Vegan ETF Launches

Also, Barclays’ iPath arm resurrects its carbon ETN with a twist.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

[Editor’s note: Today we reported that the U.S. Global GO Gold and Precious Metal Miners ETF (GOAU) had closed. However, that information was incorrect, and GOAU remains listed and actively trading. We apologize for any inconvenience.]

Two exchange-traded products focused on the issue of climate change did launch this morning. The U.S. Vegan Climate ETF (VEGN) and the iPath Series B Carbon ETN (GRN), however, have different approaches.

While VEGN focuses on equities of companies that are not detrimental to animals, humans or the planet, GRN tracks the price of carbon as measured by the return of futures contracts on carbon emission credits based on the European Union Emission Trading Scheme and the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.


The equity-based ETF lists on the NYSE Arca and comes with an expense ratio of 0.60%.

VEGN tracks the Beyond Investing US Vegan Climate Index. The benchmark is drawn from the 500 largest U.S.-listed companies that derive less than 2% of their revenues from activities or business lines that are detrimental to animals, the planet or human beings.

With regard to animals, companies cannot engage in animal testing or genetic modification of animals, nor can they benefit from the production of animal-based products or animal-related sporting or recreational activities.

With regard to the planet, companies cannot derive significant revenues from fossil-fuel-related activities or other business activities that are harmful to the environment.

With regard to people, companies cannot have significant tobacco- or weapons-related activities or have a record of human rights violations, according to the prospectus.

The underlying index currently includes 277 companies, the prospectus says.


This exchange-traded note also lists on the NYSE Arca; it comes with an expense ratio of 0.75%.

The original iPath Global Carbon ETN (GRN) ceased trading in April 2018, when Barclays’ iPath unit shuttered a total of 50 of its ETNs. While slightly different updated versions of many of those ETNs launched shortly afterward under the same tickers, the same was not true for GRN.

However, the recently launched GRN has one interesting addition to its prospectus. Barclays can call the note at its discretion at any time. The original version did not allow for the note to be called.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.