Food and Water

A vegan and animal cruelty-free fund will start trading on the Stock Exchange

A screen shows the numbers after the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz - RC1C6F450B50

U.S. assets under management that follow ESG principles have been surging, representing one in four dollars last year Image: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Sebastien Malo
Freelance contributor, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Food and Water?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Food Security is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Food Security

An investment fund designed for animal rights advocates and environmentalists, the first of its kind according to financial experts, is set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) next month.

VEGN, as it will show on the NYSE's floor, enters the fray of hundreds of funds that consider environmental, social or governance (ESG) factors in their investment decisions but will be unique in going animal cruelty-free, experts said.

U.S. assets under management that follow ESG principles have been surging, representing one in four dollars last year, up from one in five in 2016, according to The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, a Washington-based non-profit.

Holding such investments is a way to pressure companies to change their behavior in order not to miss investors, said Tensie Whelan, who heads the New York University's Center for Sustainable Business.

"It's an interesting offering because it's the only one of its kind," she said in a telephone interview.

VEGN, the ticker symbol for the exchange-traded fund (ETF), whose full name is US Vegan Climate Exchange Traded ETF, will exclude stocks among the 500 largest U.S. companies that "rely on animal exploitation", said its creator Beyond Investing.

It will be listed on the NYSE starting on Sept. 10.

Selecting companies whose businesses do not test products on animals, or use animal-derived products, fossil fuels, plastic or agrochemicals, has meant tossing out 43% of the top 500 companies, said Claire Smith, the Switzerland-based chief executive of Beyond Investing.

The fund's portfolio guidelines mean it doesn't include many pharmaceuticals, materials and consumer-sector stocks, said Smith.

Have you read?

"Things like clothing, shoe manufacture ... (involve) so much animal products," she said.

Still, a market index of stocks that a parent company of Beyond Investing launched in June last year and that VEGN will track - meaning it will be used to guide what stocks go into the fund - has outperformed the market this year, said Smith, after "a little bit of underperformance last year."

Beyond Investing identifies companies that follow VEGN's criteria by researching their business models, regulations and internal policies, said Smith.

In a report published earlier this month the United Nations called for diets less reliant on meat in order to combat climate change and ensure enough food for all.

Animal Rebellion, a group inspired by Extinction Rebellion's non-violent civil disobedience climate activism, also is pushing for diets without meat.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Food and WaterTrade and InvestmentIndustries in Depth
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

5 ways that free trade can boost sustainable agriculture in Africa

Adam Amoussou

May 21, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum