Ethical investment will get 18% boost in 2009

22 May 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
This year will see an 18 per cent rise in the number of investors opting to make ethical investment choices, according to new research from The Co-operative Investments.

The results show that a correlation exists between the current financial crisis and a growth in the popularity of ethical investment, The Co-operative Investments suggests.

It also believes that further evidence also exists that reveals an increase in consumer demand for green investment opportunities on the back of the credit crunch.

For example, The Co-operative Investments found that its own ethical fund – the Sustainable Leaders Trust – has seen a similar increase in unit growth, growing 16 per cent in 2008 and continuing into 2009.

The Sustainable Leaders Trust invests in around 50 small, medium and large companies, the majority of which are based in the UK, that make a postitive contribution to the environment, human welfare and sustainability, whilst avoiding industries which have a negative social impact, such as armaments and tobacco companies.

Over a five year period, the fund has outperformed the FTSE All Share and the UK All Companies Sector average, providing a return of 28.63 per cent, compared to 15.49 per cent and 9.66 per cent respectively.

Figures from the Investment Management Association (IMA) also reveal an increased appetite for ethical investment, despite the economic crisis, reporting higher inflows into ethical funds than outflows for 14 consecutive months since February 2008.

"The financial crisis appears to have encouraged investors to think not only about how much money they make, but importantly, how it is made," commented Zack Hocking, head of investments at The Co-operative Investments.

"Many ethical funds have now proven that they can deliver performance in line with the very best unit trusts in the market, while helping to bring about positive change in society."

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