Asset Management

Vontobel’s Clean Technology fund promotes renewable energy, drinking water and waste management

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The Vontobel Fund – Clean Technology unveils its Impact Report 2020. Around 77 percent of companies' earnings in the fund had a positive impact (as of June 30, 2020). The companies’ activities in the 2019 financial year included the generation of around 155,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy, the treatment of more than 7 billion cubic meters of drinking water, and the collection, processing, and partial recycling of 76 million metric tons of waste. For the first time, the report also presents an estimate of the portfolio companies’ achievement of the environmental targets defined by the EU taxonomy.

The aim of impact investing is the specific, measurable improvement of social and environmental factors. Through the selection of the companies in the fund, Vontobel Fund – Clean Technology (ISIN: LU0384405949) aims to positively influence pre-defined impact indicators while also generating positive returns. These indicators are closely based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure”, “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, “Climate Action”, and “Affordable and Clean Energy”. For the second time, the fund now reveals how the activities of the companies in the portfolio have affected each impact indicator.

In the Impact Report, Vontobel also calculates the “Potential Avoided Emissions” (PAEs)*. Of the 66 portfolio companies, 51 are relevant for this factor and report a total of around 2.9 million metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions. The Clean Tech Impact calculator that Vontobel Asset Management provides on its website allows investors to calculate what positive effects the investment of a desired sum in the Vontobel Fund – Clean Technology would have on the fund’s indicators and thus its concrete impact.

“When selecting companies for the fund, we look for business models that generate a large portion of their earnings via innovative products and solutions,” says fund manager Pascal Dudle. “Engagement in support of the companies plays a special role in our investment process, for example in order to help them adapt their reporting standards to the EU taxonomy. Over time, we will continuously improve the quality and scope of our impact measurement.”

For the first time, the Impact Report also includes information on the portfolio’s compliance with the EU taxonomy. Asset managers are supposed to report on the extent to which their investment products achieve the six environmental targets defined by the EU taxonomy from March 2021 onward. However, the companies themselves are not required to report on this until later in the year. Pascal Dudle explains: “As only a few companies currently publish data in line with the requirements of the EU taxonomy, this year we have made estimates on the basis of our companies’ available publications. According to these estimates, around 44 percent of our portfolio companies’ sales are currently relevant in the EU taxonomy, most of which in climate protection.”

*The calculation of potential avoided emissions (PAEs) aims to measure the CO2 footprint of a product over its entire lifecycle. This is distinct from the calculation of the CO2 footprint including only emissions produced during the product’s manufacturing phase.