The Triodos Global Equities Impact Fund aims to generate positive impact and competitive financial returns from a concentrated portfolio of large, listed companies pioneering the transition to a sustainable society.
Keep in mind that our commentary on the fund, as well as its past performance, is not a guarantee of what will happen in the future. It is also not personal advice, so you should consider financial advice if you’re not sure.
Like all investments, your money is at risk – investments can go down as well as up, currency fluctuations can affect the value of your investment and you may not get back what you put in.
In the third quarter of 2023, the expansion in business activity in most major advanced economies slowed. Global equity markets (which focus on shares) fell, as investors became increasingly convinced that central bankers would not resort to cutting interest rates any time soon. Whilst equity markets were on the rise in July, as economic data was better than expected, the mood had shifted by August and September. Core inflation (the amount prices increase over time) only eased modestly, staying far above the central bank targets. With global growth gradually slowing, this was enough reason for central banks to keep interest rates high. As a result, real bond yields rose, which meant they looked relatively more attractive than equities to investors.
How the fund has performed
The Triodos Global Equities Fund had a negative return of -3.4% over the third quarter of 2023. It lagged behind its benchmark (the MSCI World Index) which gave a negative return of -0.6% over the same period. This was in part because the fund does not invest in the financial and fossil fuel sectors, which performed well over this period.
In addition, the renewable energy sector heavily underperformed during this period. We saw the share prices of renewable energy companies falling across the sector, and within the fund, investments such as Acciona Renovables, Vestas Wind Systems, Enphase Energy and Xylem, decrease in value.
Many investors have become more cautious about renewables, but we believe the long-term growth prospects are still in place, backed by ambitious energy transition plans of many governments and organisations. This should support future profitability in the sector.
The negative performance is also due in part to currency movements. Many of the underlying investments trade are based in the US, but the fund is listed in Euros, and US dollar was stronger than the Euros over this period.
As of 30/09/23
Triodos Global Equities Fund KR-cap
Triodos Global Equities Fund KR-dis
You can find more performance figures, including a cumulative performance chart, on the Global Equities Impact Fund webpage.
Please remember that past performance isn't a guide to future returns.
Stocks in focus
Here we’ve picked out some of the key investments that have made either a positive or negative contribution to the performance of the fund. We’ve also explained some of the ways these organisations are making a positive contribution to a more sustainable and inclusive future.
For a full list of investments, visit the fund’s Look Through webpage.
Investments that contributed to performance
Nvidia is the world's leading supplier of graphics processing units (GPUs) and related software. As these are very useful in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), the company is contributing to advancements in this area, which has a positive effect on areas like healthcare and automotive safety. Its principal goal is to make these processes more energy efficient, which is important given that data centres consume a meaningful portion of the world’s energy.
Advances in artificial intelligence have been in the news a lot lately. The company's results were well-received and the outlook was far above analysts expectations.
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company that discovers, develops, manufactures and distributes pharmaceutical products worldwide. It operates through two segments; the diabetes and bariatric care segment and the biopharma segment. In addition, studies show a positive connection between Novo Nordisk’s medicines and a reduction in cardiovascular events.
There is a very strong demand for diabetes and obesity medicines. The company raised its profits and revenue outlook again, leading to a rise in the share price.
Akamai Technologies has one simple goal: to make the internet fast, reliable, and secure. The company boasts the world's largest edge platform, which is a decentralised network that provides better performance, lower cost, and stronger security compared to a centralised approach. Akamai's edge platform is also more energy efficient, powered with more than 50% renewable energy and 100% of e-waste is recycled.
The company reported decent earnings (after some disappointing quarters) and raised the sales and earnings outlook, which was positive for the share price.
Investments that detracted from performance
Acciona Energias Renovables (AER) is a Spanish renewable energy utility. The company owns and develops renewable energy projects including onshore wind, solar PV, hydraulic, thermal, biomass, and storage assets.
A large part of the underperformance here is a result of what's happening across the industry. The company announced negative earnings revisions due to declining power prices, rising interest rates, and delays to delivering solar projects. However, we remain confident that this is a well run company that delivers positive impact. We also think it's worth more than the price it's currently trading at, so we're holding on to our investment.
Adyen is a Dutch payment company offering a single integrated platform that facilitates frictionless payments for merchants across channels and locations. This company is increasingly supporting small- and medium-sized companies with regulatory complexity and compliance issues, as well as fraud prevention. By increasingly serving this segment of the market, Adyen helps to promote financial inclusion.
On the negative side, shares slumped 40% after reporting results that were below expectations. In our view, Ayden did not manage investor expectations correctly. An investment program within the business resulted in lowered earnings estimates, but as this was unexpected it resulted in a negative market reaction. However, the long-term strategy is still intact in our view. The company has a high growth, high margin profile with healthy cash flows and a net cash level of EUR 2 billion. We therefore have retained our position.
Enphase Energy is a global energy technology company and a leading supplier of solar microinverters. The company delivers smart, easy-to-use solutions that connect solar generation, storage and management on one intelligent platform. In doing so, the company is making an important contribution to the transition to a sustainable energy system.
Market sentiment towards the renewable energy sector is poor, due to shorter-term factors including the struggling residential US housing market and high inventories of stock across the industry pushing down prices. These resulted in the firm giving a sales warning, however we still believe the long-term prospects remain sound.
Developments within the fund
Investments added to the portfolio
Xylem is a US leading water technology company that addresses the full cycle of water, from collection, distribution, and use, to the return of water to the environment. The products and services improve water quality and reduce the environmental impact of human activities by cleaning used water for responsible discharge back to nature. Through its broad portfolio of testing and treatment solutions, the company helps local water operators make water safer for all those they serve. In addition, its products are used to treat wastewater before it is returned, and its analytics products are used to help measure the health of the world’s rivers, lakes, and oceans. The company thereby actively contributes to the Renewable Resources theme.
Darling Ingredients collects edible by-products and food waste, and transforms them into a range of sustainable products and renewable energy. It avoids land fill and incineration by turning things which would go to waste into useful products that can be used for ingredients, fertilisers, oils, medicine and fuel. This company fits in well with our mission for a circular economy that makes use, and re-use, of available resources and avoids waste. While we appreciate that not everyone will agree with companies which process animal resources, we believe that, whilst the animal industry is still part of the system, Darling Ingredients is a pioneering company in the circular economy.
Investments removed from the portfolio
Nidec is a Japanese company operating in the electrical components and equipment industry. The company manufactures small-sized electrical motors used for a range of products, including computers, home appliances and automotive applications with an increasing focus on electric vehicles.
The weight of the position was below 1%, and we made the decision to sell out of the investment rather than buy more. For two years now we have seen only earnings downgrades. And although management has ambitious plans and targets, visibility and our conviction are low.
Toho Co., Ltd. is a Japanese entertainment company primarily engaged in the production and distribution of films and the production and exhibition of stage plays. This Japanese midcap stock had a good performance and was trading around an all-time high. Therefore we sold the investments to take the profit.