Pathfinder Global Water Fund becomes vegan-friendly!

Last week, Pathfinder announced that they’ve made changes to the Pathfinder Global Water Fund to make it vegan-friendly. We chatted to John Berry, CEO of Pathfinder, about what this means.

What’s the Pathfinder Global Water Fund?

The United Nations identifies water-related issues as some of the most pressing our planet faces—such as water pollution, access, efficiency and sustainability. We believe that companies involved in solving this global crisis will outperform in the long-term.

The Pathfinder Global Water Fund holds shares in 64 companies from around the globe that are involved in the water industry. These manufacture water equipment, build water infrastructure, design water treatment technology and operate water and wastewater plants (note: no bottled water companies!). We focus on the environmental, social and governance characteristics of the companies we invest in.

What is a vegan-friendly fund?

The Pathfinder Global Water Fund is now vegan-friendly—this is a responsible investment first for New Zealand! Essentially, we’re excluding companies complicit in animal cruelty. This means a focus on animal welfare issues and excluding activities like animal testing. We also continue to exclude companies involved in thermal coal, gambling, adult entertainment, tobacco and controversial weapons.

Why did you decide to make the fund vegan-friendly?

Over the last year, we’ve been approached by many investors concerned about animal welfare issues. Many have been vegans, who are very passionate about cruelty-free investment, but there’s also a much wider audience. We made the fund vegan-friendly because we want more investment options in New Zealand catering to different values and concerns—and because we love animals!

What was involved in making the fund vegan-friendly?

The fund’s investments are now screened for compliance with strict animal welfare and animal testing criteria—we drill down into the activities of each company. Given the nature of companies in the Global Water Fund, virtually all passed our animal welfare screening—only one company needed to be removed.

Will making the fund vegan-friendly have an effect on its risks and returns?

The Pathfinder Global Water Fund’s focus on responsible investment has delivered for investors with 7 year returns to 31 August 2018 averaging 11.6% per annum (after fees and before tax). We don’t believe taking account of animal welfare issues will mean any change to the risk and return characteristics of the fund.

What other responsible investing trends might we expect to see in the future?

Responsible investment is definitely becoming more mainstream and we see the level of interest from investors growing exponentially. We expect more products to become available and we also expect investors to demand more transparency around exactly what is (and isn’t) held in a fund.

Ok, now for the legal bit

Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written.