Aussie ETF provider BetaShares has had its Global Sustainability Leaders ETF independently recognised by Australia’s leading certifier of responsible investors, the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
Launched in January of this year, ETHI is the first global equities ETF available on the ASX that uses a broad set of ethical eligibility screens. It invests in 100 large global stocks from developed market countries (excluding Australia) that are climate change leaders.
RIAA, the industry body representing responsible and ethical investors across Australia and New Zealand, runs the Responsible Investment Certification Program. It provides investors with standardised and consistent information allowing them to compare investment options that have been assessed and verified as responsible investment products.
As part of the certification, the product provider must demonstrate that investors are given access to detailed information about how each investment product or financial adviser takes into account Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) and ethical issues in the investment process.
BetaShares Managing Director, Alex Vynkour, says: “We are delighted to have ETHI certified as responsibly invested. This accreditation provides a good benchmark for investors to know that what they are putting their money into is an ethically responsible fund.”
ETHI’s screening criteria includes an environmental/sustainability requirement but also a wide range of other ethical and social filters. In doing so it offers a “true to label” ethical investment option for investors, unlike a number of funds which use more narrow screens and thus can invest in some companies which would not be considered suitable to those with a responsible investment mind-set.
Vynkour believes this is one of the major factors that has seen the fund reach the USD100 million FUM marker.
“We have seen strong uptake in the ETHI fund since its launch; investors are increasingly more conscious of where their money is being invested,” says Vynkour. “ETHI allows them to invest in line with their ethical beliefs and we are proud to be able to offer a simple, cost-effective and transparent investment option to Australians.”