The FTSE4Good set of stock market indices, launched by FTSE International in July 2001, is a 'dark green' ethical investment fund, which means that it tracks the performance of top-rated companies, but excludes those which are ethically unsound in any way. ('Light green' funds are those which are more lenient in their criteria.)

Its launch continues the trend of increasing public interest in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Four tradable indices were launched in July (hence the '4' of the title); these are:

  • FTSE4Good UK 50
  • FTSE4Good Europe 50
  • FTSE4Good US 100
  • FTSE4Good Global 100

Presently, companies doing business in the following areas are excluded from the fund:

Other companies are generally assessed on a case-by-case basis. In the UK, this has caused the index to come under attack from some quarters, for banning such household names as Tesco, Safeway, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, because they fail to produce environmental reports. However, it has been applauded by human rights and environmental groups as a major step forward.

FTSE International also donate some revenues from the indices to UNICEF, expected to be worth around $1m in the first year.

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