Sponsume will pay for.
April 2012 – The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2012
The Guide to Sustainable Investment endeavours to take you on a journey of discovery—embarking at ethical origins, travelling through the green and growing fields of sustainable and socially responsible investment and disembarking at a new, enlightened destination.
Standing there, surveying the future with a fresh perspective, it is our hope that you will feel able to make better-informed decisions about where and how your money is invested so that you can proudly say, “I played my part—I balanced the needs of the planet, its people and prosperity. I succeeded”.
Take time to read and digest the wise words of Mike Scott, Penny Shepherd, Sarah Pennells and a host of others; realise that you are not alone and then, better still, realise there are people who have devoted their working lives to help you understand and change the impact of your money on the future.
May 2012 – The Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2012
The Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2012 aims to open your eyes to a new way of experiencing the many wonders of the world. What we hope you will ask yourself after reading it is: how can I reduce my impact and ensure my holiday actually benefits others?
It is totally unacceptable that the time we enjoy so much should be to the detriment of the environment and the people in the places we visit. And we believe that most of us would not enjoy our holiday if we realised that was the case.
Sustainable tourism is on the right pathway to becoming the only kind of tourism. It is starting to feature in the mainstream media and we feel confident that the excellent work being done by so many in the industry will continue to ripple outwards.
July 2012 – The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy 2012
Inside our Guide to Limitless Clean Energy, you’ll find everything you need to know about one of the world’s most stimulating and fastest-growing industries, directly from the mouths of some of its leading lights.
We cover the whole landscape: the (former) minister, the supplier, the developer, the investor, the trade body, and of course, the customer. All of which ought to inspire you to make the switch to, invest in or simply support the renewable energy sector.
The reaction that we hope radiates out of our Guide to Limitless Clean Energy is one of amazement and wonder, through the incredible stories of some incredible people and companies. Before long, an increased adoption of renewable energy will seem obvious, necessary and exciting.
Read our guide and be inspired to make a difference.
October 2012 – The Guide to Sustainable Banking 2012
The Guide to Sustainable Banking is a rundown of the best, ethical, sustainable and responsible banking options in the UK, containing inspirational interviews with the leaders of the biggest names in this vibrant sector.
Scandal after scandal in the mainstream banking world is, quite simply, not good enough. We have set out to present you with just a few of the better choices for your savings and day-to-day banking. With the five major banking groups controlling 85% of personal current accounts in the UK, there has to be an alternative.
We are genuinely confident that if presented with a sensible, balanced argument for the sustainable banking options – which the interviewees in our Guide deliver eloquently and powerfully – people will do the right thing and move away from those banks that have done so much harm to our society and planet.
So we really hope you enjoy our Guide. Who you bank with probably seems like a minor decision, but it might be one of the most game-changing things you’ve ever done.
October 2012 – The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2012 (NEIW edition)
The second Guide to Sustainable Investment was written and published especially to coincide with National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) 2012.
Now into its fifth year, the event serves as a focal point for proponents of this enlightened investment sector, and we’re genuinely delighted to have had a chance to do our bit in making a difference.
We managed to secure some of the sustainable investment sector’s biggest names, including James Gifford, Penny Shepherd and Raj Thamotheram, and it’s their inspirational words that we hope will encourage you to invest sustainably.
We urge you to open your mind and join the sustainable investment movement early. It’s a journey of discovery with infinite tickets available; but the best seats, as always, are at the front.