BetaShares has removed Facebook from the BetaShares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF (ASX:ETHI) based on a number of recent issues, including Cambridge Analytica’s use of personal data of Facebook users.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) currently comprises 3.9% of the ETHI portfolio.
The Responsible Investment Committee (RIC) for ETHI is responsible for determining the list of securities that pass the responsible investment screens that form part of the index methodology for the ETF. Facebook used to be part of the index “on the basis of its strong global leadership on carbon emission metrics (which are nearly 80% better than its industry peers) as well as its responsible advertising and other policies,” BetaShares said.
But given recent controversies and reputational issues, which the RIC had been monitoring, the RIC decided to remove the stock from the index. “These issues include (but have not been limited to) the recent scandal involving data analysis company Cambridge Analytica’s use of personal data from 50 million Facebook users who did not agree to the use of their data,” BetaShares said.
ETHI currently has $170 million in funds under management, and is the largest global ethical ETF on the ASX.
“As a provider of a true-to-label ethical ETF, we have been careful to ensure there is diligent and ongoing monitoring of the constituents of the fund, to ensure the ETF continues to meet its objectives and those of its investors,” says BetaShares Chief Executive Alex Vynokur.