Responsible Funds, January 13: the round-up of ESG funds news

RI’s regular look at responsible funds news

Outflows from SRI equity funds’ assets under management in 2011 were limited to 5% of the total despite the market downturn, according to the annual data round up more than 500 sustainability-oriented funds by Paris-based Cedrus Partners. Cedrus said the number of funds being launched was still rising and that while ESG funds’ average relative performances were generally in line with indices in 2011, first peer group quartiles were positive. In terms of thematic funds, Cedrus said water and social themes held up in terms of performance, while environmental and clean energy funds experienced a second bad year in a row. Link

Flagship Ventures, the US venture capital firm focused on healthcare and sustainability, has announced a $270m close of its largest fund, the Flagship Ventures Fund IV L.P. Investors include pension funds, foundations, fund-of-funds, corporations and individuals, Flagship said.

SAIL Sustainable Partners has announced that its Louisiana Sustainability Fund has closed its second investment. The Fund invested in clean energy technology firm FlexEnergy, which makes efficient turbine systems. The Louisiana Sustainability Fund is a private capital fund that is dedicated to investing in the future of Louisiana.A strict ethical screen has boosted the £208.2m Kames Ethical Corporate Bond fund, according to an interview with co-manager Iain Buckle in the Financial Times. The fund, which returned 5.52% for the year to December 12, uses a “dark green” ethical screen – which rules out companies engaged in unethical activities, such as alcohol, munitions, nuclear power and tobacco. A positive screen looks at corporate and social responsibility issues.
UK energy firm Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has transferred its cleantech investments into new £95m fund via a deal with Scottish Equity Partners. SEP’s new Environmental Energies Fund will acquire all nine of SSE Ventures’ investments. As part of the deal, SSE Ventures has become a major partner in the new fund.

The Parvest Environmental Opportunities fund, the global small and mid cap cleantech equity fund, has received the first LuxFLAG Environmental label from the Luxembourg Fund Labelling Agency. Parvest has been managed since inception in 2006 by Impax Asset Management.

The Calvert Government Fund, a fixed income fund from sustainable funds firm Calvert Investment Management, has outperformed its benchmark since inception in 2008, according to a release. It’s managed by Lead Portfolio Manager Matt Duch and Co-Portfolio Manager Michael Abramo.