Sustainability white paper highlights potential of wealth from waste
With only 4% of green bonds actively addressing waste the paper outlines a new framework for waste reduction bonds
SWITZERLAND'S largest bank UBS is launching a new longer-term investment initiative for private clients. The release comes as the Zurich-based firm reports milestones in its thematic and sustainable investing.
The new ‘Future of’ series will publish regular white papers on challenges the bank claims resonate with clients while providing associated investment solutions across public and private markets.
The first white paper, Future of Waste, offers waste reduction solutions that can increase businesses' financial returns. The report claims to help investors identify equities and bonds of waste management companies, as well as firms that generate material levels of waste but reduce it more effectively. It also outlines a new framework for waste reduction bonds, just 4% of green bonds actively address waste.
According to the in-depth report the world wastes about 30% of its food, at a cost of US$1 trillion a year, while 10% of people go hungry around the globe.
Another sobering and salient fact in the report says plastic waste in the sea could outweigh fish by 2050 if current discarding practices continue.
In an interview with The Asset Mischa Eckart, managing director, investment platforms and solutions and head of client investment specialists Asia-Pacific, and Mario Knoepfel, head sustainable & impact investing advisory, Asia-Pacific, UBS Global Wealth Management say: “We've got this concept called the three L’s - Liquidity, Longevity and Legacy - and a sustainable investing strategy fits very well into this whole picture.”
Investors from Asia, particularly women and younger investors, have embraced the Swiss bank’s sustainable offerings.
Commenting on the latest white paper Knoepfel says: “Along with this latest publication, we will obviously engage our clients with a range of solutions that make those topics investable.”
“The key thing about what we want to achieve is that we have the white papers and the thought leadership on the one hand and on the other hand we make it tangible and accessible for our clients to invest in,” Knoepfel adds.
The broadening of UBS's private client investment offering follows its positive results in thematic and sustainable investing.
The UBS Oncology Impact Fund, which at its launch was the largest ever healthcare impact investment, has recently received a record donation of US$4 million, with US$2 million going to the UBS Optimus Foundation and US$2 million to the American Association for Cancer Research. The investment product saw a strong take-up by Asian-based investors.
UBS also revealed that its 100% sustainable cross-asset portfolio, the first offering of its kind for private clients, recently passed US$10 billion in invested assets. The portfolio launched roughly two years ago with just over US$1 billion under management.
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