A proliferation of funds that facilitate the development of clean technologies has taken place recently and clean technologies are what Kyle Pohanka, a partner with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP's Toronto office, says are a subset of the growing toward 'socially responsible' investing.

But the challenge, says Pohanka, is to ensure that the fund is really a reflection of what the founders set out to accomplish.

'Although generally speaking you can categorize it as a global equity, it has a much narrower investment mandate,' he says. For example, a number of the major banks have put in place funds that include the words 'global sustainability' or 'climate' in their names.

'The underlying issues of what these funds are doing is focused on climate change and alternative energy or social responsibility, which are all front-page news right now, and there's a segment of investors in Canada who think those issues are very important to them.

'From the fund manager perspective, they're saying these industries are brands that are emerging with a lot of opportunity and a segment of society that's interested in these companies.'