What is the Difference Between Sustainability & Impact Investing?

Green Century Funds believes that sustainable and responsible investing avoids environmentally harmful industries and this can be done in most public and private investments and in many asset classes. Impact investing is most commonly used to describe investment in privately held companies that is done both for monetary gain and to benefit the environment and society, such as building a well and water transportation system in a remote village.

What is Sustainable Investing

Sustainable investing is not a regulated term so many asset managers, mutual funds and ETF’s may use it to describe their methods of investing. The key is to understand what each asset manager defines as sustainable and to see if it matches your personal definition.  

At the Green Century Funds, we believe that sustainable investing starts with avoiding the industries and companies that you don’t want to support. This is also called screening. By beginning in this way, you can align your investments with your values.

An investment strategy that incorporates environmental, social and governance criteria may result in lower or higher returns than an investment strategy that does not include such criteria.

What is Impact Investing

Impact investing is mainly used to describe investing in a private company.  Typically, this company is in the start-up phase or early stages and the products or services address a social or environmental problem.  This type of investing is typically done by institutions or high net worth individuals.

Sustainable Investing vs Impact Investing

Sustainable investing and impact investing may both be ways that you can invest with your values and make an impact. It depends on how the asset manager is defining both of these terms.  Green Century Funds believes that sustainable investing means screening out industries, such as tobacco and fossil fuels, that are environmentally harmful. Green Century Funds are available to individuals and institutions. Impact investing typically is done by a private company and is not as accessible to as many people since investments are not made in companies listed on a stock exchange.

Invest with Green Century Funds

More than 30 years ago, Green Century Funds were founded by a group of environmental and public health nonprofit organizations. We are one of the first fossil fuel free mutual funds and help people save for their futures without comprising their values.

Since then, Green Century Funds has grown into a leader in the sustainable investing fields. We provide mutual funds for individuals and institutions to keep their money out of environmentally harmful industries.

If you would like to learn more about Green Century Funds,  please visit our website or contact us at 1-800-934-7336, at info@greencentury.com  or through our Contact Us page.


About Green Century

°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are one of the first families of fossil fuel free mutual funds in the United States. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.

You should carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. To obtain a Prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds please click here, email info@greencentury.com, or call 1-800-934-7336. Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

Stocks will fluctuate in response to factors that may affect a single company, industry, sector, country, region or the market as a whole and may perform worse than the market. Foreign securities are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, regional economic and political conditions, differences in accounting methods, and other unique risks compared to investing in securities of U.S. issuers. Bonds are subject to a variety of risks including interest rate, credit, and inflation risk.

This information has been prepared from sources believed reliable. The views expressed are as the date of this writing and are those of the Advisor to the Funds.

The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 4/23. UMB and Green Century are unaffiliated.