The Water and Waste story is a tale of civilization and economic progress

Water is essential for life on earth and is a precious, yet underappreciated and undervalued resource. It is used in nearly all forms of economic activity including food production, industrial manufacturing, textiles, energy production and materials extraction – put simply ‘there is no economy without water’ yet ‘there is no sustainable economy without waste management’. This is why we include a ‘waste’ component to our investing – the two segments work together.

“There is no economy without water, no sustainable economy without waste management.”

Continuous need for water generating economic issues
We withdraw more water over time creating a water GAP
We use more water as population grows (% growth since 1900)
Aggregated global water supply gap by 2030, billion m3
Source: Regnan, Shikpmanov 1999, US Census bureau 2011; IFPRI; McKinsey analysis, 2009.
The waste market is doubling over the next decade
Waste becomes a new resource
Past and projected global waste generation
Projected waste generation by region (SSP2, business as usual)
Three projections to 2100 for waste generation spell very different futures. In the first Shared Socioeconomic Pathway scenario (SSP1), the 7bn population is 90% urbanised, development goals are achieved, fossil-fuel consumption is reduced and populations are more environmentally conscious. SSP2 is the ‘business-as-usual’ forecast, with an estimated population of 9.5m and 80% urbanisation. In SSP3, 70% of the world’s 13.5bn live in cities and there are pockets of extreme poverty and moderate wealth, and many countries with rapidly growing populations.
Source: Regnan, OECD 2013, Nature 31 October 2013. All opinions and estimates constitute the best judgment of Regnan as of the date hereof, but are subject to change without notice, and do not necessarily represent the views of Regnan. *Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. *Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
5 common long-term growth drivers

The combination of both water and waste themes is a truly differentiated and unique proposition and one that has been pioneered by the investment team. Companies exposed to these two themes share similar long-term fundamental growth drivers:

Urbanisation and concentration of population
More people living in the same place, increasing scarcity and creating wealth
Consumption driven economy
As we get richer we use more water and reject more waste
Infrastructure adaptation for developed and developing countries
Pressure on water networks and capacity to deal with waste, from collection to disposals to recycling
Supportive regulatory environment
Boosting the trend and is a positive source of growth
Support physical constrained world
Finally, we live in a real world and these are issues, which need to be fixed or the economy stops

These long-term growth drivers have existed for thousands of years and will be around for many years to come. They are what makes the water and waste universe such an attractive area for investment.

Many water and waste solutions are interconnected and intrinsically linked. In order to deal with more circular solutions for waste, economies need water (i.e. to clean plastic before recycling, water is used in paper recycling and products are cleaned with water before re-use) but water solutions also need sound waste management systems (i.e. collection, prevention of solid, liquid or gas waste polluting water resources). The water and waste nexus is a reflection of a healthy, functioning body integrating water and matter, and sustainably managing used water and waste. Failure to manage these two together efficiently generates unsustainable economies.

Water and waste companies also provide unique diversification characteristics when combined. Companies in these sectors typically operate locally with limited overlap across geographies and sectors providing a low intra-correlation within the portfolio.

Lead drivers supporting water and waste

“Perpetual momentum”

Population growth
Infrastructure gap
Wealth creation on consumption
Health issues and regulation
Scarcity of resources
Scarcity and climate
Few players and barriers to entry
Fund performance

Increasing awareness of the sustainability issues we face mean the strategy operates in a supportive environment backed by global trends. Population growth, environmental constraints, supportive regulation, urbanisation rates and global wealth creation are all working in our favour. We would expect the strategy to outperform the broader market over the market cycle with bottom-up stock selection the key driver of returns.

Underlying long-term relative performance

Water & Waste indices vs. MSCI All Country World Index (net total return)

Source: Bloomberg 16 August 2021. Waste Index represents BNP Paribas Global Waste Management Total Return Index USD, Water Index represents S&P Gb Water USD Net Total Return Index. All Indices in USD.

Regnan Global Equity Impact Solutions Fund

This fund is distributed in Australia via Pendal and in the UK, Europe and other countries via J O Hambro Capital Management.

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