The role of mutual funds in the sustainable energy sector

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    © 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment The integration of renewable energy criteria in mutual fund investment decisions could channel private resources into the funding of environmentally related projects implemented by firms contributing to sustainable development. This paper examines the performance of European renewable energy funds that invest globally by comparing their risk-adjusted returns with those achieved by black energy and conventional mutual funds. It uses Carhart's model on a sample of 81 renewable energy funds, 125 black energy funds, and 4,337 conventional mutual funds. The results indicate that 32.1% of renewable mutual funds—most of which adopt energy producers, renewable energy technology, and energy efficiency-focused criteria—perform significantly better than the S&P Clean Energy market benchmark, this percentage being affected by the different states of the economy. However, none of them are able to beat the fossil fuel energy (S&P Global 1200 Energy Index) or conventional market benchmarks (S&P Global 1200 Index). Furthermore, 37.04% of renewable energy funds significantly underperform the S&P Global 1200 benchmark. Therefore, the investment in renewable energy funds has a financial cost for investors in relation to conventional fund investors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1107-1120
    JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


    • black energy funds
    • conventional funds
    • performance evaluation
    • renewable energy funds
    • renewable energy screening

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