Impact investment: Market gets its teeth into vegan ETF
Founders claim existing meat-production business model at risk from stranded assets as interest in meat-free diet grows.
Beyond Investing is launching what is thought to be the first dedicated vegan climate exchange-traded fund (ETF) in January.
It follows the launch of the US Vegan Climate Index by the vegan and cruelty-free investment group in June this year.
According to research firm GlobalData, the number of vegans in the US has increased 600% in three years to 6% of the population. In the UK, the number of vegans has risen 700% in two years, according to comparethemarket.com, while in Germany the percentage of the population following a low-meat diet has risen to 44% from 26% in 2014.
Beyond’s founder and CEO Claire Smith says: “There’s a societal shift taking place towards veganism, or at least reducing the consumption of meat because of concerns about health, the environment or animal cruelty.”
Indeed, given the shift, Smith says it is surprising that the UN Sustainable Development Goals have no mention of animal farming, given the environmental impact of farming.
“There are widely disparate numbers, but research seems to point to the fact that the majority of greenhouse gas is produced as a result of animal agriculture – predominantly because of the loss of the carbon sink when land is cleared,” she says.