Ottawa Citizen

TSX to launch ‘green’ index


Green companies just earned an extra dose of respect from the Toronto Stock Exchange, with the launch of a new index just for environmen­tally-friendly outfits.

The new S& P/ TSX clean technology index, announced Thursday, is made up of 21 companies whose main business is to develop and use technologi­es friendly to the planet.

Its constituen­ts range from familiar names such as Ballard Power Systems Inc., the hydrogen fuel-cell company, to more obscure names such as Burcon NutraScien­ce Corp., which describes itself as a health and nutrition company that purifies proteins in canola and soy.

Five themes were considered as the index was formed: renewable energy with respect to production and distributi­on; renewable energy with respect to specialize­d suppliers; energy efficiency; waste reduction and water management; and low impact materials and products, the TSX said.

Among the members is the Gatineau-based Brookfield Renewable Power Fund.

The S& P already has a clean energy index for the United States, as well as a global version, but decided there was a space in the market for an index with a Canadian focus, said Jasmit Bhandal, director of S&P indexes in Canada.

Jantzi-Sustainaly­tics, which provides environmen­tal, social, and governance research and analysis, developed the index’s classifica­tion system.

On the index side, companies in the volatile green tech industry need to have a minimum of $100 million in float-adjusted market capitaliza­tion, be listed on the TSX for a minimum of 12 months, and pass a minimum liquidity test, Bhandal said.

Investors will not be able to buy into this index just yet as there are currently no ETFs that are tracking the index.

“ We’re hoping that the launch of the index will generate interest so a product will be created in the future,” she said.

This will likely happen sooner rather than later, as the clean tech category is a growing component of the TSX index, with more than 120 companies listed on Canada’s two main exchanges — the most in the world.

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