Protecting the oceans: much more than a new investment topic. Photo credit: Adobe Stock.
As we celebrate World Oceans Day in June, let’s take a look at some of the asset management industry’s initiatives that take into account marine biodiversity.
Investor responsibility: management companies are sounding the alarm
Not so long ago, financiers mostly watched and commented on central bank interventions, Berkshire Hathaway’s annual general meeting, or company performance. From now on, they are also interested in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21, COP26, etc.) or, more recently, the Single Ocean Summit, which took place last February. “All investors cannot ignore this, as shown in Article 29 of the Energy and Climate Law in France, which imposes an obligation on financial investors to report on biodiversity from 2022 (measuring the impact of biodiversity and contributing to the reduction of the impact on biodiversity),” emphasizes Jean- Philippe Demartin, Director of Responsible Investments at Edmond de Rothschild AM Indeed, those who talk about biodiversity are talking about the ocean, the home of biodiversity and the regulator of the climate.
But it has only been a few years since we began to hear more about biodiversity. “Plastic pollution has only been talked about since the BBC documentary Blue Planet highlighted the damage to the oceans, but it has always been a problem. Today, this is a concern for a much larger part of the population, and surprisingly, the Covid crisis has accelerated this phenomenon. The younger generation seems to be very interested in these issues: for most of the people we hire today, this is obvious,” says Gabriel Micheli, senior investment manager and global environmental opportunities strategy manager at Pictet AM. a sudden change in this direction ten years ago.
Ocean protection at the heart of investment strategies
Some management companies directly include these issues in their investment approach. Following the publication in 2019 of footprints “water”, “sustainable nutrition” and “social security for a just transition” of the Sustainable Transition Range Equity Fund, Meeschaert Amilton AM has been publishing “Oceans’ Footprint” since 2020 as part of the MAM Fund’s Sustainable Transition Actions. It examines the environmental and economic challenges of ocean conservation, as well as solutions offered by companies that have invested in the fund to reduce the pressure on marine biodiversity. “This sheds new light on the impact of wastewater discharges and the impact of overfishing on marine biodiversity,” said managers Guillaume Chaloine and Aurélien Taieb, who are looking to invest in innovative companies that offer solutions to the main drivers of ocean degradation (plastic pollution, the spread of invasive species). , overfishing and pollution from sewage and polluted waters).
Recently, some players have even offered funds dedicated to the ocean conservation strategy, such as DWS Concept ESG Blue Economy, launched in March 2021, or CPR Invest – Blue Economy, which received approval a few days ago. Thus, the players seem confident in the future of this proposal. “This is a thematic, actionable Article 9 SFDR fund: it has all the ingredients for the success of CPR AM,” admits its managing director, Olivier Bride.
For its part, Sanso IS has decided to create a foundation in partnership with two associations known for their action to raise awareness, protect the environment and protect the oceans: the Oceanographic Institute, the Albert Hier Foundation, the Prince of Monaco and the European Surfrider Foundation. . This partnership sees the company donate the equivalent of 10% of the Sanso Objectif Durable 2024 management fee annually.
And the romance between financiers and the sea does not stop on computer screens. Last November, the Primonial crossed the finish line of the 15th edition of Transat Jacques Vabre: Normandie Le Havre, taking first place in the Ocean Fifty category, while Maxi Edmond de Rothschild took the victory in the Ultime category.