The Jupiter Ecology fund is an internationally-based unit trust which invests in those companies that are most effectively addressing environmental problems. These include the consumption of raw materials, disposal of waste products and degradation of the physical environment. The environmental effect of the company's processes as well as their products is taken into account. Performance has been excellent over the medium term although the fund is above average volatility due to its substantial holding of smaller companies. Having said which, it has grown at 35.7% in the last five years against a sector average of 19.1%.
Henderson’s Industries of the Future fund grew out of their excellent Ethical fund. It is international in scope and has grown at an average of 29.1% over the last five years against a sector average of 19.1%. The fund is quite volatile and above-average risk but has potential for long-term investment.
The Impax Environmental Markets Investment Trust invests in companies that aim to improve the environment, and offers access to renewable energy, environmental and water treatment companies among others. By nature many of these companies are higher risk investments but this fund has the advantage of offering a degree of diversity in its exposure. The managers have considerable expertise and have developed their own index to track the performance of environmental technology stocks, the ET50. Since the fund's launch it has performed consistently well against the index and grown at 17.7% in the last twelve months against a sector average of 5.4%.
The F&C Stewardship Growth fund was launched in 1984 and was the first screened fund available in this country. As mentioned above, it has a clear set of ethical criteria and woks in constructive engagement. The fund is below average volatility and has grown at 22.1% in the last twelve months against a sector average of 19.9%.
Aviva’s Sustainable Future funds are positively screened and adhere to the company’s coherent and well-thought-through investment philosophy. The company is also highly committed to constructive engagement. Their Sustainable Future Absolute Growth fund invests in higher-risk global holdings and is designed for long-term capital appreciation. Sufficiently flexible that investment may be limited to a single country or a global bond market. It has grown at 19.7% in the last year against a sector average of 16.9% despite the plunge in the global economy.
Schroder’s Global Climate Change fund concentrates on companies which will be working to accommodate or limit the effect of global climate change. The holdings are global and include a variety of different types of investment including equities, derivatives, warrants and money market instruments. It is regarded as above-average to high risk and has consistently out- performed the sector average since it was set up.
Finally, the Black Rock New Energy fund. This is a high risk investment trust which specialises in solar, wind, wave and hydrogen power and the associated technologies. The fund has gone up and down like a yo-yo due to continued reliance on fossil fuels in industrialised societies. That is, it grew wonderfully for several years – up by 65% in 2005/6 – then fell back but still has an overall growth of 10.7% in the last five years. And, although you need to be aware of its serious volatility, the fund’s potential is obviously enormous.
Finally though, you need to know that the criteria of each fund is different. So if you’re interested, I suggest you contact us at www.barchestergreen.co.uk
and we can give you specific advice on what holdings would match your personal criteria.
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