Ethical investment growth benefiting from awareness

11 April 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Long term growth in environmentally friendly investments is set to rise as social and political awareness of making socially responsible investments becomes more popular, according to Jupiter.

The investment company's Ecology Fund has seen significant benefits as a result of governments, corporations, and consumers becoming more aware of the importance of making ethical investments, and using these principles to help them choose where to invest their money.

The Fund has returned 412.35 per cent since its launch 20 years ago, compared to a smaller return of 343.77 per cent for the IMA Global Growth sector, illustrating the growing popularity of ethical investment.

Charlie Thomas, manager of the Jupiter Ecology Fund, explained that "Attractive valuations and a huge uplift in activity and interest over the past couple of years means that we are at the most interesting juncture in 20 years in terms of green investing."

The Fund is aimed at achieving long term growth by investing in companies that have positive growth in conjunction with environmental and social policies; it invests primarily in six themes: green energy, water management, green transport, waste management, sustainable living, and environmental services.

Mr Thomas continued: "The major underpinning of our investment strategy for the Fund over the past few years has been based on three long term growth drivers.", namely, the consumer, governmental and corporate policy, and corporate expenditure commitments which have had a dramatic impact on the industry, as sourcing greener energy increasingly becomes more of a prerogative for companies and consumers alike.

"While the general principles of the Ecology Fund have remained consistent over this period the universe of stocks in which we can invest has expanded dramatically from around 250 stocks then to over 1,000 now and this is growing every day. The small and mid cap area of this market, which we generally favour, is incredibly dynamic." Mr Thomas added.

Emma Howard Boyd, Head of Sustainable and Responsible Investment at Jupiter, comments: "We believe that green investing has moved on. While green investing is still a specialist area of the market, it is now starting to be seriously considered by investors as part of a balanced portfolio. It is no longer just about principles but also profit and the long-term drivers of growth in this market are clear and appear unstoppable."

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