Our monthly RobecoSAM Foresight explores sustainability issues of current relevance, providing a snapshot of innovative product segments, new applications or emerging trends.

Water and me: US water challenges in Flint and beyond

01-06-2016 | Foresight | Thomas Guennegues

The lead contamination of Flint, Michigan’s water supply has exposed the deteriorating state of the water infrastructure in municipalities throughout the US. In our latest RobecoSAM Foresight, Senior Equity Analyst Thomas Guennegues explores how consolidation in the utilities sector can help improve water services in the US, while offering opportunities for investors.

Pharmaceuticals: Building trust to improve access to healthcare

29-05-2016 | Foresight | Jacob Messina

Senior Sustainability Analyst Jacob Messina beteiligte sich vor kurzem am PharmaDiplomacy Dialogue, der zu einer besseren Abstimmung der Interessen der verschiedenen Stakeholder im Gesundheitssektor führen soll, um bessere Ergebnisse für Patienten zu erzielen. In diesem Artikel zu den Ergebnissen des Dialogs erläutert Messina, wie eine angemessene Arzneimittelbepreisung den Patienten zugutekommt und zugleich Unternehmen belohnt, die innovative und dringend benötigte Medikamente entwickeln.

IT security companies stand up to a growing cyber threat

22-02-2016 | Foresight | Matthias Müller

Companies around the world are under attack from increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals and are searching for new ways to best protect themselves from the growing cyber threat. As global spending for information security grows, companies that offer IT security solutions stand to benefit. Turn to our Foresight to learn more about the investment opportunities associated with the need to implement effective cybersecurity strategies.

Wearable devices: not just another gadget

21-07-2015 | Foresight | Moritz Dullinger

Driven by a combination of population growth and unhealthy lifestyles, governments in developed countries are increasingly facing rising healthcare costs. Not only is the inefficiency of the healthcare system reflected in its cost structure, but also in the fact that one out of every 20 Google searches is a request for medical information.

The second farming revolution

27-01-2015 | Foresight | Oliver Girakhou

Innovative technologies can help feed future generations in a world whose population and hunger are growing as fast as its resources are shrinking – by maximizing crop yields and minimizing the use of resources. Our latest Foresight explores the fast rise and potential of precision agriculture and shows which companies should profit from the “second farming revolution” that these GPS-based systems have unleashed in the global agribusiness sector.

A growing appetite for healthier food

16-12-2014 | Foresight | Jürgen Siemer

The low-fat diet that was the focus of dietary advice for many years may have been counterproductive as food producers have replaced fat with sugar to keep products tasty. Scientists have identified the resulting increase in consumption of sugar and processed sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup as a major factor in the global obesity and diabetes epidemic. Our latest Foresight explores this issue and its positive implications for forward-looking food & beverage producers that are leading the way in reducing the sugar content of their products and promoting healthier alternatives.

Robots take China's manufacturing floor

30-10-2014 | Foresight | Bojana Bidovec

Automation can offer companies a sustainable production solution that allows for faster, safer and more efficient manufacturing processes. As higher wages coupled with lower productivity begin to erode China’s competitive advantages as a global production hub, Chinese companies could turn to robotics and automation to reduce costs and improve the quality and speed of production. Our latest Foresight explores the prospects for manufacturers of robotics equipment in a market with ample catch-up potential.

Financing the solar age

08-10-2014 | Foresight | Roland Hengerer

Cumulative global solar installations have grown exponentially over the past decade and the global solar boom continues as declining dependence on subsidies, new financing structures and growing global demand are driving volume growth and related revenues and profits for companies along the solar value chain. Read our Foresight to find out how this clean energy revolution is creating new opportunities for long-term investors.

Trading water for fuel

04-09-2014 | Foresight | Thomas Guennegues

The extraction of shale gas requires enormous amounts of water – and results in similarly vast amounts of wastewater containing fracking chemicals. Read our new Foresight to learn how the rapid expansion of this unconventional energy source is creating new business opportunities for companies that provide innovative water treatment and water recycling technologies, helping to reduce the pressure on already strained global water resources.

Milking the demand for dairy

30-07-2014 | Foresight | Jürgen Siemer

Dairy represents a huge growth market. As emerging markets adopt a more Western diet, demand growth is forecast to outstrip supply growth in several key markets up to 2020. Particularly in Asia, a focus on high quality and market consolidation are creating excellent growth opportunities for dairy product manufacturers who can guarantee that they meet the most stringent production and safety standards. Read more in the latest RobecoSAM Foresight.

