Promising start for US Vegan Climate ETF on first day of trading
Over US$4m worth of shares traded in first day on the New York Stock Exchange
AFTER a flurry of global headlines last month anticipating the launch of the US Vegan Climate exchange traded fund (ETF) onto the New York Stock Exchange on September 10, the fund has reached US$3.75m in assets under management on its first day of trading.
The ethical investment fund designed for animal advocates and environmentalists will track the US Vegan Climate Index, a cruelty-free and fossil fuel-free index created by Beyond Investing.
Among the major US stock trading platforms which provided access to the ETF on launch day were Robinhood, Fidelity Investments, Folio Financial and more.
In addition, leading Australian stock trading platform Stake was quick to jump on board and respond to consumer demand for ethical investments. “Stake is always looking to provide our customers with alternative investment opportunities,” says Shawn Singh, head of Global Operations. “We've taken up the US Vegan Climate ETF because of demand from our customers and are proud to be able to provide them with this opportunity,” he adds.
Over the course of the day, assets in the ETF rose steadily with total volume traded over the day of over US$4 million. Notably the bid-offer spread over the course of the day ranged from 1-3bp, making the ETF relatively cheap to trade.
Claire Smith, co-founder of Beyond Investing, says she was pleased with the initial results and looked forward to even more platforms responding to consumer demand for ethical investment options and making the ETF available to their customers.
“As an investor myself for many decades, I’ve longed for sustainable and ESG options that don’t force me to support animal exploitation, environmental devastation and abuse of human rights,” says Smith.
She also calls on delegates at the upcoming UN Climate Summit in New York to consider the role that investment plays in addressing the challenges of climate change.
“Animal agriculture is a leading driver of deforestation, species extinction, air and water pollution,” Smith says. “It’s imperative that we reward companies that take this imminent threat to our planet seriously, and where we invest our money sends a strong and powerful message to those that are causing environmental devastation,” she adds.
The US Vegan Climate Index takes the Solactive US Large Cap Index and excludes any stocks whose activities are incompatible with a vegan and climate-conscious approach to investing, replacing damaging stocks with midcap alternatives that meet its ethical criteria.
This means the fund avoids investing in companies whose business models rely on animal exploitation as well as removing fossil fuel and environmental threats such as plastic and agrochemicals, which are harmful to wild animals.
As Smith explains, “Though not affiliated with recent IPO Beyond Meat, our index does own shares in Beyond Meat thanks to it being at the vanguard of the plant-based movement and replacing some of the food sector exposures excluded for being involved in the meat industry. We are part of a growing movement of conscious capitalism.”
Compared against the unscreened Solactive US Large Cap Index, the US Vegan Climate Index has 61% less greenhouse gases, 89% less waste and 83% less water (as calculated on 30 June 2018).
Year-to-date, the US Vegan Climate Index has outperformed the Solactive US Large Cap Index by 3.53% and the S&P 500 Index by 3.8% (to August 30 2019).
The US Vegan Climate ETF will seek to track the US Vegan Climate Index by purchasing a replicating portfolio of the Index constituents.
Image credit to Vegan Liftz
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