For the current young generation and the generations that will follow, a better future is not so obvious anymore. Climate change, loss of biodiversity, rising inequality in many parts of the world, and the depletion of natural resources threaten their future opportunities and their safety. To solve these challenges, we need to transform our economy and society and make them regenerative and more inclusive. Whether we are parents or not, we can make a difference not only by fulfilling the basic needs of our children and helping them grow up into responsible adults, but also by preparing them for profound change. One way to do this, is by investing in a sustainable future.
Triodos Future Generations Fund takes a thematic approach to advancing child prosperity, building a portfolio of companies whose business relates to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and particularly to five areas related to children’s rights and well-being, as outlined in UNICEF’s* Strategic Plan. One of the fund’s five impact themes is children’s health and survival.
Surviving and thriving
Children need a balanced diet, basic hygiene, and care. Yet many children lack these necessities and therefore almost 13,800 children under the age of 5 die daily. In addition, malnutrition (which is a worldwide problem) and limited access to care limit the chances of children to survive and thrive. We invest in companies that provide these necessary products and services, mostly focusing on companies in the food and beverages, healthcare, and household products industries. The companies we select ideally have considerable exposure to emerging markets, given the high need for such products and their often-problematic availability in many countries. We specifically look for companies that focus on health and survival of children, but as care, food and hygiene are typically generic products, we do not limit ourselves to this aspect.
Companies that make a difference
Triodos Future Generations Fund aims to generate positive impact and healthy financial returns by investing in a concentrated portfolio of global listed (predominantly) small and midcap companies that support an ecosystem of equal opportunity, health and wellbeing, education, and safety for children.
- DSM is a key supplier of food ingredients which improve the nutritious value, taste, and environmental footprint of food and beverages. DSM also makes animal farming more sustainable. In doing so it makes a clear contribution to health and survival of people in general and thus also to health and survival of children. It is, however, also the number one producer of vitamin A. This vitamin is key to prevent pneumonia, which still kills 800,000 children each year.
The company has a partnership with UNICEF and Swiss-based nutrition think tank and incubator Sight and Life. The partnership aims to promote increased and sustainable access to better nutrition for mothers and children. In addition, it provides access to vital nutrition and development opportunities. This supports youth to reach their maximum potential. This way, DSM also plays a key role in making children prosper.
- Hain Celestial has a positive impact on society and environment by offering organic and natural products, using fair trade ingredients, and by promoting good agricultural practices to preserve freshwater resources and deliver high-quality products. Hain’s dedicated brands for infant food enable children to eat organic and natural products from an early age, thus having a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of children.
The company’s products are characterized by healthy and sustainable ingredients. In addition, the company works directly with farmers to support sustainable and responsible agriculture. It is committed to ensuring animal welfare, working with sustainable fisheries and its meat and poultry products are sourced with animal friendly practices.
- Japanese company Euglena, which is part of the portfolio of Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund, cultivates and processes euglena and chlorella, which are single cell organisms or micro-algae. Both contain abundant nutrients such as vitamins, and minerals. Apart from is high nutritional value, euglena can also play an important role in countering climate change, as it absorbs large amounts of carbon.
The company is active in Bangladesh, where it employs and educates around 10,000 farmers to grow mung beans, a much-consumed vegetable in both Japan and Bangladesh. Through its activities in Bangladesh, the company is involved in a food support project from the World Food Programme. On its own account, it provides euglena cookies, to children in Bangladesh free of charge. A single meal of six cookies provides Bangladeshi children with a day's worth of nutrients that are particularly deficient.
*Neither UNICEF, nor its partner in Luxembourg, Comité luxembourgeois pour l’UNICEF, is acting as an investment adviser and neither of them has had or will have any role in the design, structuring, development, management or operation of the Triodos Future Generations Fund. UNICEF, and the Comité luxembourgeois pour l’UNICEF, have not been and will not be involved in the management of the Triodos Future Generations Fund, including its investments decisions. Neither UNICEF nor the Comité luxembourgeois pour l’UNICEF has endorsed Triodos IM, Triodos SICAV I, the Triodos Future Generations Fund or any investment by the Fund. UNICEF and the Comité luxembourgeois pour l’UNICEF make no recommendation as to investment in the the Triodos Future Generations Fund. The sole role of UNICEF, and the Comité luxembourgeois pour l’UNICEF, is to receive the donation from Triodos IM and apply such donation to UNICEF’s programmes for children. UNICEF and the Comité luxembourgeois pour l’UNICEF will have no liability to the Triodos Future Generations Fund or investors in the Fund in relation to investments in the Fund, the performance of the Fund or otherwise in connection with the Fund. UNICEF is immune under international law from every form of legal process.