Tobacco has long been a major public health concern, with smoking-related illnesses leading to over 500,000 American deaths each year. The health risks associated with smoking are well-documented, but the financial risks are often overlooked.
Rebecca Brown, CFP is the USA Director of Tobacco-Free Portfolios, a non-governmental organization (NGO) headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. She has spent her entire career in finance, and in 2017, she led her firm's efforts to formally integrate and analyze ESG across the firm. In 2019, Rebecca successfully advocated for the exclusion of a handful of industries from the firm's investment universe, including tobacco. She is passionate about educating financial institutions on the devastating health and environmental impacts of tobacco
The environmental impact of tobacco is often overlooked, but it is significant. Cigarette filters are the most littered item on the planet, with over 4.5 trillion filters littered every year. They are made of plastic, making them the number one contributor to ocean plastic pollution. Additionally, the burning of tobacco products releases toxic chemicals into the air, which can cause respiratory problems and other health issues.
It is clear that tobacco has a devastating effect on both people and planet. Reducing its impact requires a comprehensive approach, from educating people about the dangers of tobacco to partnering with financial institutions to make tobacco-free investments mainstream. Only by taking these steps can we reduce the impact of tobacco on people and planet.
In this episode of YourStake, Your Story, Gabe talks with Rebecca on her path to becoming the USA Director of Tobacco Free Portfolios, and the financial and environmental impacts of investing in tobacco companies.
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To learn more about topics discussed in this episode:
Rebecca Brown LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-brown-cfp%C2%AE-ba227012/
Tobacco-Free Portfolios: https://tobaccofreeportfolios.org/
Sign the Tobacco-Free Pledge: https://tobaccofreeportfolios4.my.site.com/s/pledge