Human activity, such as consumption, eating habits and energy needs, has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface. Forests are declining at an alarming rate owing to agricultural expansion and climate change, while almost one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. According to the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020, global wildlife populations fell by 68%, on average, between 1970 and 2016, with some Australian populations plummeting by up to 97%.
It is estimated that damage to our ecosystems and the associated loss of biodiversity could cost the global economy $10tn by 2050. For many, the coronavirus has acted as a wake-up call: we cannot continue our current relationship with nature. Now more than ever, investors must take action to consider the impact of their investments.
Several of our impact themes seek to reduce our impact on nature and therefore help to conserve biodiversity, particularly through the reduction in material and water usage and greenhouse gas emissions. These themes are also inextricably linked to the prevention of climate change. They include:
Renewable energy helps to reduce the depletion of non-renewable resources – and it reduces air pollution and cuts carbon dioxide emissions too. Within this theme, our portfolio holdings include US-based specialty finance firm Hannon Armstrong, Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Danish wind power group Ørsted.
Intuitive, cleaner and connected vehicles can help to reduce pollution and the consumption of fossil fuels. Exposure in our portfolio includes German car parts supplier Hella and Belgian battery-materials manufacturer Umicore.
Freshwater ecosystems are among the most degraded and threatened ecosystems at the global scale. Two of our holdings, Xylem and Ecolab, provide products and services that aim to preserve our water ecosystem, such as reducing water usage by implementing more water-efficient processes. Several of our impact themes seek to help conserve nature and biodiversity.
Reusing and recycling helps to lessen our usage of new materials and reduce waste. These practices can also lower pollution by decreasing energy, electricity, and water consumption, as well as lessen the need for landfills. Our exposure ranges from pallets and container maker Brambles to the world leader in reverse vending, Tomra.
Providing solutions that help to improve processes (e.g. software and technology), can reduce material usage, cut pollution and enable sustainable production. We hold Ansys, an engineering simulation software company, and Lonza, a speciality chemical services company, in our portfolio.
Stewards of our planet
At the international business of Federated Hermes, we are members of industry organisations and committees that focus on biodiversity, including the Investors Policy Dialogue on Deforestation in Brazil, the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change, the PRI Palm Oil Advisory Committee, the PRI Investor Working Group on Sustainable Palm Oil, amongst others.
For many years, EOS at Federated Hermes (EOS), our stewardship team, has engaged with companies on biodiversity-related issues, such as eliminating deforestation and ensuring sustainable water use. Alongside our colleagues at EOS, we engage with our portfolio companies to encourage them to do more to conserve our environment and help restore habitats.
To find out more, including a closer look at two of our portfolio case studies, take a look at the Federated Hermes Impact Opportunities Equity Report.
 Source: 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service
 Source: Global Futures report from the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF)
The value of investments and income from them may go down as well as up, and you may not get back the original amount invested. Any investments overseas may be affected by currency exchange rates. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and targets are not guaranteed.
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