Low carbon footprint investment: Virgin Money goes green with new 'Climate Change Fund'

04 February 2008 / by Verity G
Virgin Money has announced the launch of a new Climate Change Fund which will offer investment to those companies with a carbon footprint lower than their specific industry average.

The initiative, which is open directly to the public with investments of at least £50 per month, will see Virgin team up with fund advisors GLG Partners, as well as top environmental research organisation, Trucost, who will be on hand to provide the environmental data.

The collaboration follows a study which reveals that companies with a 'lighter footprint' strategy can outperform their 'dirtier' competitors. According to the research, 29 per cent of consumers – around 10.9 million people – have favoured products and services from environmentally aware companies in the past year, while a further 68 per cent say if data on companies' carbon footprints was more readily available they would pay more attention to the issue.

The Virgin Climate Change Fund opened for business on January 21st and is available through either an independent financial advisor (IFA) or direct to the public. The fund is open to investors with minimum investments of £50 a month or a £500 lump sum.

Sir Richard Branson comments: "Climate change is an issue which affects us all. Consumers are changing the way they spend and are increasingly looking for more environmentally friendly ways of investing their money too. I’m delighted to be teaming up with GLG Partners in offering the Virgin Climate Change Fund and look forward to delivering our investors excellent performance without it costing the Earth."

At least 75 per cent of the fund will be invested in an environmentally-filtered basket of European shares – with companies who have a better than average environmental record for their sector being exclusively selected. Another 15 per cent will be invested into 'Solution Adopters' - companies adopting environmental best practice - and up to a further ten per cent will be invested in 'Solution Providers' - firms specialising in offering solutions to environmental problems.

Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia adds: "The climate change issue is too often seen as one where consumers have to pay a price. There is too much 'stick' and not enough 'carrot'.

"Our new Climate Change Fund is a straightforward way for investors to put their money into companies at the forefront of changing how businesses operate. And far from having to compromise on investment performance this strategy actually improves it."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd