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the latest analysis of green and ethical investment

Seven socially responsible themes to invest your money in

There's a host of ways you can invest your money responsibly: whether you're interested in investing in specific single themes such as water, agriculture, clean energy or carbon; or ones that encapsulate a number of environmentally focused themes in one fund - there are bound to be some that appeal.

1. Investing in Water

WaterAs population increases the demand for water becomes significant and according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) demand for water is set to increase by more than 50%. Under this scenario, two in five people will be living in areas suffering “water stress”

Currently only 0.25% of world’s water is available for consumption and there are crucial and promising investments to be made at every stage of the water production cycle.

Overall the world will need to invest $1 trillion per year through to 2030 to safeguard its water resources.  

Read more about investing in water and see all water funds

2. Investing in Agriculture

Food productionGlobal growth in population and living standards means we must double food production in the coming decades, with limited arable land, agriculture will have to become more efficient, raising productivity and increasing yields, this second green revolution carries great long term investment potential.

Read more about investing in agriculture and see all agriculture funds

3. Investing in Clean Energy

Clean energyRising greenhouse emissions are a major threat to our planet; emerging world economies need to find clean energy solutions, these  lie in energy efficiency, low carbon and carbon free technologies with exceptional long term investment prospects.

Read more about investing in clean energy and see all clean energy funds

 4. Investing in Forestry

ForestryDemand for wood is rising with the world population and the development of new economies. In the past a lot of wood has been sourced from the clearing of forests with no consideration given to conservation. This approach is being frowned on by the international community and with the development of commercial and political policies the supply of wood is coming under pressure.

Managed sustainably all forests are endlessly productive but each year a forest area the size of Costa Rica is destroyed by deforestation and the value of forests increases as they grow, and the value of wood products is rising – it is the quintessential long term investment of the 21st Century

Read more about investing in forestry and see all forestry funds

 5. Investing in carbon

Carbon emissionsCarbon emissions are a central issue to the global environmental agenda. However, from an investment fund perspective there is no consistency of approach, meaning that each investment fund within this theme in effect represents a unique investment proposition which needs to be considered individually. The first approach is to invest directly in carbon markets, with the investment funds trading in permits and thus performance will follow the movement in the market price of carbon emissions traded on international markets.

The second approach involves investing in an index of companies, filtered by some relative measure of carbon emissions. The rationale behind this second approach is that companies which have relatively lower carbon emissions should outperform the broader markets in the future as the cost to emit carbon starts to impact company operations and eats into company profits.

Read more about investing in carbon and see all carbon funds

 6. Investing in Environmental

environmentToday the newspapers are filled with environmental stories - how the environment is impacting society, business and politics. It is also impacting investment, but both the implications of investment and the returns from investment are not felt in the short term and as such are not yet that news worthy.

Environmental funds concentrate on companies which are set to benefit in the longer term from the changes society is going through. Investments are in companies trying to profit from issues such as energy efficiency, forestry, waste management, water, clean energy, climate change, sustainable consumption, infrastructure and carbon.

Read more about investing in environmental funds
and see all environmental funds

7. Investing in multi-thematic

multi thematic investingA multi-thematic fund has drivers much wider than an environmental fund and will invest in themes which include demographic and social changes, many of which are brought on by the growth in the developing world.

As such a multi-thematic fund may include environmental themes to varying degrees, such as water, clean energy, forestry and carbon, but also include other themes which are linked to social and demographic issues, such as health, food and agriculture.

Read more about investing in multi-thematic funds and see all multi-thematic funds

Fund context:

Agriculture funds

Carbon funds

Clean Energy funds

Environmental funds

Forestry funds

Multi-thematic funds

Water funds

UK Ethical funds

Global Ethical funds

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