Animal lovers and people who care about saving the planet are rightly proud of their efforts to embrace plant-based eating, reduce their use of plastic, or implement a range of energy-efficient measures at home or work.
But until now, vegans and environmentalists have had little choice but to profit from animal cruelty and environmental devastation through their investment options. While interest in socially responsible investing (SRI) continues to grow, the availability of financial products that explicitly reject animal exploitation has been limited, if not completely absent in most markets.
The listing of the US Vegan Climate Exchange Traded ETF (ticker VEGN) on September 10, 2019, onto the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is set to change that.
An ETF (short for Exchange Traded Fund) is an investment fund which is traded throughout the day on stock exchanges via banks, online brokers and roboadvisors. It goes up or down in value according to the price movements of stocks in the particular index it tracks.
The US Vegan Climate ETF, the first of its kind in the world, has been created by Beyond Investing, a team of experienced vegan finance professionals in the US, Switzerland and the UK. It will track the US Vegan Climate Index (ticker VEGAN) launched by Beyond Investing in June, 2018. This Index takes the Solactive US Large Cap index (a proxy for the S&P 500 Index) and excludes any stocks whose activities are incompatible with a vegan and climate-conscious approach to investing, replacing damaging stocks with midcap alternatives that meet its ethical criteria.
This means the fund avoids investing in companies whose business models rely on animal exploitation – predominantly testing and animal-derived products – as well as removing fossil fuel and environmental threats such as plastic and agrochemicals, which are harmful to wild animals.
In this interview by Katrina Fox of Vegan Business Media, Beyond Investing co-founder Claire Smith talks about:
• How and why she and her team at Beyond Investing created the ETF
• The three criteria she looks for when considering whether to invest in a vegan brand
• The digital integrated platform Beyond Animal she co-founded and how this will help to drive the vegan economy
• How the finance industry perceives veganism
• And much more
For details on the ETF, visit www.veganetf.com.