Shimano has a distinct social and sustainable corporate ethic. Its products are manufactured as environmentally friendly as possible and the company invests heavily in developing technologies that make the production and distribution processes as energy efficient as possible. The company also encourages its suppliers to develop products that minimise the burden on the environment and does not do business with companies that do not align with its principles.

A bicycle is much cleaner than a polluting car and is a safe alternative to overcrowded public transport

Good ideas are rewarded

For Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund, which invests in small and medium-sized listed companies that actively contribute to innovative and sustainable solutions for the future, that corporate ethic is an important reason for investing in Shimano. Dirk Hoozemans, fund manager for TPIF: “The shares of sustainable companies are performing well. We see that companies with good ideas - companies that act responsibly - are being rewarded."

This also applies to Shimano, which enjoyed a strong share price rise in the second quarter.  “In this rapidly changing world, more and more people seek a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. It is our mission to bring people closer to nature,” says Yozo Shimano, CEO of Shimano. "In answer to the call for global environmental preservation, the bicycle is now attracting attention as the most environmentally friendly means of transport.”

Cycling revolution

Shimano's expansion is also supported by the fact that since the start of the Covid pandemic, governments across Europe have increasingly been promoting the bicycle as a means of transport. New bicycle paths and bicycle parking facilities are being constructed and one region after another is announcing plans for bicycle highways. In Paris nothing short of a bicycle revolution is going on, with a plan to construct 170 km of new cycling paths. In cities such as Milan, Brussels and Berlin, too, more room is being created for cyclists. And this makes perfect sense: a bicycle is much cleaner than a polluting car and offers a safe alternative to overcrowded public transport.

Shimano

Shimano Shimano will celebrate its centenary in 2021. In February 1921 Shozaburo Shimano opened the company’s first factory in the Japanese city of Sakai. The family-owned company manufactures components for rowing boats and fishing rods, but its passion lies with bicycles. Shimano organises a big annual cycling contest and has even founded a bicycle museum. Last spring bicycle shops reported strong year-on-year sales increases of between 20% and 50%. Sales of electric bikes are also growing. Given the conducive trends, demand for bicycles and e-bikes is likely to continue to grow in the long term.

 

Economic reset

Hoozemans notes that the current pandemic is having a huge economic impact but believes that this is also creating opportunities for his fund. “What you don’t invest in is just as important as what you do invest in." An example that he uses is the oil price, which has plunged since the outbreak of Covid-19. This had a big impact on the banking sector. But because TPIF does not invest in fossil fuel-related stocks, the fund did not suffer any negative consequences. Owing to its sustainable portfolio, which includes companies such as Shimano, TPIF has exceeded its targets for the first half of the year.

The realisation that we will have to start looking at the world from a different perspective and that the world needs to be funded differently, has sunk in.
Dirk Hoozemans, fund manager Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund

According to Dirk Hoozemans governments are now also starting to realise that it is essential that we start building a greener and more sustainable economy. “The realisation that we will have to start looking the world from a different perspective and that the world needs to be funded differently, has sunk in.” TPIF is in a position to contribute to this economic reset. The fund is now outpacing the more traditional funds.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) were defined by the United Nations as global sustainable development goals for 2030. Through its operating procedures, Shimano contributes to several sustainable development goals:

 

This is a translation of an article published by Triodos Bank. Text by Bo van Houwelingen.

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