Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Environmental investing in Australia?

Ok, some people know that I am interested in ASX. A thought that has bubbling in the background for a while now is whether I want to start investing in the environment.

I have not always been actively interested in the environment, but like many others, I am starting to be aware that it really is time that individuals (prior to corporations, governments, etc.) take some responsibility for how we live and our environmental footprint (anyone interested in this may want to look at the May 2006 issue of Wired - it has some fantastic articles on the subject).

Anyway, I digress - so how do I invest in the environment in the ASX. Well, a v.good candidate which I heard about a 1-2 weeks ago is Babcock + Brown Environmental Investment (BEI). BEI has interests in a number of companies: Denco, Natural Fuels, Southern Oil Refining, Earth Power Technologies. So what do these companies do, well there is management of:

Bio-Ethanol Plant(s) - produces ethanol (E85 - ethanol 85%); ethanol can used as a fuel for automobiles (indeed in Brazil, 40% of fuel is provided by bio-ethanol); it is based on the principle of extracting ethanol from crops such as sugar, corn.

Bio-Diesel Plant(s) - produces diesel; based on the principle of extracting diesel from vegetable oils (e.g. soybeans) and animal fats (e.g. lard).

Waste-Energy Plant(s) - produces electricity; based on the principle of converting organic food waste to electricity/fertiliser (via bacteria - anaerobic digesters)

These plants are based in US, and Australia. In the long-term, this may be one alternative to investing in renewable energy.

The price of BEI is displayed below:

I have not purchased this yet, but definitely one to have on the watchlist.


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