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Water and Plastics: Spotlight on ESG Special Topics

Water Scarcity and Plastics Challenges

Our featured content below begins with a study of ESG integration, facilitated by the usage of benchmarks that are aligned with the climate goals inherent within the Paris Agreement. Also featured is a unique paper on the plastic value chain and the implications of society's transition to a more circular economy. 

Two ESG special topics are also expounded upon. The first is a continuation of the plastic waste theme which recognizes that plastic usage in its current form is not a sustainable practice. It is only the first step in a lengthy process that will hopefully culminate in significant changes to the global plastic ecosystem. The second is the scarcity of water resources and the acknowledgement of water-related risks. Equitable water access, flood risk, and other forms of water stress will become issues of increasing importance over the coming decade.

water scarcity


Study on EU Paris-Aligned Benchmarks (FTSE Russell, 2020)

Institutional investors have increasingly been looking at integrating climate risks via the use of Paris Agreement-aligned benchmarks. This FTSE Russell study examines the adoption of these practices.

Responsible Investment Survey: Global adoption – Regional divide (RBC GAM, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

RBC's survey on responsible investment covers multiple aspects of ESG integration practices for institutional investors. Additionally, the attached link leads to versions in both French and English (dependent upon your geographical location).

Sustainable Packaging: Risks to the plastic value chain (MFS, 2020)

Society's opinion about plastic usage is rapidly changing. In this paper, MFS examines the effects of a shift to a more circular economy upon companies within the plastic value chain.

Water Disruption: Investment risks (Franklin Templeton, Oct 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the EMEA region

There are several different angles to water risk – water scarcity issues for agriculture, water-intensive industries such as mining, equitable access, wastewater management, water rights, flood risk, etc. This FTI paper covers all of these angles and more.


Breaking the Plastic Wave (System IQ, Jul 2020)

This collaborative 152-page report describes a number of pathways that could lead to less plastic pollution in our oceans.

Investor Expectations for Global Plastics Challenges (Federated Hermes, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

Federated Hermes looks at global plastics challenges in this 20-page paper, including the packaging ecosystem and opportunities for engagement across a variety of sectors.

Accelerating Plastic Recovery in the United States (McKinsey & Company, 2020)

McKinsey & Company discusses the critical nature of the plastic waste problem and the integrated approach that is required to address plastic-related concerns.


The Case for Investing in Water (S&P Dow Jones Indices blog, Oct 2020)

S&P Dow Jones Indices introduces their Global Water Index, which is composed of some of the largest companies with business lines or business activities that are water-related.

Water Wars: More conflicts over resources amidst climate change (WEF, Sep 2020)

This WEF article discusses water stress and water conflicts across the globe. Purportedly, over 2 billion people reside in countries that are experiencing an extreme degree of water stress.

Hot Water: The threat of warming oceans (Aviva Investors, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

The heating of the world's oceans due to climate changes could have disastrous implications for global wildlife, in addition to melting polar ice caps and causing sea levels to rise and increased flooding.

The Global Implications of Water Shortages (DWS AM, 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the United Kingdom

In this paper, Petra Pflaum, DWS CIO of Responsible Investments, assigns country-specific and sector-specific water stress scores that provide useful insight for investors concerned about the potential impact of global water shortages.