Investment Company Launches Fund for Social Leaders

A Canadian investment firm has launched a fund that will invest in a number of renewable energy companies.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia 2002-02-18 [] The ‘Social Leaders Fund’ will be offered by Real Assets Investment Management Inc. of Vancouver, to invest in companies that are committed to environmental and social sustainability. “We’re not screening out companies that we don’t like, we’re investing in great companies that do great things,” says CEO Deb Abbey, who has authored a book on ethical stocks in Canada. “The world is changing and these companies are leading that change by generating value today through their commitment to corporate social responsibility.” The Fund will expand its portfolio to fund 50 companies in Canada and abroad. Among the current 25 companies are AstroPower, Ballard Power, Canadian Hydro Developers, Swiss Re and Vestas Wind Systems. Other companies not involved in renewable energy include Cisco Systems, Electrolux, Fannie Mae, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Nokia, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Unilever and Zenon Environmental. Real Assets claims to be Canada’s first investment management firm to focus only on socially responsible investing. It is owned by VanCity Savings Credit Union. “It’s the first socially responsible fund in Canada to go beyond screening out bad companies and actually focus on those public companies that are leading corporate citizens,” explains Dave Mowat of VanCity. “We need to tell the story of the financial benefits of social and environmental leadership.” Officials explain that AstroPower is “one of the fastest growing solar power companies” while Canadian Hydro Developers is “one of the few companies that has benefited from energy deregulation” with its focus on wind and run of river power. The Social Leaders Fund requires a minimum purchase of C$100,000 or $25,000 for residents of B.C. Real Assets caters to investors that “want to ensure that their investments are aligned with their values.”
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