For every $1,000 invested in the new US Vegan Climate stock index, an investor will avoid funding the slaughter of 13 animals per year, according to finance professionals and fund creators Claire Smith, Lee Coates, and Larry Abele of Europe’s vegan investing platform, Beyond Investing. The new index, which went live under the Bloomberg ticker “VEGAN” in June, has a market value of $255 billion and seeks to address the concerns of vegans and environmentalists by avoiding investing in companies that directly contribute to animal suffering, the destruction of the environment, and climate change. According to Bloomberg data, funds that focus on environmental, social, and governance issues—a strategy known as ESG investing—has grown by 400 percent in the last five years, and is now worth more than $6 billion. Although interest is growing, Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Eric Balchunas says it’s still a small net worth compared to the $3.5 trillion stock industry. “It is no surprise that issuers are trying a different tact in being more clear and specific in the names of the products in an effort to excite certain types of investors,” Balchunas said. The US Vegan Climate Index is the first to focus specifically on animal exploitation and includes major names such as Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook. A portion of its net profits are devoted to Swedish animal-advocacy organization Beyond Cruelty Foundation.
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