Cleantech Index outperforms market for second year running

Thursday, 03 July, 2008

The ACT Australian CleanTech Index has outperformed both the S&P ASX200 and the S&P Small Ordinaries for the second year running.

Over the 2008 fiscal year, the ACT Australian CleanTech Index recorded a loss of 16.0%, better than the S&P ASX200’s loss of 16.4% and significantly better than the S&P ASX Small Ordinaries’ loss of 23.0%.

The Index is the initiative of Australian CleanTech, which provides research services and investment analysis of the cleantech sector.

Commenting on the results, John O’Brien, managing director of Australian CleanTech, said that the strength in the cleantech concept comes from its diversity. Over the year, some of the cleantech sub-sectors performed extremely poorly with the biofuels industry continuing to 'tank'. However, the waste sub-sector held up the index this year through its strong annual growth. In previous years, it has been sub-sectors such as geothermal that have provided this growth.

“Successful cleantech investments are about looking at future trends and understanding what technologies will achieve both economic and sustainable development,” O’Brien said.

“The drivers behind cleantech are much more than just climate change. Increasing wealth, increasing populations and decreasing natural resources require the world to adapt to cleaner technologies."

The ACT Australian CleanTech Index monitors companies across 14 industry sectors: solar; wind; biofuel; water; waste management; energy efficiency; energy storage and fuel cells; wave, tidal and hydro; biogas generation; vehicle technologies; geothermal; carbon trading; environmental service providers; and ‘other’ additional companies providing beneficial environmental and economic outcomes.

Cleantech focuses on companies whose output positively enhances the communities and ecologies in which they reside. “It is about doing ‘more good’ rather than ‘less bad’,” O’Brien said.

The market capitalisation of the 73 stocks in the ACT Australian CleanTech Index now exceeds AU$15 billion. The best performers over the 2008 fiscal year were Sims Metal Group and Cougar Energy, with some of the many that performed poorly including Traffic Technologies, Energy Developments, Viridis, Australian Ethical Investments and Ceramic Fuel Cells.

The performance of the seven sub-indices underneath the ACT Australian CleanTech Index reflected the wider market with strong gains in FY07 offset by losses in FY08. The ACT Wind Index, ACT Waste Index and the ACT Geothermal Index are all showing strong net gains over the two years with the ACT Environmental Services Index joining the ACT Biofuels Index with notable losses.

The ACT Australian Cleantech Index is updated each month and published online at the Australian CleanTech website.


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