The only way is ethics: Hampstead and Highgate best in UK for investing in ‘green’ companies

Hampstead and Highgate has more people investing in ethical companies than anywhere else in the UK, but the news comes as no surprise to its green-living residents.

A national report has revealed that the area surrounding Hampstead Heath has the largest number of “positive investors” - those who only invest in companies with a social or environmental conscious, such as fair trade or renewable energy organisations.

Hampstead Town, Highgate, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Belsize Park, Swiss Cottage, Gospel Oak and West Hampstead, were highlighted as locations with the most people who choose not to invest in “negative” industries, such as tobacco, arms or alcohol.

Primrose Hill, Kentish Town, Childs Hill, Crouch End and Stroud Green were also named as areas with a large number of ethical investors.

Highgate resident Catherine Budgett-Meakin, co-founder of the Population and Sustainability Network, which brings together environmental organisations, said positive investments are “extremely important”.

“Me and my husband support one of the renewable energy companies and we have been investing ethically for about 20 years,” the Bisham Gardens resident said.

“Highgate is full of well-educated people who realise that one of the ways they can have some sort of power is by investing and they have the money to invest.

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“After all, not so long ago Highgate had three Green councillors and we have had three Labour MPs for as long as I can remember.”

The report, produced by positive investment advice website Ethex, notes that most of the top ten hotspots for ethical investment are close to green spaces.

Hampstead and Highgate are close to the Heath, Highbury Fields and Alexandra Palace.

It also found that investors tend to be aged between 50 and 69 and live in places with a strong cultural identity.

Farokh Khorooshi, who founded the anti-street clutter Hampstead 2020 campaign, said: “I am delighted to read that Hampstead has come top in the list of ethical investors. I think it is partly due to Hampstead’s incredible cultural diversity.”

The 58-year-old Fitzjohns Avenue resident added: “Ethical investing requires thinking big on a global scale and Hampstead is a mini global village.

“NW3 has seen a lot of local environmental campaigning in the last 10 years.”

Ethex founder Jamie Hartzell said: “There is a degree of wealth in Hampstead and Highgate but we actually found that the wealthiest areas in Britain are not top of the list.

“The number is connected to the level of education and also has a correlation to cultural activities such as arts festivals. Hampstead seems to have much more of a sense of community than places like Kensington and Chelsea.”