BNP Paribas Investment Partners has announced the addition of three innovative Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) strategies to its Parvest range, investing in themes considered to be key future social, economic and environmental challenges.
- The Human Development strategy invests in companies that work towards improving the living conditions of the greatest possible number of people;
- the Aqua strategy invests in companies that contribute to resolving the global challenges faced by the water sector;
- the new SMaRT Food strategy invests in companies across the industrial food value chain that are addressing environmental issues created by increasing global demand for food.
These are long term engagement themes aimed at responsible investors who want to take advantage of opportunities presented by a changing world.
BNPP IP has considerable experience of managing thematic SRI strategies. Through its Parvest fund range, available in more than 30 countries, international investors can now access two of its SRI strategies that are already available in France. The Human Development and Aqua strategies have strong performance track records of more than five years, and have enjoyed significant success since their launch in France. Assets in each of these funds currently exceed €1 billion.
Human Development is an international equity strategy that invests in companies implementing a responsible and sustainable growth approach, whose business activities aim to improve the lives of the greatest possible number of people. These companies operate on several levels: they can work towards resolving issues relating to the ageing of the population, simplify access to affordable and high-quality food, maintain a clean environment thanks to research and to the development of services that reduce environmental footprints, or provide affordable education and healthcare, or new-generation drugs. Every one of these companies plays its part in facing up to the challenges of the modern world.
Giordano Beani of BNPP IP, the manager of the Human Development strategy, comments: “The challenges facing future generations cover many areas, including health, an increasing and ageing population and the growing pace of urbanisation. These challenges also offer long-term growth opportunities for companies able to adapt to them, in order to improve the lives of the greatest possible number of people”.
The Aqua strategy, invests in international equities with exposure to the water sector value chain. The strategy is managed by Impax Asset Management, BNPP IP’s specialised environmental investment partner. Impax AM has achieved widespread recognition for its innovation and the quality of its management. The Aqua strategy invests in companies operating in the construction, renovation and maintenance of water supply facilities, and technologies and systems for water treatment and decontamination, as well as services to local authorities. Around 20% of the assets are invested in companies operating in emerging markets.
Simon Gottelier of Impax Asset Management, the manager of the Aqua strategy, comments: “There are many growth drivers in the water sector that will be present in the longer term, including the need for new hydraulic infrastructure in emerging markets, infrastructure renewal in developed markets and tighter regulation to guarantee high-quality water for consumers. All of these require substantial investment across the globe to ensure the quantity and quality of water supply to the greatest possible number of people.
Parvest SMaRT Food is an international equity fund based on an innovative approach known as “Sustainably Manufactured and Responsibly Transformed Food” (SMaRT Food). The strategy invests in companies across the food value chain that act in an environmentally-friendly way and demonstrate strong commitment to sustainable development through their business activities or processes. Favoured companies are those involved in combating food waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving water or protecting ecosystems. Amongst them are companies that are particularly innovative in the areas of creating biodegradable packaging, producing organic fertilisers that are less environmentally damaging, or designing irrigation systems that optimise water resources. Conversely, the investment universe does not include companies whose main business activity is producing food of a low nutritional quality, beverages with a high sugar content, or any substance likely to lead to diabetes or functional disorders.
Michael Landymore of Impax Asset Management, the manager of the SMaRT Food strategy, comments: “Consumer demand for natural and unpolluted food continues to grow. Furthermore, the general public is urging governments to take the necessary measures to solve environmental problems such as pollution and climate change. Substantial long term investment is needed in order to meet these key challenges.”
Anthony Finan of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Deputy Head of the Distribution Business Line and Head of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), commented on the three new strategies: “Having recently signed the Montreal Carbon Pledge, BNPP IP is reinforcing its commitment to responsible investment by offering these investment strategies based on new SRI themes to its international clients. BNPP IP has a long-standing commitment to designing an extensive and innovative range of responsible funds, and increasing accessibility for the greatest possible number of people via the Parvest SICAV”.