The Jupiter Ecology Fund is one of Jupiter's flagship ethical or socially responsible investment funds, investing in six green investment themes to deliver long term capital growth and a growing income. We asked the fund manager, Charlie Thomas, about the fund and some of the key trends he sees in the fund's investment themes.
You can invest in the Jupiter Ecology Fund at 0.00% initial charge through the Fair Investment Company ISA and Investment Account »
1. How long have you been working with socially responsible investment (SRI) funds?
I joined Jupiter’s SRI team in 2000 and since September 2003, I have been lead fund manager of the Jupiter Green Investment Trust and the Jupiter Ecology Fund. I also manage a fund invested in climate change solutions. I initially developed my interest in environmental issues at Nottingham University, where I did a degree in environmental biology. I then did an MSc in environmental technology at Imperial, before spending three years working for BP, initially as a climate change adviser. I have also worked for the United Nations Environment Programme, as well as other financial institutions
2. How would you describe your approach to finding the companies the fund invests in?
The fund’s policy is to invest worldwide in companies which demonstrate a positive commitment to the long-term protection of the environment. The fund has rigorous ethical exclusions on the companies which can be invested in, while actively focusing on six green investment themes: clean energy; water management; green transport; waste management; sustainable living; and environmental services.
My approach is to identify the best investment opportunities available and I do this primarily by meeting the management of companies and understanding the potential for growth in the area in which they operate.
3. What are some of the key trends you see emerging in the green investment themes used by the fund?
We have seen a revival in interest notably in energy efficiency and the alternative energy sector. A combination of strong demand trends for energy from emerging markets, coupled with concerns about the rate of growth in nuclear power and geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East are resulting in a supportive background to investment in these sectors. Other areas of growing interest include the waste sector where strengthening commodity prices alongside tightening waste legislation are creating a positive investment environment.
4. What investment opportunities are there from an increased focus from national governments on areas like green transport and clean energy?
Any changes to national government energy policies, such as changes that will potentially be seen in Germany [a move away from nuclear power], could result in significant opportunities for clean fuels and renewables. We see the outlook for climate change policies around the world improving (albeit from a low base) as countries recognise the long term importance. We have recently seen evidence of this in the 12th 5-year plan from the Chinese government which highlighted strong support for many of our green investment themes as an integral part of their long term growth plans. We also see the potential for greater public transport use with the current high fuel prices being experienced.
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