Ethical and sustainable funds are still investing in tobacco and environmentally damaging extractive companies, the Castlefield Winners and Spinners report has revealed.
The report found there are some funds that match the expectations of investors, such as Rathbones, Lion Trust and WHEB. The report describes them as delivering transparency, credible green strategies and strong financial returns.
However, the report also named several funds it believes are failing to align themselves with customer expectations on ethical standards.
Castlefield’s annual analysis of UK ethical and environmental funds calls the former “winners” and those failing the tests as “spinners” – lightweight ethical and environmental funds with investment in companies such as British American Tobacco and EOG Resources.
Castlefield's partner Olivia Bowen said: “Some of these funds give ethical and sustainable investing a bad name and are in danger of watering down the meaning of responsible investment.”
The ranking criteria for the funds are based on publicly available data and cover research quality, clarity and transparency of purpose, long-term commitment to the stated aims and fund performance.
Castlefield is a specialist in responsible investment in the UK with more than £500m under management.