Ethical ISA? A guide to the five best ethical ISAs

By staff writers
March 17, 2009

This year there are more ethical ISAs than ever to choose from, covering a range of different ethical issues, and each with a differing ethical emphasis.

Here are five of the best ethical ISAs that we have found:

1. Ethical ISA from Triodos

The Triodos Cash ISA was recently rated the best ethical ISA by Ethical Consumer Magazine.

Established 30 years ago, Triodos Bank operates according to a very traditional banking model, and doesn’t take any undue risks with its customer’s money. What isn’t so traditional about it is that it actively engages in ethical issues, pushing for social, environmental and cultural change wherever possible.

Triodos Bank’s new ethical Cash ISA enables you to take advantage of your tax free savings allowance, while also supporting ethically progressive organisations.

Triodos are the only commercial bank that publish a complete list of their investors. So their sustainable approach to banking gives you a transparent ethical cash ISA.

Find out more about the Triodos Ethical ISA here

2. Climate change ethical ISA from Virgin

Virgin Money, are now providing an ethical investment opportunity in the form of their Climate Change ethical ISA, a green ISA with a difference.

The Virgin Climate Change Fund is a stocks and shares ISA that aims to deliver a top performing fund by investing in green companies that are environmental leaders in their industry. The companies invested in have been selected both for their profitability and their lighter-environmental footprint.

Climate Change Funds are sprouting up across the range of financial institutions. While being fundamentally different from classic ethical investments funds they seek to invest in companies involved with mitigation of or adaptation to global climate change.

Climate is changing, and Virgin believe that by investing in environmentally friendly companies, you will be ahead of the economic curve when the green revolution kicks in.

Find out more about the Virgin ethical ISA here

3. Ethical ISA from Legal and General

You can get cashback with this ethical ISA, and also added security.

Like a traditional index-tracking fund, the Legal and General ethical ISA tracks the FTSE 350 Index. But the ISA excludes businesses that don't meet certain ethical criteria. The ethical ISA only invests in companies that follow a range of ethical and environmental guidelines specially developed with Ethical Investment Research Services after consulting with a broad cross-section of UK investors.

The ethical ISA excludes companies involved in animal testing, intensive farming, arms production, or which operate in countries where there are human rights abuses.

You can set up an Ethical ISA with Legal and General quickly and easily online from just £50 a month or with a lump sum.

Find out more about the Legal and General Ethical ISA here

4. Child Vaccination ethical ISA from HSBC

HSBC has launched a pioneering new ethical investment ISA, a child vaccination ISA, which offers the opportunity to invest and at the same time help vaccinate children and save lives in the poorest countries of the world.

The bank is looking to raise at least £50m through its child vaccination ISA, called the Vaccine Investment Plan and Vaccine Investment ISA.

It comes as the Government warns that the economic downturn could push millions of people into extreme poverty and cause the deaths of up to 2.8m children.

The child vaccination ISA works because investors are essentially buying government bonds which help to fund projects operated by the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), a Geneva-based public-private partnership. The plan has a five-year-and-one-month life and pays investors 16.2%, together with the original capital on maturity, in June 2014.

The funds raised will be used through the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) and by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI Alliance), a public-private partnership to support vaccination programmes in 70 of the world's poorest countries.

Find out more about the HSBC ethical child vaccination ISA here

5. Ecology ethical ISA from Jupiter

The Jupiter Ecology Fund aims to achieve long term capital growth together with a growing income which is consistent with a policy of protecting the environment. Although there will be some dividend income generated within the fund, the Jupiter Ecology Fund is primarily a capital growth fund.

The Fund focuses on companies providing solutions for environmental and social problems. The fund management team research companies' ethical and environmental credentials around six key green investment themes (clean energy, water management, green transport, waste management, sustainable living and environmental services) and then invest globally in companies that can demonstrate positive growth as well as sound environmental and social principles.

Find out more about the Ecology ethical ISA from Jupiter here

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