ESG - sustainability

Investing in new technologies and eating habits

Posted by MoneyController on 05.08.2022

Sustainable nutrition for a growing population is one of the great challenges we are now beginning to face. Finance can also play its part by investing in those companies that are at the forefront of sustainability and technology, but also in an industry that focuses on a more ecological food model (from this point of view, there are also passive indices that replicate market indices such as ETFs, as well as the sustainability criteria offered by ESG). Ulrik Fugmann and Edward Lees of BNP Paribas Asset Management discuss this in 'Das Investment' magazine in an article by Sven Lindner.

The issue of nutrition for the world's population is becoming increasingly urgent

The issue of nutrition is increasingly taking on the characteristics of an urgency. Firstly, there is Russia's war in Ukraine, which has impacted on the wheat exports of the two countries, which alone contributed 25% of the world's wheat exports. Secondly, climate change, in particular drought and heat, are endangering many crops in countries such as Morocco and India. These situations risk turning into humanitarian crises in the worst cases. Added to this problem is the considerable environmental impact of intensive farming and livestock breeding.

An example of technology in the service of biodiversity

In the article 'Das Investment', a technology is presented that could prove effective in significantly limiting food losses due to fungi and insects. CEO and co-founder of GreenLight Biosciences, Andrey Zarur, discusses it with Fugmann and Lees. The company has developed a pesticide on the basis of mRNA technology (the same as that behind vaccines against the coronavirus). This pesticide would increase its effectiveness against certain harmful insect species while reducing the impact caused by the use of chemical pesticides. This is just one possible example of a technology that aims to preserve biodiversity.

Food habits and the food industry towards a mainly plant-based diet

But in addition to technology, eating habits can also greatly contribute to reducing the most deleterious impacts of food on the environment. As the article states, a veggie burger has a significantly lower impact than a meat burger: the 'carbon footprint' drops by 90%, water consumption drops by 87% and land use decreases by 96%. According to the Boston Consulting Group, the industry will also start to move in this direction more and more decisively: the market for meat substitutes will be worth as much as $250 billion by 2035.    

Read also:

ESG investments, what are they

What are ETFs and how do they work?

How are investments divided according to the time horizon?

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