Fossil Free Indexes, LLC

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Fossil Fuel Divestment for Index Investors

Embracing the transition to a low carbon economy through responsible investing, we aim to provide broad market fossil free indexes to reduce environmental risk while managing portfolio risk.

Our Story

Back in November 2012, Stuart Braman, adjunct associate research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and former Managing Director at Standard & Poor’s, attended the New York City show on Bill McKibben’s “Do the Math” tour, which kicked off the Go Fossil Free divestment campaign. On the way home, he and his wife – long concerned about climate change – discussed divesting their retirement portfolio. Since they were index investors, he began looking for information on “fossil free indexes”. Six months of googling and lunches, drinks and phone calls, emails and Skype sessions didn’t turn up any activity on the fossil free indexes front, and in April 2013, Stuart established Fossil Free Indexes LLC and began to gather a team.

Former colleagues from S&P, DRI, and Reuters, with financial sector, risk management, product development, and intensive data analysis experience joined the team along with experienced investment analysts, forensic data analysts and social media experts looking for a way to make a contribution in the intersecting worlds of sustainable investing and fighting climate change.

Today, the team is well on their way to ensuring that when someone else looks for information on “fossil free indexes,” their own products and services will turn up quickly and prominently.

Our Vision

Fossil Free Indexes provides benchmarks and strategies for ethical investing with an initial focus on broad market indexes ex-fossil fuels that align with the divestment movement. Embracing the transition to a low carbon economy through responsible investing, and inspired by the growing fossil fuel divestment movement, our aim is to fill the vacuum for index investors who see environmental sustainability as an imperative and seek to divest from the largest fossil fuel companies. We join the growing number of analysts who believe fossil fuel companies are overvalued and a risky long-term investment based on unburnable reserves.

Mission

We will develop a family of fossil free indexes that capture broad markets in the US, in developed markets beyond the US, and in emerging markets. The indexes specifically exclude the top 100 public coal companies globally and the top 100 public oil and gas companies globally, ranked by the carbon content of their reserves. These indexes will serve as benchmarks and will be offered for licensing as investable products to meet the needs of index investors who want to divest from the largest fossil fuel companies, either from an environmental sustainability perspective or from an industry risk perspective.
…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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