Green Alpha also has a handful of other clients and in December introduced its Green Alpha Next Economy Index (GANEX), a broad U.S. green equity market-cap-weighted index whose top five holdings are Sharp Corp., Google Inc., Johnson Controls Inc., Sims Metal Management Ltd. and Quanta Services Inc. The index was up 34.03% for the year through July 31.

The firm is still tiny based on assets under management (under $10 million), but the partners are optimistic about their growth potential. "We believe at the present moment in history, getting in front of the ecoefficient frontier is a way to earn competitive investment returns, and these kinds of businesses will grow faster than the legacy economy," Jabusch says.

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