‘Blue Planet effect’ gives boost to sustainable investment

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Sir David Attenborough’s hit TV show Blue Planet has helped sustainable investment go mainstream, the architect of a new £200 million ethical fund says. Andrew Dykes, founder of the Global Sustainability Trust, said the “Blue Planet effect” had helped transform investments which benefit environmental and social causes — so-called “impact investing” — into a major City trend. He said: “Blue Planet brings the purpose of the trust to life. A wealth manager may watch it and think things need to change. It really helps.”

The trust, managed by Aberdeen Standard Life, is raising £200 million from retail investors through a stock market float in mid-December. It aims to invest along the lines of the UN 17 sustainable development goals, which include gender equality and ending poverty.

Aberdeen Standard’s Roger Pim, who will run the fund, said: “Millennials are very focused on this but there’s been a change awareness in the general population over the past 12 to 18 months. People are focused on where their clothes are produced, where their food comes from and the investment industry is the next obvious step.”

The fund will invest in businesses such as World of Books, which takes tons of books discarded and thrown into landfill by charity shops and others every year, and recycles them. Blue Planet II, a follow-up to the 2001 Blue Planet, aired between October 2017 and January 2018 and raised awareness of plastic pollution.

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