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20 May, 2016 - 10:23 By Tony Quested

ET homes in on £1.1m crowdfunding target

Sam Gill ET Index

A UK eco-index that helps drive more investment into companies with the lowest carbon footprints rather than potential polluters has raised almost three-quarters of a £1.1 million funding target on Cambridge equity crowdfunding platform, SyndicateRoom.

With £390k in the locker upfront  from a German investor, ET Index has now topped £880k and has until June 3 to hit the target.

CEO Sam Gill (above) started his career at Google and has established ET Index in memory of his late father, Michael, who was passionate about climate change and ‘green energy.’

Based in London’s Canary Wharf, ET Index’ sophisticated monitoring systems act as a moral compass for investors – flagging up the carbon footprint of companies so they understand the nuanced risks before they invest.

While some data is currently available on the carbon footprint of companies, this is nowhere near exhaustive. ET Index fills this information gap by giving institutional investors high-level insights into how companies are performing in this area, helping safeguard their portfolios against upcoming green legislation and the associated, often invisible, costs.

ET Index gives investors detailed corporate carbon emissions data; portfolio carbon footprinting and reporting services; bespoke portfolio analysis of exposure to carbon risk; low-carbon indexes to enable better investment management.

The ET Index series is the only low-carbon and fossil-free index option on the market to be linked to a public, fully transparent carbon ranking of all of the companies within each index. This gives investors the assurance that they’re putting more money into the low-carbon companies and less money into the high-carbon ones.

Underpinned by public, transparent ET carbon rankings, each ET Index also acts as an engagement tool to encourage constituent companies to lower emissions.

Operating on a licensing and subscription-based model, ET Index is already generating revenue, having recently performed a pilot portfolio carbon footprint analysis for CalSTRs, one of the largest pension funds in the US.
CEO Sam Gill said: “Climate change is the challenge of my generation. I want to empower others to tackle the problem.

“Since indexes are a pooled investment vehicle where money is moving in unison, and around one-third of the world’s money is invested through indexes, if this money could be redirected according to a company’s environmental impact then this could be a very powerful tool to shift company behaviour.

“I also want to honour my late father’s legacy. My father, Michael Gill, wrote a visionary book called ‘Environmental Tracking’ back in 1997 – which I updated in 2011 as Environmental Tracking 3.0 – outlining the broad concept upon which ET Index is based today. Following a career in the city as an analyst and, briefly, a fund manager, he could see the potential for index funds as a force for good.

“‘Success for ET Index will be increasing the incentive for companies to lower emissions. The only way to maximise that incentive is to maximise the size of assets following the indexes, which in turn will increase profitability for ET Index as a business and return value to our shareholders.”

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, CEO and co-founder of SyndicateRoom, said ET’s round reflected SyndicateRoom’s passion to work with disruptive businesses that make the world a better place.

He said: “ET Index is a fascinating company, which does just that – helping investors understand, manage and reduce carbon emissions. Our own research has shown a clear appetite from investors for greater transparency around carbon footprints related to their investments, with investors on average 49 per cent more likely to be interested in environmental issues than the UK population as a whole.”

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