In a bid to demonstrate what it called the “hidden truth of our pensions”, the Ethical Pensions Campaign transported an oversized package – a “Deforester 5000” – across London and delivered its contents to a holder of unsuspecting pension to show him what his pension could be financed.
The stunt follows research by MMMM into the links between pensions and deforestation, which found that for every £10 of people contributing to their pensions, £2 is invested in companies at high risk of deforestation.
The research also showed that in total around £300billion of UK pension funds are linked to the practice – something MMMM said underlined the critical role UK pensions must play in stopping deforestation in the world.
MMMM said not only are such investments bad for the planet, they also contradict savers’ values - adding that its research has shown that some 14 million pensioners would switch to another provider if they found out their money was invested in deforestation.
Conversely, he said savers are more motivated when they know their pensions are doing well, with almost 70% saying they would increase their contributions if they knew their money was having a positive impact.
The film also highlighted the lack of transparency and member engagement in the pension industry – with a survey by MMMM showing that over 90% of UK pensioners are unable to confidently list the best companies in which their scheme is invested, with more than 19 million people saying they want to receive more information from their suppliers about where their contributions go.
MMMM said it hopes the film will inspire all suppliers to take urgent action against deforestation – following the steps of a number of programs and suppliers who have already pledged to reduce deforestation from their investments.
Commenting on the stunt, filmmaker and MMMM co-founder Richard Curtis said: “Deforestation is a human problem with real human impacts. That’s why we wanted to capture the human reaction when the painful truth of our pensions is Most importantly, however, there is also a human solution – for industry to take urgent action to reduce the deforestation of our pensions.
“Most UK savers are unaware that £300bn of our pension money is linked to deforestation – we hope this film will help show the public exactly what our money could be funding. We want to engage a generation of savers so they realize the power of their pensions, and make sure our money helps protect nature, not destroy it.”
The MMMM film can be viewed above or via www.makemymoneymatter.co.uk/deforestation.
MMMM is also calling on people to sign a new petition calling on pension providers to reduce deforestation in their portfolios. The petition can be found here.