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Sustainable investments – sourcing of thematic and impact investment opportunities
We want to support innovative ideas that are focused on enabling a green and sustainable economy. As a bank, we support economic development by making capital available. We work closely with entrepreneurs both at the start of their businesses and also strive to support them until those businesses are at scale and sustainable. In many cases, we do this by helping companies in the development of new technology, including companies that are engaged to make a positive contribution across the ESG spectrum.
For example, in August 2021, we partnered with a well-known private equity investment manager that focuses on life sciences (the Manager) to launch a fund targeting companies in the venture and growth stage that demonstrate strong scientific merits and growth potential in three segments to improve patient outcomes: drug development, medical devices and diagnostics.
In November 2021 we partnered with a world leading asset manager to launch a listed equity fund that seeks to make a positive contribution to a healthier future, investing in companies which are seeking to address current inefficiencies in the food value chain by making food systems less carbon intensive and ultimately enabling healthier diets.
As highlighted in the Credit Suisse Research Institute study published in 2021 titled “The Global Food System” the world is facing significant social and environmental challenges with how we grow, process and consume food. There is a global health crisis associated with moderate to severe food insecurity yet at the same time, overweight or obesity. Food production, agriculture and consumption also account for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
There are encouraging signs however that consumer behavior and changing regulation are causing disruption across the entire food value chain. Companies are innovating and there are investment opportunities across a number of areas. Vertical farming, plant-based proteins and food testing are some of the many activities that the fund will be investing in through three subthemes: sustainable agriculture, efficient food processes, and sustainable & healthy diets. Food waste, for example, which on its own contributes a significant portion to greenhouse gas emissions, can be greatly reduced with new packaging, transport and storage technology. Finally, consumers themselves are increasingly seeking out healthier alternatives to meat and dairy products driving innovation in organic food and alternative sources of protein.