• Jenessa Stark

Exchange Traded Funds Are Going Vegan

World’s first vegan and climate-conscious themed exchange-traded fund has hit the New York Stock Exchange on September 10, 2019. Trading under the name U.S Vegan Climate ETF (VEGN), this new fund provides investors with a fresh spin on socially responsible investing.

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 fund excludes companies engaged in animal testing, fossil fuel production and other activities anathema to environmentally conscious vegans.

Compared to the Solactive index, the company’s press release claims its Vegan Climate index offers 61% less carbon, 89% less waste and 83% less water, as calculated on 30 June 2018 by Impact Cubed.

Vegan ETF backed by Tech giants

The most interesting aspect of the VEGN ETF however is its biggest holdings. Technology giants Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T and Intel together make up roughly 20% of the portfolio.

Although the challenge to bring ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing into wider investor adoption faces obstacles, VEGN could establish a following among younger investors, a demographic that has warmed to ESG funds.

Beyond Advisors claims that "an investor in this new index will avoid funding the slaughter of 13 animals a year for every $1,000 invested."

VEGN seeks to provide market-capitalization-weighted exposure to US companies that satisfy its rigorous ESG standards. “Our aim is to help vegans and animal activists take the pain out of their portfolios,” explains Claire Smith, CEO of Beyond Investing. "Our ETF offers them the opportunity to invest in line with their values.”

Sign up to our community so you can stay up to date on everything sustainable.