Environmental NGO in green investment venture

WWF-UK launches "ethical partnership" fund focusing on "industries of the future"

The UK branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has made what is believed to be the first move by a European environmental group to run a green investment fund. Launched in partnership with London-based investment firm the National Provident Institution (NPI), the fund is also designed to generate income for environmental campaigning activities by the WWF. In a second novel development, the fund managers will "lobby and negotiate" with companies invested in to "encourage" them to continuously improve their environmental performance. Investments will be focused first on "industries of the future," defined as sectors that contribute to a sustainable future. These include education and training, multi-media and telecommunications, public transport and renewable energy. A second category of industry sectors will be excluded unless firms can "demonstrate that they manage their affairs in an environmentally superior way". These sectors include fossil fuels, certain chemicals and plastics, timber product s, tourism, intensive farming and real estate. A third group of sectors will be excluded automatically, including the pesticides industry, nuclear power and firms involved in genetic modification.

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