At 15 years old, Hailey is one of CoPower's youngest Green Bond investors. What I found most inspiring about speaking with her was the fact that investing for impact was the natural choice. Despite never having heard of impact investing as a concept, she decided that she only wanted to make investments that were good for the world and that would also help fund her university education. Here's Hailey:
My parents raised me with an eco-friendly mindset. We do a lot at home to be conscious of our environmental footprints, like taking short showers and recycling as much as we can. I spend a lot of time outdoors and I’ve gotten to go to summer camps in national parks. I think most people my age get the importance of climate change because we’ve grown up with it.
It’s definitely scary to think about the things that might happen in my lifetime, and the things that are already happening because of climate change, but it’s also exciting to think about the possibilities.
I think a lot of jobs are going to be created to solve the big problems facing the world. At school we spend a lot more time talking about the solutions than we do on all the things that can go wrong. There are a lot of teachers who encourage us to express our opinions on global issues like human rights and climate change and get involved.
Feeling powerless isn’t going to help. People my age need to feel like we can be part of the solution.
There’s a course that all high school students in Alberta have to take called Career and Life Management (CALM). I got to take it in Jasper National Park. We did everything from learning to canoe and identify plants to learning how to manage money. I didn’t know much about mortgages or insurance or investing before taking the course and now I do. We all got to tailor the course to what we were interested in, so I decided to learn more about investing.
My dad and I had been talking about investing for a while, especially for my post-secondary education. I work about 10-15 hours a week at Booster Juice and I liked the idea that I could do more with my money than just spending it or leaving it in a savings account.
I looked into other investments like mutual funds, but once I realized I couldn’t understand what their purpose was or what they would use my money for I lost interest.
Whatever investment I made, I knew that I wanted it to be green and helpful for the planet. My dad was the one who read about CoPower in the newspaper and he knew I would like the clean energy aspect of your Green Bonds. The fact that someone my age can invest in something like this is pretty cool.
I like that I can understand what my money is actually doing and how it’s going to help me and the environment.
I like that I’m investing in local energy efficiency projects in Alberta. It’s a real decision I can make myself that has a real impact on the world.
In my social studies class I’ve been learning a lot about social entrepreneurship and how business can be used to help solve problems. I know there are a lot of companies that are changing their practices and that’s what I plan to support with my investments in the future.
As told to Lauryn Drainie in an interview, May 2017.