Five ways you can build wealth while having a positive effect on the planet

Published: 21 Nov 2019

People are experiencing first-hand the harsh reality of how mounting global challenges, such as ongoing droughts, migration linked to climate change and increases in climate-related disasters, can destabilise and even destroy societies and economies.

Concurrently, the economic viability of renewable energy is quickly increasing. The renewable energy industry is one of the most exciting and innovative sectors and it is growing exponentially. According to the International Energy Agency, solar PV has seen an average annual growth rate of 37% from 1990 to 2017. With a strong business case and good returns on renewable energy investments, it’s no wonder that people are increasingly seeking to invest in vehicles that generate both healthy financial returns and have positive climate impacts.

For those wanting to further explore these opportunities, here are some ways that you can earn while also looking after the planet:

  1. Become your own electricity generator

    The most common way to benefit financially whole lowering your carbon footprint is to put solar panels on the roof of your home. This requires that you have own your own roof as well as the upfront capital, but it is becoming more and more affordable to do this as solar panel prices continue to decline. Generally, the pay-back period of investing in solar system for a typical sized home system of around 4kW is between five and ten years and will generally come with a 25 year power guarantee. This means that for the next 25 years you will be reducing your carbon footprint, while saving on your electricity bill.


  2. Monetise sunshine

    You can also now own and earn from solar assets, even if you don’t own roof space or can’t afford a full solar installation. Sun Exchange is an online peer-to-peer solar micro-leasing platform. It allows you to purchase remotely-located solar cells for as little as USD 6.00 (ZAR 87), and earn money from the solar power generated. Sun Exchange allows anyone from across the globe to join the global solar transition, reduce their carbon footprint and solar power emerging markets in just a few clicks.


  3. Undertake an energy-efficiency assessment of your home

    Energy efficiency eliminates energy waste by using less energy to perform the same task. Having an insulated home means that a more constant temperature is maintained, and less energy is required in heating and cooling your home. Undertaking a home performance assessment can tell you where you can save on reducing your energy usage and uncover the saving potential of your home. CMC Energy Services in the United States is one example of a company that provides this service.


  4. Reconsider your investment portfolio

    Allocating your investments into impact-focused, climate-conscious funds is key to building a truly future-proof investment portfolio. The number of funds that invest in companies that have a positive ESG (environmental, social and governance) impact is growing quickly. Ask your fund manager about their ESG credentials, or transition to a fund that embraces ESG and impact-focused principles.


  5. Wildcards

    Wildcards are collectable cards that represent real in-game assets, allowing each asset to have a tamper proof and unique digital history. In consequence, each has attached to it a fundamental value. These Wildcards make use of an “always for sale” mechanism, that when bought requires an immediate price at which you are willing to sell the in-game asset to be specified. With this, anyone in the world can become the guardian of an endangered animal. This effectively creates an impact economy within a game.


These are just a few examples of diverse and exciting opportunities to earn while having a positive environmental impact. Sun Exchange allows you earn rental income from solar panels located on the opposite side of the world. Wildcards create the opportunity for an individual to become the guardian of an endangered animal through in-game digital assets. These thrilling innovations illustrate that it’s now entirely possible to invest our money in companies that consider the future of our planet