Kwala is a micro-investing app where investors can start with as little as $10 to start their green investment journey.
Like other similar apps, Kwala is a subscription-based model starting at $2 a month with no additional costs to add more more to the account.
Kwala's launch comes after another green investing app, Bloom, was launched earlier this year.
However the way each app arrives at their 'green' or 'ethical' designation is different.
Kwala's excluded companies or ETFs include those involved in alcohol; gambling; adult entertainment; tobacco; 'harmful' media; animal cruelty; fossil fuel mining, production and intensive usage; nuclear energy; deforestation; ocean exploitation; and 'controversial' weapons.
Currently the portfolio - Kwala One Fund - is made up of 98% Australian and international equities, and 2% cash. This places it at the more aggressive end of the micro-investing spectrum.
Kwala co-founder and head of sustainability Dr Patrice Newell (pictured below left) said the app helps Australians, especially young people, confidently invest ethically.
"When I was young, there were only a handful of linear paths to improving your wealth. Having the tools at my fingertips to not only better understand my money, but how it impacts the world around me is the kind of thing I wished for when I was 18 and starting my independent life," Dr Newell said.
Each company within the Kwala fund is assessed on its financial performance, environmental and social contribution, tax rates paid on profits, corporate governance, future prospects and their contribution towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG).
Kwala is currently available on the iOS App Store only.
Kwala bears no relationship with former Australian skateboard company Kwala, which folded in 2008.
Kwala co-founders Dr Patrice Newell, Peter Bennetto, and Geoffrey Zabell. Image supplied.
Kwala Micro-Investing Fees
|Portfolio Size||Monthly Fee|
|$10 - $4,999||$2|
|$5,000 - $14,999||$3|
Kwala Micro-Investing Quick Comparison
|Platform||Fees||Minimum Investment||Portfolio Options|
|Bloom||$4.50/mo + 0.80% p.a.||$500||1|
|Raiz||$3.50/mo or 0.275%||$5||7|
|CommSec Pocket||$2 or 0.2% per trade||$50||7|
Regulator to cast more watchful eye on 'greenwashing' and ethical investments
Last week the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned businesses they will need to substantiate any claims about green, environmental or sustainability efforts.
The ACCC will soon conduct an internet sweep assessing various companies' green claims; this follows a 2020 review from the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network which found that 40% of environmental claims were potentially misleading.
In a speech at the Sydney Morning Herald Sustainability Summit on Thursday, ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard the competition regulator is targeting greenwashing.
"The ACCC won’t hesitate to take enforcement action where we see that consumers are being misled or deceived by green claims," Ms Rickard said.
“While businesses may look to use short and snappy slogans and claims, rather than lengthy explanations of measures underway, it is important to convey accurate information to consumers. Businesses in these positions need to be careful to not overstate the status of their transition through the claims they make.”