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WHEB investment helps cut annual air emissions by 400 tonnes



Products and services supplied by investor WHEB’s private equity portfolio companies have cut annual emissions by 400 metric tonnes, the equivalent of the power consumption of 34,700 UK residents. The figure comes from a new report detailing the impact WHEB’s investments.

The report is the first of its kind and will be published annually in the future. It aims to provide investors and other stakeholders with a detailed summary of how WHEB’s products are having an impact on the world.

The firm, which has around €420 million (£300m) in assets under management, focuses on investment opportunities that aid the shift towards more sustainable economies, arguing that such companies are well placed to deliver long-term outperformance.

Writing in the report’s introduction, Rob Wylie, WHEB’s chairman and co-founder, and Ben Goldsmith, partner and co-founder of the investment firm, explain, “Two decades on from WHEB’s original founding, the market for sustainable investing could not be more different.

“The range of technologies and the variety of private as well as public businesses that are focussed on solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges has increased dramatically. Over 20% of the world’s 9,000 largest listed companies new derive some portion of their revenue from low carbon goods and services, and the 360 largest of these now account for over $472 billion of annual revenues.”

They add there is “no question” that issues ranging from resource scarcity and climate change to demographic change and urbanisation are on the agenda of business leaders worldwide. To reflect this WHEB’s core investment belief is that businesses that see opportunity in these challenges will access faster growing markets and gain long-term competitive advantage.

The report also reveals that WHEB’s infrastructure portfolio has generated estimated annual savings of almost 74,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide through renewable energy projects.

Investors are becoming increasingly aware of the carbon footprint investments have and the potential risks it could create. Investing £1 million in the FP WHEB Sustainability Fund has a carbon footprint that is nearly 70% lower than an equivalent investment in the MSCI World Index.

The Sustainability Fund invests in companies that have a positive social or environmental impact. The report demonstrates the breadth of businesses and investment opportunities within this theme. Significant portions of the fund are made up of businesses in resources efficiency and health, accounting for 26% and 25% respectively, but there are also businesses operating in the sustainable transport, environmental services, cleaner energy and water sectors.

Photo: bernadg via Flickr

Further reading:

Study: majority of fossil fuel reserves must remain unburnt

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2014

Breaking the eight myths of sustainable and responsible investment

Responsible investment still being viewed as detrimental to returns

Private equity industry adds weight behind responsible investment