A new Vegan focused exchange-traded fund (ETF) was launched on the New York Stock Exchangenew yor on Tuesday the 10th of September. Dubbed the U.S. Vegan Climate ETF with the code VEGN, the ETF costs 60 basis points for interested participants and it is the first vegan and climate oriented ETF that has been ever launched.
Initiated by Beyond Investing which is itself a vegan and anti-animal investment service, the new ETF boasts of more than a few major holdings including stocks from major tech giants like Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB), AT&T (T), Intel (INTC), MasterCard (MA), Visa (V), Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Bank of America (BAC). These stocks already constitute almost 32% of the entire ETF.
Furthermore, the Vegan Climate ETF released an official fact sheet with a lot of details about its activity and projections. The fact sheet shows that the ETF does not include stocks from companies who have any activity that could be related to animal exploitation including animal testing, the use of any animals for entertainment purposes including sporting activity, companies that take part in engineering animal genetics, animal farming as well as the use of any products from animal harvesting or rearing.
There is also the part of climate abuse and the Vegan Climate ETF also will not include any companies whose activities have any negative effect on the environment such as the use of fossil fuels. However, some companies that fall within the above but go out of their way to support “positive initiatives that effectively address those impacts” could be excluded.
The exclusion also goes on to tobacco companies as well as military and defense outfits and any others that are even remotely related to the abuse of human rights. Even with all of the exclusions, the Vegan Climate ETF still has close to 300 stocks in its portfolio.
A report from data analysis and solutions company, GlobalData, has disclosed that U.S residents who identify themselves as vegan, surged by 600% between 2014 and 2017. In addition, Nielsen and the Good Food Institute have also said that in one year between 2017 and 2018, there was a 17% hike in the purchase of healthier plant-based substitutes for many products such as milk, meat and cheese. On some level, this could give the idea that there just might be a considerable market for the ETF if vegans all over the U.S. are sensitized enough to partake. Already, the ETF has pulled in almost $4 million since its inception just a week ago.
This is probably to be expected especially since Beyond Investing’s CEO, Claire Smith, told CNBC that since “vegans and environmentalists have nowhere to go in the stock market to find a fund that is acceptable to their principles”, the Vegan Climate ETF just might be the right answer to their prayers.
Is this ETF attractive enough to invest in? We’ll let you decide.