September 23, 2021

Do you care if the companies you buy from are socially responsible?

Do consumers care if the companies they buy products and services from are socially responsible? Very definitely, according to various surveys from Neilson. And those in the developing world seem to care just that much more

Consumers in Asia Pacific (55%), the Middle East and Africa (53%) and Latin America (49%) are more willing to pay extra for products and services from socially-responsible companies than consumers in North America (35%) and Europe (32%).

The research shows that, more than ever, consumers expect more from the businesses where they shop. And their motives for buying such products are primarily altruistic, with most reporting that they view their purchases as a way to help improve society or reduce environmental damage.

Sixty-three percent of these "socially-conscious consumers" are under age 40, and regularly consult social media about making purchase decisions and their priority causes are environment, education and hunger.

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May 30, 2021

Plant a tree and save money

Who says money doesn't grow on trees.

Well, maybe not on them, but trees can help grow your money when you save on your energy bill.

According to a new study out of Ryerson University in Toronto, planting a tree near your house will reduce your summer energy bills and improve the environment.

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May 08, 2021

Best to be prepared for any emergency

The Boy Scouts motto says it all: Be Prepared.

It's Emergency Preparedness Week May 5-11 and what better time to make sure you're ready for any emergency to protect your family, your home and your business.

Just think of the devastation from hurricane Katrina. Not only did it cause billions of dollars in property damage but it also resulted in the tragic loss of human lives, as well as years of rebuilding lives and communities.

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April 23, 2021

Save the planet and some money

1283546_62645669If you make a conscious effort to treat every day as Earth Day, you will be doing your part to save the planet and will save some money along the way.
There are some simple things you can do to help reduce energy consumption and reduce your household expenses. 
Here are some tips offered by BMO Bank of Montreal, a company dedicated to becoming a leader in environmental sustainability.

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August 20, 2021

Enbridge gets caught altering map

You’d think that with all the controversies surrounding the transportation of oil recently, companies would be careful about how they present themselves to the public. You’d also think that companies would realize they can’t get away with half-truths as easily as in the pre-Internet days.

Lesson #1 for oil companies: Try not to look evil. After the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, a new generation has once again seen what a failure of oversight and a lack of public interest can result in. So, it seems baffling that Enbridge has allegedly tried to get away with something as easily discovered as an altered map.

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May 03, 2021

Is it time for more toll roads in Canada's biggest cities?

Even though quite common in the United States, tollbooth is a four-letter word to most Canadian motorists.

The underlying idea is simple enough – if roads are considered "free," then motorists won't use them wisely. A toll on the major highways during peak hours will make us think more about living closer to work, telecommuting or travelling the highways at non-peak times

And this view seems to be gaining traction.

The majority of urban drivers say they're willing to pay for alternatives to commuting on congested roads five days a week, according to a new study of GTA drivers who face a daily commute of at least 30 minutes each way.

While well over half of the drivers were willing to pay a road toll, sales tax or parking fee, 69 per cent said they would be more supportive if they knew the funds would go directly to expanding rapid transit in the region.

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April 26, 2021

Are you willing to pay more for green products?

Everyone talks about buying socially and environmentally superior products. But, when they're alone in the shopping aisle and it’s just them and their wallet, it seems people rarely fork out more for “green.”

In a recent survey, nearly half of the respondents (46%) say they're more inclined to buy a product if it's  eco-friendly, but 59% admit they'd be unwilling to pay a higher price for an eco-friendly product or service over one that is not eco-friendly.

The problem seems to be that most consumers believe organic and eco-friendly products are good for the planet, but they aren't certain how big a difference these products actually make. And they certainly don't feel like paying more for them.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...