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First vegan ETF launches on NYSE


Claire Smith (pictured), vegan entrepreneur and impact investor, has launched the first vegan ETF, the US Vegan Climate ETF (VEGN), on NYSE, designed to track the Beyond Investing US Vegan Climate Index (VEGAN).

The index is based on a filtered version of Solactive’s Large Cap and Large and mid-cap indices with screens for a variety of ESG considerations, primarily animal harm and exploitation, as well as fossil fuels, environmental damage, and human rights.

As a result, VEGN seeks to invest in companies that offer a humane, animal-friendly and environmentally friendly approach.

Speaking on the day of its launch, Smith says: “I felt it was a good thing to do as there was no such thing as a publicly available fund avoiding animal exploitation or cruelty so there was a gap in the market.”
The new ETF has seen lots of interest, Smith reports, largely from smaller investors. “We are targeting some of the animal welfare and environmental charities who have more to invest and should be investing according to these principles,” she says.

Smith comments that most ESG filters have no consideration of animal exploitation, and in fact, can be overweight in the pharmaceutical sector, which often uses animals for testing and so is underweighted in this ETF’s portfolio.

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