The Scottish Mail on Sunday

If you’re a big fan of Greta, you can even have a carbon-free Isa!

- By Rosie Murray-West

SUPERMODEL­S may have a target of being size zero – now, increasing­ly a big ambition of corporate chiefs is to see their company become net zero.

This is a position where your carbon dioxide emissions and the amount of greenhouse gas you are taking out balance out to nothing.

With big businesses such as BP, Unilever and Nestle committing to being net zero by 2050, it is worth examining whether, as an investor, you can benefit from making similar commitment­s with your own Isa portfolio. Lisa Stanley, co-founder of sustainabl­e money website Good With Money, says decarbonis­ing your Isa portfolio is no longer a strategy for the few. She says: ‘With growing evidence showing returns from investing sustainabl­y are as good if not better than more carbon-heavy counterpar­ts, there’s little reason not to go down this route.’

Those with convention­al investment portfolios may struggle to work out how to decarbonis­e an Isa portfolio. As well as the dif

ficulty of finding precise data on the carbon impact of individual businesses, investors face the problem of sorting the truly ‘green’ options from the merely cosmetic.

Jason Hollands, a director of wealth manager Tilney, says some funds that claim to consider environmen­tal, social and governance (ESG) factors in their choice of investment­s, conduct no more than ‘tick box exercises based on disclosure­s in glossy company reports’.

Others say there are investment funds with a genuinely sustainabl­e focus. Hollands suggests Wheb Sustainabi­lity, saying: ‘Wheb Asset Management is a small boutique group focused on sustainabl­e investing and so this fund isn’t just one of many funds run by a large business. It’s what they live and breathe.’

Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, recommends Investec Global Environmen­tal – a fund ‘that specifical­ly invests in companies that are helping to decarbonis­e the global economy’.

He also likes Janus Henderson UK Property. He says: ‘It has just committed to be carbon neutral by 2030. The managers and team are working with properties to reduce water waste, make lighting and heating more efficient and use more renewable energies.’

For those who prefer not to choose their own funds, Good With Money’s Stanley suggests using investment platforms that can help you put together an ESG-friendly portfolio. They include Interactiv­e Investor, Nutmeg and The Share Centre (see above) as well as EQ Investors and Ethex.

Even after picking more sustainabl­e funds, you may not have entirely decarbonis­ed your investment­s. ‘We all have a carbon footprint, so it’s a big ask of any Isa to be completely carbon neutral,’ says Rebecca O’Keefe, head of investment at Interactiv­e Investor. ‘Even watching telly has a carbon footprint – due to the power consumptio­n of the equipment.’

Decarbonis­ing is a balancing act, so try adding in some positive environmen­tal investment­s to bring your score down. Offsetting options for the brave include Innovative Finance Isas with a specific environmen­tal focus. Stanley likes Thrive Renewables which operates energy projects across the UK, and Energise Africa which invests in solar energy projects. These

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