Sustainability

Ideal ‘climate’ in which to address the climate

November 10, 2021

COP26 has highlighted the urgent need for us all to work together to tackle the greatest of challenges:

global climate change.

Yet while we try to wrestle the ‘monster’ as a world community, only now are there new and ever more exciting opportunities available to individuals, employers, and advisers. All of which can have an important positive effect.

Environmentally friendly lifestyle ‘to-do lists’ might typically feature walking, cycling and recycling more; eating less meat and more veg, or taking a train not boarding a plane – all of which are highly laudable investments in our planet’s future.  Yet there is so much more we can do.

We at Collegia provide an Auto Enrolment pension scheme that has environmental responsibility at its heart.

Through our investment partners AllianceBernstein (AB), our funds are invested in companies that provide greener solutions across vital industries such as energy, manufacturing, construction, transportation, agriculture, sanitation, and recycling. In the energy sector, for example, funds are invested in businesses that provide low- and no-carbon products to the electric power industry. In sanitation and recycling, the companies we invest in focus on environmentally sound waste management, supporting healthy and sustainable living spaces for us all.

As for the transportation industry, sustainability is the big driver here, too, with a focus on companies involved in sustainable options for public, private and commercial mobility – including those involved in areas such as electric and autonomous vehicles, congestion and emission reduction and higher fuel efficiency.

Less preaching, more practice.

Many of these businesses are achieving amazing results. One such, TOMRA, is aiming high – to increase global recycling collection to no less than 40% by 2030. Every year TOMRA facilitates the collection of over 40 billion empty cans and bottles, is responsible for recycling over 715,000 tonnes of metal, and prevents 5–10% of individual product pieces going to waste unnecessarily. If that isn’t enough, they are also leading the way in using sensor-based technologies to develop solid-waste sorting solutions.

We expect to see strong growth in the recycling collection machines and waste-sorting equipment sectors, both of which will support TOMRA’s long-term growth. Additionally, advances in automation and sensor technology will no doubt benefit TOMRA as well.

Trex and its giant green footprint.

Another company we invest in is Trex, which makes composite decking and railings out of 95% recycled plastic and wood scrap. But, in contrast to their competitors, they use low-density recycled polyethylene (such as plastic bags and water bottles) not high-density polyethylene (such as plastic pipes and containers).

A greater source of supply translates to a cost-effective supply chain, and this, coupled with high-quality product design/engineering and technical expertise, has helped them become an industry leader.

Not too shabby, if we may say so.

As TOMRA and Trex show, genuine sustainability can be a remarkable source of genuine competitive advantage and, consequently, superior financial returns.

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