Harvest of organic vegetables

Vegans will soon have an investment product that reflects their values, with the first vegan ETF set to launch on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) next month.

The US Vegan Climate Exchange Traded ETF will debut on the NYSE on Sept. 10. The fund, which has been developed by Beyond Investing LLC, will track the US Vegan Climate Index, which the firm launched in June 2018.

The index starts with the S&P 500 universe and then excludes firms that don’t adhere to vegan values.

For instance, it rules out firms that engage in animal testing, produce animal-derived products, and are involved in research involving animals and genetically-engineered animals. It also screens for other environmental and social concerns, including human rights, weapons and tobacco products.

“So many compassionate people go to great efforts to avoid buying products that contain animal ingredients or have been subject to cruel testing, but when it comes to their investment options, they’re actively, albeit often unwittingly, supporting companies and industries that exploit and torture animals,” said Claire Smith, CEO of Beyond Investing, in a release. “Our ETF offers them the opportunity to invest in line with their values. And because we love humans as much as other animals, we have defense and human rights screens as well.”

As of July 31, there were 277 companies in the index.

The fund carries total operating expenses of 0.6%.

Beyond Investing also intends to “engage with companies to encourage them to make their business practices to be more animal-friendly, by removing animal products from their business lines and improving their services to vegans,” Smith said.