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7 best sustainable equity investment funds picked by fund experts

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A little help from your friends can go a long way. Whether that’s asking fashion-forward Gary from accounts to help pick your outfit for date night or asking a range of investment experts for their top fund picks, the power of your community shouldn’t be underestimated.

That’s why we’ve created tribes for you and other likeminded investors, to share knowledge, experiences and hopes (make sure you check out our Sustainable Savers). And it’s also why we’ve got a badass shortlist of responsible investment funds to share with you right now – because we reached out to the industry and asked for their suggestions. And oh boy did they come through…

 

Which responsible investment funds should I choose?

The following top picks are all sustainable, ESG and impact investment funds. No nasties here, thank you.

The assets they contain are diversified – spread across the globe and throughout different industries so your eggs aren’t all in one basket.

And they take a general, broad brush approach to stock-picking – they don’t just focus on one theme like low carbon or good governance (like these funds do).

 

Remember, this isn’t financial advice – we don’t know your circumstances or aims so have no way to tailor suggestions to you. We just want to draw your attention to a few funds that the experts rate. It’s up to you to decide if they belong in your portfolio.

 

1. BMO Responsible Global Equity fund

Read the official factsheet

Suggested by
Moira O’Neill, Head of Personal Finance at Interactive Investor

Why Moira rates the fund
“This is suitable for investors who want to beat a stock market benchmark over the long term but want a well-diversified actively managed fund that may be more concentrated that its peers but is more risk aware.

"The fund has delivered consistently superior performance and has experienced managers. The fund is ethically screened and will invest only in companies whose products and operations are not considered to be harming the world, its people or its wildlife and are making a positive contribution to society.”

 

2. Dimensional Global Sustainability Funds

Read the official factsheet

Suggested by
Simon Bullock, Chartered Financial Planner and Partner at Mulberry Bow,

Why Simon rates the fund
"This shouldn’t be viewed as advice, of course, but we think Dimensional Global Sustainability Funds are interesting. One focuses on listed equities, the other fixed interest.

"We like the fact that they are truly global and highly diversified in terms of underlying securities. Most investors interested in sustainable investment would probably consider them ‘light green’. And their role in a portfolio is likely to be more of a ‘core holding’ with more specific approaches (possibly including social impact and/or tighter exclusionary screening) as complementary ‘satellite’ holdings."

 

3. Stewart Investors Worldwide Sustainable

Read the official factsheet

Suggested by
Adrian Lowcock, Head of Personal Investing at Willis Owen

Why Adrian rates this fund
"This is a global equity fund, co-managed by Nick Edgerton and David Gait. The investment process will take account of sustainability themes and issues and requires positive engagement with companies in respect of these.

"They draw on the market-leading research and stable investment team at Stewart Investors. And although the strategy is reasonably new, launched in 2012, the process behind this fund has been in place since the 1990s. Fundamental analysis of companies with a heavy focus on the sustainability of their earnings and business models is core to stock selection. There is also preference for high-calibre management and healthy balance sheets leading to a bias to defensive growth shares."


4. FP WHEB Sustainability Fund

Read the official factsheet

Suggested by
Jason Hollands, Managing Director of Business Development & Communications at Tilney

Why Jason rates the fund
"One of our top picks for investors looking for a global fund with a focus on sustainability, with a very rigorous screening approach, is the FP WHEB Sustainability fund. The managers, WHEB Asset Management, are a small boutique group exclusively focused on sustainable investing and so this fund isn’t just one of many funds run by a large business; it is what they live and breathe.

"Their fund invests across nine themes: environmental services, resource efficiency, water management, sustainable transport, cleaner energy, safety, health, wellbeing, and education.

"The fund has a predominantly positive screening focus – meaning it focuses on positive attributes – but it will also exclude all “sin” sectors i.e. alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, weapons, and it is also fossil fuel free. The governance around the fund is strong, with an independent Advisory Committee reviewing the portfolio each quarter to ensure policies are adhered to. WHEB also do a great job reporting on the positive impact being made by the companies the fund invests in, as well as providing full disclosure of how they have voted on shareholder resolutions."


5. Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity Fund

Read the official factsheet

Suggested by
Cleona Lira, Founder at Conscious Money

Why Cleona rates the fund
"Important caveat, this is not financial advice. These are two funds I would say meet global criteria with a broad ethical perspective and meet a high number of negative screens or avoid criteria on ethical screening: The Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity Fund and the BMO Responsible Global Equity fund.

"There are various criteria that guide decisions when one researches funds, including investment objective and policy (which is especially important for ethical funds), positive performance in relation to benchmark, fund size, fund costs, longevity of the fund, etc.

"I always encourage reading the fund factsheets before investing, including the top holdings of the funds. Trustnet has quite a lot of extra information on most funds, which you can find under 'Literature and download' on each fund page, usually in the bottom right of the page."


6. Royal London Sustainable Leaders

Read the official factsheet

Suggested by
Adrian Lowcock, Head of Personal Investing at Willis Owen

Why Adrian rates the fund
"Manager Mike Fox looks to provide above-average capital growth by investing in companies that have a positive effect on the environment, human welfare and quality of life. The fund invests predominantly in the UK but with some exposure to the US and Europe.

"The portfolio consists of shares in companies involved wholly or in part in the manufacture of products, industrial processes or the provision of services associated with improving the environment and the enhancement of human health and safety. The fund manager also invests in companies whose management are making above-average efforts in corporate responsibility."


7. Fundsmith Sustainable Equity

Read the official factsheet

Suggested by
Moira O’Neill, Head of Personal Finance at Interactive Investor

Why Moira rates the fund
“This is suitable for investors seeking higher returns who also have an appetite for higher risk of loss.

"Terry Smith, founder and chief investment officer of Fundsmith, has managed the fund since its launch in November 2017. He has delivered significantly better performance than comparable funds. But note that the fund has a concentrated portfolio compared with most globally oriented equity funds.

"Adopting similar investment principles to the better-known Fundsmith Equity fund, this fund also excludes specific companies and sectors from its investment universe.
It will not invest in businesses that have substantial interests in any of the following sectors: Aerospace and Defence, Brewers, Distillers and Vintners, Casinos and Gaming, Gas and Electric Utilities, Metals and Mining, Oil, Gas and Consumable Fuels, Pornography, and Tobacco. Further criteria are applied to screen investments in accordance with the authorised corporate director’s sustainable investment policy.”

 

Discover more top sustainable investment funds

Award-winning sustainable funds Best Buys lists sustainable funds Industry experts pick sustainable funds Compare ready-made, thematic, award-winning, best buy sustainable funds 


More sustainable resources for responsible investors

Sustainable Savers tribe – the home of sustainable investor stories, expert tips and FAQs

Sustainable & ESG investing guide – all the details you need to do well by doing good

Compare sustainable funds – more lists and suggestions of funds

Stories and tips from responsible investors

How are other people investing sustainably? Learn from their experiences.

Read investor stories, discover funds recommended by experts, unpack your investor toolkit and more.

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