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Can you get paid to help make the world a better place?

There’s no need to choose between profits and progress. Dominic Rowles highlights two funds that can grow your money with a focus on sustainability.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by more than 30% since pre-industrial times, with human activity thought to be largely responsible. This traps more heat in the lower atmosphere and causes the planet to warm up.

More severe storms, more wildfires, rising sea levels and more frequent droughts are just some of the issues society will need to contend with if we continue our current trajectory.

What can be done about it?

You probably already know you can do your bit by recycling, not wasting food and turning off the lights when you leave a room. But 60% of HL investors don’t know they can help tackle climate change and a range of other environmental and social issues through their investments too.

You could avoid companies that do the worst damage, or invest in companies that take their commitments towards society and the environment seriously.

For some investors though, that doesn’t go far enough. Some want to invest in companies that have a positive impact on the world, such as those creating green energy, or cleaning and reusing water.

But just because a company has a positive impact on the world, that doesn’t necessarily make it a good investment. And finding sustainable companies with great prospects isn't easy. That's why we think it could be worth enlisting a fund manager to do the hard work for you.

Below, we look at two funds that invest in companies making a positive difference to the planet with the potential to deliver reasonable returns over the long run, although there are no guarantees.

Please note this is not a personal recommendation to invest. You should check that each fund is suitable for your circumstances, attitude to risk and ethics. All funds can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest. If you’re unsure, please seek advice.

Fund in focus: Jupiter Ecology

Charlie Thomas has managed the Jupiter Ecology Fund since 2003. He invests in companies that offer solutions to environmental and social problems like pollution, resource scarcity and water shortages.

He thinks these themes will be increasingly important as the population grows. Global demand for food and energy is expected to rise 50% by 2030. Those challenges will have to be met, while simultaneously addressing other environmental issues like climate change.

Current investments include Norwegian recycling technology leader Tomra. The business operates ‘reverse vending machines’ which allow users to deposit used bottles and cans. The system captures 40 billion beverage containers annually and helps to increase resource efficiency.

Thomas is an experienced, well-resourced manager and we think this is a reasonable choice for a fund focused on sustainability issues. It invests in quite a niche area of the market though, so we expect it to perform differently to other funds in the Global sector. The manager's flexibility to invest in smaller companies adds risk.

Annual percentage growth
Sep 14 -
Sep 15
Sep 15 -
Sep 16
Sep 16 -
Sep 17
Sep 17 -
Sep 18
Sep 18 -
Sep 19
Jupiter Ecology -0.5% 28.4% 15.2% 2.1% 6.3%
FTSE ET100 -1.5% 31.1% 19.6% 3.3% 5.7%
FTSE World 0.8% 31.2% 15.4% 14.2% 7.9%

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Source: Lipper IM to 30/09/2019.

More on this fund, including charges

Jupiter Ecology Key Investor Information


Fund in focus: WHEB Sustainability

WHEB Sustainability is an impact fund. It aims to make a positive difference to the environment and society through the way it invests. The team behind the fund focuses on nine sustainable investment themes, which range from resource efficiency and sustainable transport to education and wellbeing.

WHEB Sustainaibilty: theme breakdown

Source: WHEB Group to 30/09/2019.

Impact funds measure the positive effect they have. For instance, owning £10,000 of the fund throughout 2018 was associated with:

  • Generating 18MWh of renewable energy
  • Avoiding 8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions
  • Treating 100,000 litres of waste water for reuse
  • Recycling or recovering 2 tons of waste material
  • Providing a day of tertiary education
  • Helping one person receive healthcare treatment and saving £650 of costs through more efficient healthcare systems

This is the only fund managed by the WHEB team, meaning they're totally dedicated and focused on its success. We think it's a reasonable choice for investors who want to make a measurable difference with their money. However, the portfolio looks very different to the broader global stock market, so we expect it to perform differently too. The fund's focus towards small and medium-sized companies adds risk.

Annual percentage growth
Sep 14 -
Sep 15
Sep 15 -
Sep 16
Sep 16 -
Sep 17
Sep 17 -
Sep 18
Sep 18 -
Sep 19
FP WHEB Sustainability 0.6% 31.3% 14.9% 11.5% 1.9%
FTSE World 0.8% 31.2% 15.4% 14.2% 7.9%

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Source: Lipper IM to 30/09/2019

More on this fund, including charges

FP WHEB Sustainability Key Investor Information

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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