UBS is launching a longer-term investment initiative for private clients after hitting further milestones in thematic and sustainable investing. The ‘Future of…’ programme will publish regular white papers on challenges that resonate strongly with clients and provide associated investment solutions across public and private markets. The themes will have a strong sustainable component, but will venture beyond pure sustainability considerations.
The first offering in the series is Future of Waste. The world wastes roughly 30% of its food, at a cost of US$1 trillion a year, while 10% of people go hungry around the world. Plastic waste in the sea could outweigh fish by 2050 if current practices continue. UBS’s Future of Waste white paper and investment offering present opportunities to mitigate costs and issues associated with waste and target a compelling financial return.
The expansion of UBS’s private client investment offering follows its continued successes in thematic and sustainable investing. The UBS Oncology Impact Fund has announced a record donation of US$4m, with US$2m going to the UBS Optimus Foundation and USD 2 million to the American Association for Cancer Research.
UBS has also revealed that its 100% sustainable cross-asset portfolio, the first offering of its kind for private clients, recently passed US$10bn in invested assets. The portfolio launched roughly two years ago with just over US$1bn under management.
The Future of Waste white paper offers waste reduction solutions that can increase businesses’ financial returns. It is designed 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.
The Future of Waste offering encompasses investments from UBS and third parties, including: individual stocks and bonds; liquid funds whose constituents outperform on waste metrics; private market funds where specific portfolio companies address waste; direct investments; and companies which outperform on waste and pollution metrics as assessed by UBS’s Advice SI facility.
Future of… will also bolster its research this year by using UBS Evidence Lab’s new Deep Theme Explorer. This tool expands search terms into themes by identifying other terms or phrases that often occur alongside them. It then searches across publications to reveal how frequently the theme appears and what the sentiment around it is over time.
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