Mobility and infrastructure cover a broad range of facilities, structures, systems, and services that support the day-to-day operations of society. The infrastructure sectors of transport, energy and water, telecommunication, and waste and sanitation are among the most important elements of infrastructure. Sustainable infrastructure is designed, constructed and operated to optimise environmental, social and economic impact.
The three companies discussed in this article are sustainability leaders in their field. They are part of our Impact Equity and Bond funds’ portfolios.
German chemical company Evonik is the world's largest producer of specialty chemicals. These chemicals are used to improve certain characteristics of products. The company focuses on three segments:
- Specialty Additives: ingredients that improve coatings and foams, so that they need less maintenance and reduce energy consumption. Key end markets are coatings, mobility and consumer goods.
- Nutrition & Care: products that contribute to the higher nutritive value of food, medicine absorption and personal care products. Key end markets are nutrition, and consumer and health care.
- Smart Materials: solutions that make industrial companies more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Through its products, Evonik helps other companies to make more sustainable products, thus contributing to the transition to a more sustainable economy. The company is also making a strong effort to become more sustainable itself, by divesting businesses with a higher carbon footprint and by investing in making its processes less environmentally harmful. The company targets to reduce the CO2 emissions from its own activities (scope 1 and 2) by 50% in 2025, of which 42% has already been achieved.
Evonik contributes to several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
Japanese company Meidensha provides a wide variety of products and services for electricity networks and systems and for water infrastructure. The company’s main area of business is the manufacturing, construction and maintenance of high-voltage electric power transmission and distribution networks. The company is also a specialist for electric power feeding, overhead catenary and control systems for railway and metro networks. In water infrastructure, the company offers filtering, purification, monitoring and control equipment for drinking water, wastewater and sewage treatment facilities. Meidensha supplies electric motors and inverters for escalators, logistics systems, and electric and hybrid vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Outlander. Meidensha has 9,200 employees and operates mainly in Japan, South East Asia and Europe.
Meidensha fits our Sustainable Mobility & Infrastructure theme. The company generates positive impact with almost all its products and services. Most products contribute to the electrification of the infrastructure that is necessary for a low carbon society, such as high-voltage national distribution networks, power and distribution systems for solar and hydro power, railway systems, and motors for electric vehicles. Providing systems for fresh drinking water and cleaning wastewater also contributes positively to a more sustainable infrastructure. Long-term contracts for maintaining and monitoring infrastructure systems provide a stable earnings base. This enables the company to invest in new growth businesses, such as motors and inverters for electric vehicles, and to expand its infrastructure business into South East Asia, India and Africa where there is strong demand for high quality, safe and reliable infrastructure systems.
Meidensha contributes to several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
Sekisui House is one of the largest house builders in the world, building over 2.5 million houses since 1960. The Japanese company designs and constructs single-family houses, apartment buildings and condominium buildings. It is also involved in developing commercial facilities such as offices, retail facilities, hotels, hospitals, and nursing homes. Single-family houses and small three- to five-storey apartment buildings are prefabricated at six production facilities across Japan.
Sekisui House is a global leader in sustainable housing. In 2013, the company introduced its Green First Zero model, an energy-neutral detached house (ZEH, or net zero energy house). In 2020, over 90% of newly constructed houses in Japan were energy neutral. Sekisui House develops ZEH concepts for apartment buildings, high-rise condominium buildings and commercial facilities. The ZEH concepts have also been introduced in overseas markets in Australia and North America. The company buys excess electricity from its customers to achieve a 100% renewable energy ratio for its own operations. All factories in Japan are zero waste and the recycling rate from construction and demolition is 83%. On-site construction of prefabricated houses significantly reduces construction times and environmental footprint. In 2002, the company started a biodiversity programme focused on native tree and plant species. Sekisui House is now the largest landscaping company in Japan and plants more than 1 million trees per year.
Sekisui House contributes to several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
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