August 22, 2008
Financial West Group
4510 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Westlake Village, CA 91362
Re: Account #[omitted]
In January of this year, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to move my retirement savings into socially and environmentally responsible investments. To that end, I signed up with The Social Equity Group in Berkeley, CA to ensure that my investment funds are used to help protect the environment. In order for that to happen, my investments held by Schwab and by ING were moved into an account with Financial West Group.
The irony is that I have moved my money from two companies that save paper by offering a paper-free online statement option to one that is still sending out paper statements. But a rep at FWG explained to me that there are legal regulations and hurdles to jump through before investment companies are allowed to offer paper-free options, and FWG is in the process of making that happen.
That is good news. However, in the meantime, a happy alternative would be statements printed on post-consumer recycled paper and sent in recycled envelopes without plastic windows. Plastic, as you probably know, is not biodegradable. And while the envelopes and statements can be recycled, the plastic will remain in the environment forever. I am working very hard to reduce my plastic consumption and eliminate plastic waste from my life. I hope that you will consider omitting the plastic windows and switching to recycled paper.
One company that has successfully eliminated the plastic window in its envelopes is Working Assets, aka Credo. When they do send out mailings (which is rare because we receive their statements online), their envelopes have an empty window. I don’t believe these envelopes are any less secure than ones with plastic windows. If someone wants to read the enclosed materials, they will open the envelope whether it’s got a plastic window or just an empty hole.
I am returning these envelopes to you, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this issue.
Elizabeth G. Terry