Asset management firm CANDRIAM announced the launch of the CANDRIAM SRI Equity Circular Economy Fund, designed to promote zero waste economies by investing in companies that are adapting their operations towards a ‘Circular Economy’ and contributing to a more sustainable future. Through the fund, CANDRIAM aims to provide retail and institutional investors with exposure to the transformational growth story of global supply chains becoming more ‘circular’.

CANDRIAM, an affiliate of New York Life, is a boutique and global multi-specialist asset manager focused on sustainable investing.  The firm has approximately EUR 130 billion of assets under management, and a team of more than 600 professionals.

Circular economy is becoming an increasingly central focus in sustainable investing, and emerging as an important ESG investment theme. The practice involves refocusing the entire industrial process – from product design through production, distribution, usage  and disposal – on eliminating waste through the continual use and re-use of resources, providing an alternative to the current linear economic model (“take, make, dispose”) by avoiding waste and reducing the need for virgin raw materials.

CANDRIAM’s new fund aims to outperform over the long term by investing in companies that provide new technologies and innovations which enable the transition to a circular economy.

According to CANDRIAM, the transition towards circularity represents a huge potential for both economic growth and environmental sustainability. The company views the emergence of the circular market as a multi-decade investment opportunity, representing an estimated $4.5 trillion economy by 2030.

CANDRIAM expects to construct a diversified portfolio of circular economy enablers and rapid transformers using its proprietary thematic approach and fundamental idea selection. Enablers are companies that provide solutions enabling a circular economy transition including solutions in waste management, renewable resources, products life extension and resources optimization. Transformers are companies that are actively changing their business operations and value chain to become more circular.

The CANDRIAM SRI Equity Circular Economy Fund will be managed by Koen Popleu, Thematic Equity Senior Fund Manager, and Monika Kumar, Thematic Equity Fund Manager. Popleu said:

“The backlash against single use plastic and the growing popularity of plastic-free goods has shown that regulators and consumers support the transition to a circular economy. In the face of reputational risk and consumer boycotting, companies have decided to drastically increase their use of recycled plastic packaging and transform their operational processes.”

Monica Kumar added:

“This represents a significant opportunity for companies offering innovative technologies and solutions aligned to the circular economy.

CANDRIAM also announced that it will donate up to 10% of the sub-fund’s net annual management fees to charities and organisations providing solutions to promote the transition towards a circular economy, selecting “Close the Gap” as its first beneficiary. Close the Gap is an international social enterprise that aims to bridge the digital divide by offering high-quality, pre-owned computers donated by European and international companies to educational, medical and social projects in developing and emerging countries.

Vincent Hamelink, CANDRIAM Chief Investment Officer, said:

“Sustainable investing has been at the heart of our business for 25 years and we are proud to launch the CANDRIAM SRI Equity Circular Economy Fund. As we strive to promote a zero waste economy and deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the move towards a circular economy will be an essential part of our transition towards a more sustainable future.”