For some, green finance is just a current hype. Journalist Tim Schäfer from New York by choice sees it differently: Those who invest and manage sustainably will win.
What role does morality play in your investments?
Tim Schäfer: It does play a role, for example, I don’t have any weapons manufacturers in my depot. And I also discussed with my editor-in-chief that we shouldn’t write about it.
I don’t feel like it either. Not even about casino stocks and smoking, that’s not my main focus now, where I would like to do something. To be honest, I have problems with that.
What is sustainable for you?
In California in particular there are many companies with a great attitude. They promote battery drives in Alphabet, autonomous driving, or green energy generation. I think that’s great. Amazon is doing well there too. Netflix does a lot. Facebook is great there. I like what they do.
Then, of course, there are also green funds, where you always have to be careful not to abuse it. The green investment trend is great, but that should be fair. Not that you pay extreme fees. I also find that unfair to investors and consumers. The fees and costs should be examined carefully.
Is that just a short trend?
No, this is a long-term trend. This is really starting to gain momentum. Japan was the country that did nothing at all. Europe was number one, then the USA came and Japan has now found out: Okay, we have to do something too.
It’s called “ESG”: Environment, Social and Governance. And they are now investing heavily. Japan has the largest pension fund in the world. The state invests in shares and a year ago it decided to invest according to green and social criteria. That the Supervisory Board is fairly staffed, that there are neutral members on it.
And these investments explode because if a company does well, you will also attract better employees – especially the young employees demand fair behavior. This is what the investor demands, the whole of society demands it. This is a win-win situation for everyone.
Do you have green financial products?
I’ve invested in all of California’s companies. I have a couple of Apple, a couple of Google, a couple of Facebook, three Amazon stocks. They are committed to reducing waste, for example, saving energy and building sustainably. Those who try to invest sustainably are promoting new technologies such as battery drives or air filters.
There are so many options. They reduce their own energy consumption or replace their energy consumption with green energies, wind, and solar power. You want to be energy neutral – and you are very successful with it.