Responsible funds news and launches: June 13

RI’s weekly round-up of responsible funds updates.

The €74.6m ONE Sustainable Fund – Global Environment managed by Swiss fund manager Coninco and Pictet’s FundPartner Solutions arm, has returned 15.08% in the year to the end of May. The two-year performance is 40.25%. Since inception in March 2011 it has returned 39.79%. The fund – formerly managed by the WWF-backed Living Planet Funds (RI coverage) – offers investors an exposure opportunity in companies which allow them to reconcile investment goals and environmental convictions.

The Carbon Trust, the UK company which promotes emissions reductions, has proposed the setting up of a low carbon innovation fund via a windfall tax on any new oil and shale gas projects – to finance a £3bn expansion in innovation funding. Two focus areas would be industrial energy efficiency and offshore wind, said the group’s CEO Tom Delay.

The Swisscanto Climate Invest fund has returned 14.87% in the 12 months to the end of April, according to fund documents. Benchmark (MSC World) return over the same period was 10.88%. The CHF86.6m fund Luxembourg-domiciled invests in companies “making a contribution towards reducing climate change or its consequences”.

The North Sky CleanTech Alliance Fund, run by Minneapolis based North Sky Capital, and GoldenSet Capital Partners-run NewWorld Environmental Infrastructure have announced an investment in a solar electricity generation project portfolio developed by Nautilus Solar Energy in Ontario. It will initially consist of 28 projects totaling around 9.2MW, which is expected to grow to 24MW. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Announcement*The TriLinc Global Impact Fund*, which provides growth-stage loans and trade finance to SMEs in developing economies, has approved a $3m revolving trade finance facility to a Peruvian insulated wire company. It takes the Los Angeles-based fund’s total financing commitments to $28.7m for business expansion and socioeconomic development in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Northern Trust Asset Management, the US investment giant, says its environmental, social and governance (ESG) index fund range has exceeded $1bn in assets under management – within six months of initial seeding. The Dublin-domiciled UCITS fund range combines passive index strategies with ESG criteria. The family includes the Northern Trust Emerging Markets Custom ESG Equity Index Fund, the Northern Trust Emerging Markets Custom Low Carbon Optimised Equity Index Fund and the Northern Trust World Custom ESG Equity Index Fund.

The €463m RobecoSAM Sustainable European Equities fund has returned 14.11% in the year to the end of April (benchmark MSCI Europe: 16.29%). The fund, managed by Kai Fachinger and targeting firms that focus on “quality, innovation and sustainability that use competitive advantage to create shareholder value”, returned 20.93% in 2013.

News and data group Thomson Reuters has launched Thomson Reuters CRI India 50 ESG Index, the latest addition to its range of Corporate Responsibility indices. Based on Thomson Reuters proprietary environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, the index will help asset managers attract investments to Indian companies and measure the performance of portfolios that adhere to ESG principles. ICICI Prudential Asset Management, one of India’s largest investment managers, is the first to license the index.