The difficulty of reaching political decisions in an era of enormous global challenges has made sustainable investing an interesting channel to achieve major positive impact. The cooperation between eQ Asset Management and Baltic Sea Action Group offers investors a unique opportunity to leverage investments for a wide societal impact.
While devastating wildfires destroy land and habitat in Australia, southern Finland is experiencing a record warm winter without snow. Changing weather conditions, depleting biodiversity and decreasing land fertility impact food supply in vast areas globally. Relatively tepid winters in Finland, with no ice cover and vegetation to help bind soil, nutrients from agricultural land flow into the sea more than usual. When summer comes, the fragile state of the Baltic Sea manifests itself in algae. Gradually over time, owing to the structures we have built, we have created interwoven, serious and complex problems.
– Inevitably mounting global problems, such as climate change, are in danger of being overshadowed by the inwardness of many political leaders and populist policies pushed by tweets. Systemic issues take time and strategic, even transgenerational vision to implement bold decisions, the impact of which will happen way beyond the myopic horizons of election cycles. With climate change, we have now reached a tipping point where citizens and consumers demand action from all decision makers in society. Leadership in problem solving can take place also outside of politics by cooperation of a wide range of stakeholders in society, including businesses. Businesses are a crucial link between consumers and the environment. The companies we invest in the Blue Planet fund understand this, explains Esa Saloranta, Director of Sustainable Technology and portfolio manager of Mutual Fund eQ Blue Planet.
eQ Blue Planet BSAG fund series offers investors a new way to accumulate wealth and achieve positive impact. Blue Planet is a sustainable global equity technology fund. An investor in the fund will be participating in the transformation from carbon dependency to a more efficient and smarter use of scarce resources. Furthermore, the BSAG series turns a large chunk of management fees into direct support for the Baltic Sea. When you invest in the BSAG series, the management fee is slightly higher than the standard 1.5% per annum. However, this extra 0.25% goes directly to The Baltic Sea Action Group and in addition to that, eQ boosts the donation by awarding 85% of management fees to the same cause which multiplies the donation of the investor six times. This is truly innovative and ground-breaking even on a global scale. A 10,000 euros investment in the BSAG series bears 25 euros increase in total cost but supports BSAG by 150 euros annually. Some existing Blue Planet investors already seized the opportunity during the first full year of cooperation by switching to the BSAG series. New investors also found their way to the fund to support the Baltic Sea this way.
– Donations from the BSAG series contribute significantly to the operations of BSAG. It helps to ensure that we can support the Baltic Sea more widely and beyond projects already undergoing. A BSAG series donation enables us to plan forward and seize new challenges with added financial flexibility, explains Michaela Ramm-Schmidt, managing director of BSAG.
eQ and BSAG share a philosophy to approach problems from a holistic point of view. A deep understanding of the interwoven problems directs attention to the root causes of the problems, instead of just trying to treat symptoms. BSAG aims for concrete actions, with a holistic view based on science to enable system change in cooperation with scientists, businesses, farmers and government.
Fundamental sustainability makes businesses future proof
In this age of increasing awareness to global challenges, greenwashing may sound tempting to many businesses. You have to work hard to find truly genuine and fundamental sustainability. Blue Planet analyses companies for signals of strategic and balanced sustainability. Companies need to demonstrate how social and environmental sustainability is core in the strategy and leads to, or maintains financial sustainability. Fundamental sustainability helps companies to overcome also unforeseen challenges better and this is exactly what you want to see as a long-term investor, remarks Saloranta.
eQ Blue Planet has delivered consistently better returns than its benchmark MSCI World. The strategy has a long track record from 2015 to prove it. Sustainable investing is not charity. On the contrary, better return is a reasonable expectation from companies doing business in a way, which is increasingly what the world wants. Sustainability strategy is not brand polishing. Fundamental sustainability can produce lasting competitive advantage, which is worth looking for if you are an investor. Competitive advantage, aligned with the well-being of people, planet and the society, also creates economic value.
– The ongoing change to focus on fundamental sustainability in the minds of business leaders comes from the changes in values and demand for action by the consumers. Finns are increasingly interested in the impact of their investments. Blue Planet BSAG series is an innovative solution to the great challenges of our time. Good return, wide net positive societal impact and an opportunity to turn practically all costs to the charity of your choice – what else do you need if you are a long-term investor considering the footprint of your savings, concludes Saloranta.