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Sustainable Water

Population growth, increasing per capita water consumption and pollution are major drivers of water scarcity, which is exacerbated by aging and inefficient water infrastructures. Increased urbanization, population migration to water-scarce areas and improved living standards in developing countries are leading to massive increases in water consumption.

Yet the global water supply is limited by the natural water cycle, while climate change induces more frequent and longer periods of drought. This means that access to clean and safe drinking water in sufficient quantities as well as waste water treatment will remain an increasingly important economic factor for years to come, particularly in the emerging markets.

RobecoSAM Sustainable Water Fund

(ISIN EUR B: LU0133061175)


Cumulative excess return of Water strategy vs MSCI World since inception: +153%
(Portfolio performance gross of fee as of December 31, 2016)

Why invest now?

  • China’s 5-Year-Plan for 2016 to 2020 includes substantial investments into environmentally-friendly technologies that will help reduce pollution. It is expected that the water quality and analytics sector will profit especially from these investments because Chinese rivers and lakes are in very poor condition. We analyzed the situation and identified Western and Asian companies that may profit from this trend. 
  • Given recent droughts in many parts of the world (Brazil, California, Taiwan to name a few), new water provision constructions and artificial irrigation projects are already in the pipeline. Therefore, construction companies that are active in this field appear to be ripe for investment opportunities. 
  • Industries and individuals still rely too heavily on outdated water technologies. As a consequence, there is a big opportunity for growth in this niche.  One of our top portfolio holdings, A.O. Smith, produces modern devices that replace outdated water heaters. These products have been particularly successful in emerging markets.

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Contact us for more information: info@robecosam.com

Companies offering products and services that address global challenges related to the scarcity, quality, and allocation of water are well-positioned to profit in the long run. The RobecoSAM Sustainable Water Strategy invests globally in companies belonging to one of the following investment clusters:


Capital goods & chemicals: Companies in this cluster manufacture water valves and pumps, integrated water treatment systems, water treatment chemicals or irrigation systems. Most fall in the machinery segment, and while they supply to utilities, their market dynamics are of a more cyclical nature.


Quality & analysis: Companies in this cluster develop and sell products and services linked to water quality such as sensors to measure pollutants in water, systems to treat water at its point of use and services protecting surface water and groundwater quality. As those products are linked to consumer goods or industrial consumables, companies in this cluster often display lower volatility.


Construction & materials: Companies in this cluster build infrastructure such as water pipelines, water channels, reservoirs and treatment plants and or install water meters. The market dynamics of these firms are often linked to commercial and municipal construction and infrastructure, making this cluster more cyclical.


Utilities: Companies in this cluster supply water and provide wastewater services to residential, commercial and industrial customers. Given their steady stream of revenues and important capital expenditure requirements, utilities often display moderate growth, high dividend yields and lower price volatility.


Portfolio Managers



Dieter Küffer, CFA
Senior Portfolio Manager


Holger Frey, CAIA
Senior Portfolio Manager (deputy)



Equity Analysts

Mathias Büeler, CFA
Senior Analyst
Financials, Media

Moritz Dullinger,CFA, CAIA

Oliver Girakhou
Senior Analyst
Materials, Construction, Machinery & Transportation
Thomas Guennegues, CFA
Senior Analyst
Utilities, Renewable Energies, Electrical Equipment

Junwei Hafner-Cai, CIIA
Senior Analyst

Matthias Müller, CFA
Senior Analyst
Information Technology & Telecommunication

Aaron Re'em, CFA
Consumer Staples & Retailing

Sustainability Investing (SI) Analysts

Jacob Messina, CFA
Head of SI Research
Healthcare, Financials

Melissa Castillo Spinoso
SI Analyst & Impact Specialist
Industrials, Materials, IT Software & Services

Roland Hengerer, PhD
Senior SI Analyst
Utilities, Energy, Electrical Equipment

Michael van der Meer, CFA
Senior SI Analyst
Emerging Markets

Roraj Pradhananga
SI Analyst
Consumer Discretionary & Staples, Telecommunication

Research Talent Pool
4 Team Members

Additional resources

Sustainability Applications and Operations
7 Team Members
Quantitative Research
5 Team Members
Governance and Active Ownership (Robeco)
11 Team Members
Client Portfolio Management
2 Team Members