Sugi is an innovative app that helps private investors see the carbon impact of their portfolio, both as a whole as well as broken down by stock or fund. For those new to the terminology around sustainable investing, Sugi swerves jargon and instead displays carbon impact as equivalent to the number of trees ‘lost’ or chopped down, shedding light on the stark reality of some companies’ carbon footprint.
Top features of product
To calculate a company’s carbon impact, Sugi looks at its business activities, electricity use, supply chain and customer behaviour. For ETFs, the impact of all companies that make up the fund is considered.
In their own words: “We equate an investment’s carbon emissions to chopping down a number of trees. On average, a tree lives for 30-50 years and absorbs 115-150kg of carbon dioxide during that time. Chopping it down leaves that carbon in the atmosphere. Because our carbon impact data is calculated annually, our metric is based on how much carbon dioxide the average tree absorbs on an annual basis: around 3kg.”
I admired the app’s simplicity, showing my portfolio holistically at a glance, while enabling me to easily ‘swipe’ to see individual investments. Those equities with a higher carbon impact than the industry average are highlighted in red, and those lower are flagged as green.
Sugi aims to be “a gateway for you to curate your own green portfolio – without needing to leave your existing investment platform or set up a separate green investment account”. By offering a side-by-side comparison of the stocks and funds to those you own with others that operate in a similar sector but have a lower carbon impact, investors are provided with valuable information in order to make their portfolio more green moving forwards.
What could be improved?
At the time of writing, not all of my holdings had the associated data to show me their carbon impact. However, I’ll caveat that by saying I was looking at a beta version.
Currently, Sugi is available only on iPhone, though an Android launch is planned for Spring 2021.
Fees you should know about
None at the time of writing. Sugi does state that in the future, it may eventually choose to charge for certain features it might roll out.
How do you apply?
Simply select your investment platform(s) from the extensive list – which includes the likes of Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell, Aviva, Legal & General, Halifax, etc – to “Access my impact”.
Next, enter your username and password for the platform, and answer your security question. After a minute or so, voila! You’re then able to view your portfolio at a glance through the app, and assess the carbon impact in tonnes (or in kilograms for individual investments).
Is Sugi right for you?
The premise of the app is very Foolish (capital F!) in my opinion – here at The Motley Fool, we take the view that investors are minority stakeholders in a firm and should have trust in management and business operations. Similarly, Sugi believes that as well as owning a small portion of the company, shareholders own a small portion of the carbon emissions that it creates.