Responsible Funds & Indices, Jan. 18: Dexia sustainable fund beats benchmark in 2012

The round-up of sustainable funds and indices news

Funds

The €5.9m Dexia Equities Sustainable Green Planet fund beat its benchmark by 8.7% in 2012 – returning 6.39% as against a -2.31% return for the Ardour Global Composite index. The fund invests worldwide in companies tackling waste management, water use and energy resources. Its three largest holdings are LED lighting firm Cree, waste-to-energy infrastructure outfit Covanta and Ameresco, which provides energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions.

The €8m UBS Sustainable Global Leaders fund made a return of 9.23% in the year to the end of December 2012. The actively managed fund, which seeks companies with an emphasis on sustainability, has a 49.2% exposure to the climate change sector. It is 27.5% exposed to demographics (nutrition/healthcare) and 14.8% exposed to sustainable development. Water accounts for 8.4%. The three largest equity positions are Canadian Pacific Railway, CVS/Caremark and Reed Elsevier.

Morgan Stanley has teamed up with the Kresge Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to launch a $100m fund to expand access to health care and affordable housing for low-income residents. The Healthy Futures Fund is being seeded with capital to build 500 housing units with integrated health services and to construct eight federally qualified health centers that will serve an estimated 75,000 people. Announcement

The EasyETF FTSE Environmental Opportunities 100 gained 15.19% in 2012. It is an exchange traded fund designed to replicate the performance of the index of the same name, which offers exposure to the 100 largest global companies in the environmental technologies sector. This sector includes alternative energy & energy efficiency, water technologies & pollution control and waste & resource management.The €38.26m SAM Sustainable Global Active Fund outperformed the MSCI World Index in November, returning 1.15% against 0.91%. Positive performance contributions came from the financial, materials and consumer discretionary sectors. The largest holdings are Pfizer, Total and Procter & Gamble. The fund invests globally in companies that are leaders with respect to sustainability.

Indices

American Water Works, the largest publicly traded US water and wastewater utility, now meets the standards for inclusion in the Calvert Social Index. Calvert said: “The company has demonstrated improvements in its disclosure regarding key environmental and safety indicators.” If approved, American Water, founded in 1886, will join the index in March.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) firm Sustainalytics says the Jantzi Social Index (JSI) increased in value by 2.11% in December. During the same period, the S&P/TSX Composite Index increased by 1.95%. Since inception on January 1, 2000 through to the end of 2012, the JSI has achieved an annualized return of 5.47%, while the S&P/TSX Composite and the S&P/TSX 60 had annualized returns of 5.42% and 5.15% respectively. The JSI is a socially screened, market capitalization-weighted common stock index modelled on Canada’s S&P/TSX 60.

The Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index finished 2012 up 10.74%, according to data compiled by S&P Dow Jones Indices. The index, which rose 0.55% in December, measures the performance of 100 of the world’s leading Sharia-compliant stocks. And the Dow Jones Global Titans 50 Index, which measures the world’s 50 largest companies, posted a 2012 gain of 11.75%.