The U.S. Vegan Climate ETF, which will trade under the ticker “VEGN,” is expected to come to market next month, providing investors with a fresh spin on socially responsible investing. Beyond Investing is the firm behind the new fund.
“Beyond Investing is a vegan and cruelty-free investment platform providing access to investment products which adhere to vegan principles and accelerate our transition to a kinder, cleaner and healthier world,” according to the firm’s website.
The index tied to the fund, the U.S. Vegan Climate Index, sifts through companies within the Solactive U.S. Large Cap Index and screens for those that conduct business activities that aren’t detrimental to the well-being of animals. Based on a press release, investors of the fund will essentially ” avoid funding the slaughter of 13 animals a year for every $1,000 invested.”
That index has nearly 280 components with an average market value of around $220 billion. The benchmark “excludes companies engaged in animal exploitation, defense, human rights abuses, fossil fuels extraction and energy production, and other environmentally damaging activities,” according to the issuer.
Fresh Ingredients And Big Challenges
The challenge to bring ESG investing into wider investor adoption faces various obstacles, but more education and marketing towards these products, equities or fixed-income, can help increase awareness of these products.
“Previously, vegans and environmentalists interested in profiting on the stock market had had little choice but to, often inadvertently, profit from the harm of animals or the environment through their investment options,” reports Vegconomist. “The newly accepted launch means that animal advocates and environmentalists now have an ethical stock investment option that is both cruelty-free and fossil fuel-free.”
Related: Putting an Electric Vehicle ETF Into Gear
The number of vegans is soaring in the U.S. and ESG strategies are gaining popularity with younger investors, factors that could bode well for VEGN when it comes to market.
“So many compassionate people go to great efforts to avoid buying products that contain animal ingredients or have been subject to cruel testing, but when it comes to their investment options, they’re actively, albeit often unwittingly, supporting companies and industries that exploit and torture animals,” said Beyond Investing CEO Claire Smith in an interview with Vegconomist. “Our ETF offers them the opportunity to invest in line with their values. And because we love humans as much as other animals, we have defense and human rights screens as well.”
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