Green and ethical investment fund market segmented into 7 ‘EcoStyles’

Posted on: July 5th, 2011

Green and ethical investment fund market segmented into 7 ‘EcoStyles’

News Release: 5 July 2011

SRI Services segments retail green and ethical investment fund market into 7 ‘EcoStyles’

SRI Services, the on-line green and ethical investment fund information hub for financial advisers, has launched an analysis of their classification of retail sustainable and responsible investment funds – based on research into the retail SRI investment fund market.

The independent SRI fund classification system has been developed by industry expert Julia Dreblow – who has grouped green and ethical investment funds as follows:

Balanced Ethical: funds which combine a wide range of positive and negative ethical screening policies as part of their investment strategies.

Traditional Ethical: funds that use clear negative ethical screens as part of their investment strategies.

Sustainability themed: funds that focus on sustainability related issues as part of their investment strategy.

Environmental investments: funds which significantly integrate environmental issues into their investment strategies.

Clean Technology: funds which focus on companies that specialise in newer, cleaner technologies and addressing environmental challenges.

Faith Based investments: funds that invest in line with specific religious principles

Engagement Only: funds which encourage positive change through responsible shareholder engagement and shareholder activism


‘Eco Style’ Fund  – Segment Number of Funds

Balanced Ethical  – 103

Traditional Ethical  – 87

Sustainability –  44

Environmental  – 38

Clean Technology  – 6

Faith Based  – 3

Engagement  – 7

TOTAL – 288

Commenting on the analysis Julia Dreblow said,

“There are just short of 300 funds flagged as ‘primary’ SRI funds in the on-shore retail space. These funds vary significantly and meet different investor needs – both in terms of ethical, social and environmental aims and performance.

The differences between these funds can be easy to miss yet their variation is integral to who is likely to want to invest in them and how they invest people’s money.

These differences are rarely mentioned by existing service providers – which is why we are developing an online database tool to help advisers make better use of the different options.”

Commenting on the numbers in each ‘EcoStyle’ or ‘segment’ she added:

“Although there is some cross-over between the styles, running these figures has been an interesting exercise.

Ethical funds are clearly the more populous end of the spectrum. But when advisers think of green and ethical investment they tend to think of funds with strict negative screens. This analysis indicates there are now more funds that balance positive and negative company attributes than those which have numerous, clear-cut, strict negative exclusions. In fact the combined number of Sustainability, Environmental and Clean Technology funds (88) also narrowly exceeds the number of ‘Traditional Ethical’ investments funds (87).”

Segmentation is based on a combination of analysis of fund marketing materials, publicly available fund holdings information and industry experience. Julia Dreblow was formerly the SRI marketing manager at Friends Provident and a director of not-for-profit industry association UKSIF. Research was carried out using 2010 year-end Synaptic Research fund information, to aid future benchmarking. Additional Information is available from


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Web address: www is an IFA information hub offering green and ethical/ SRI (sustainable and responsible investment) specific information only. The service aims to complement existing advice tools and processes by offering information and analysis that is not readily available elsewhere.

Julia Dreblow has been involved in SRI since the early 1990’s and has specialised in the area since 1998. She held a number of roles in Friends Provident developing their SRI, green and ethical investment proposition. She was their SRI Marketing Manager and spokesperson until mid 2008 – responsible for the Stewardship brand, SRI communication and the development of their green and ethical investment proposition.

Julia also served on the UKSIF board (the not for profit industry association) for 7 years having initially been co-opted to help develop a retail programme. She also served as an inaugural advisory board member for National Ethical Investment Week. She has worked closely with advisers, SRI analysts and experts and the media for 15 years.

The site is for use by financial services professional only. SRI Services are not authorised to offer financial advice.

The information on the SRI Services site does not in any way constitute advice or recommendation. Investment decisions should not be based on the information contained on this site alone. Advisers are recommended to confirm fund information with fund managers. SRI Services cannot be held responsible for advice given as a result of using the site and are not responsible for the content of sites linked to this service, although every care is taken to ensure content is as accurate as possible at time of publication.