As China’s cities grow, so must water infrastructure

26-06-2014 | Foresight | Junwei Hafner-Cai

Rapid urbanization in China requires investment in water infrastructure. The Chinese government plans to spend USD 615 billion on water and wastewater treatment, representing huge opportunities for solution providers.

Designing for resource efficiency

05-06-2014 | Foresight | Pieter Busscher

3D design tools are transforming the world of design, manufacturing and construction. Increasingly complex manufacturing processes and key benefits of 3D design tools such as reduced production costs, collaborative prototyping and greater flexibility are causing more and more design engineers in a wide range of industries to switch from 2D to 3D modeling. Our latest RobecoSAM Foresight sheds light on a growing trend that investors should watch as it creates new growth opportunities for innovative players in the software space.

A bright future for smart cities

28-04-2014 | Foresight | Bojana Bidovec

Having revolutionized the backlighting market, light emitting diodes (LEDs) seem ready to start their second revolution: Fueled by technology improvements and declining costs, LEDs are taking increasing market share from traditional light sources thanks to their greater energy efficiency, lower maintenance costs and multiple other advantages such as the ability to integrate them into networked infrastructure.

A parched landscape exposes need for new solutions

31-03-2014 | Foresight | Thomas Guennegues

The Increasingly threatening drought situation will force all Californian water consumers to rethink their water usage, and innovative companies along the water value chain that offer solutions to help relieve some of the effects of the drought are expected to benefit.

A trend for the long run

25-02-2014 | Foresight | Diederik Basch

The rise of wearable fitness technology is making it easier and more fun for athletes to track and meet their fitness goals. It is reasonable to assume that these technologies are also helping to drive increased sports participation and are drivers for other upward trends in the market. Read more about the upcoming fitness trends and market possibilities in our February Foresight.

Stevia hits the sweet spot

30-01-2014 | Foresight | Diederik Basch

Regulatory pressure and growing health awareness are driving continued innovation and growth in the market for low or zero calorie sweeteners as sugary foods and beverages are associated with growing obesity rates and rising healthcare costs. Since its authorization for the EU market in December 2011, the plant-based sweetener Stevia has spurred a new industry. An all-natural alternative to existing artificial sweeteners, Stevia is creating new growth opportunities for innovative food and beverage companies around the world.

Lightweight materials take off

18-12-2013 | Foresight | Pieter Busscher

By enabling productivity gains, innovative materials help overcome the challenge of finite natural resources. Our new RobecoSAM Foresight explains how the commercial aerospace industry uses lightweight materials to lower fuel.

Battling superbugs with ozone

21-11-2013 | Foresight | Marc-Olivier Buffle

The occurrence of chemical and micro-pollutants in streams and lakes is already well known and has been widely reported. Another class of pollutants that does have an acute, albeit indirect impact on human health, however, is antibiotics found in wastewater. You can read in our November Foresight edition how they can be fought.

Thirsty oil sands highlight need for wastewater treatment and recycling

29-10-2013 | Foresight | Junwei Hafner-Cai

The rise of non-conventional oil resources such as oil sands and shale gas – which rely on highly water-intensive technologies – is addingto the growing demand for water in the oil and gas sector.

Healthy outlook for gluten-free foods

01-09-2013 | Foresight | Diederik Basch

Gluten-free foods have emerged as one of the strongest growth sectors in packaged food. Sales of gluten-free products are expected to grow over the next 5 years to approach USD 700 million in sales in North America. There are some companies that are well positioned to capitalize on the trend.

Obesity and diabetes: a global burden

01-08-2013 | Foresight | Giorgia Valsesia

Rapidly changing lifestyles in emerging markets have led to shifts in eating habits. Thus, obesity and overweight prevalence rates as well as diabetes rates are rising drastically, which is straining healthcare budgets. However, several industries are well-positioned to offer solutions to this public health challenge.

Water, water, everywhere, many a drop to drink

01-07-2013 | Foresight | Marc-Olivier Buffle

Desalination technologies help mitigate global water shortage An estimated 1 % of the world‘s population currently relies on desalination for its water supply. Over the last 5 years, total capacity of installed desalination has increased 57 %.

Shale gas – the cleanest fossil fuel - 06/2013

The exploitation of shale resources has raised a series of environmental concerns. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking – which pumps a mixture of water, sand and chemicals through well drilled into the shale formation to release the natural gas – requires large volumes of water, potentially straining local water resources. Other concerns involve the potential for groundwater contamination from chemicals used in fracking.

Getting to the root of the problem - 05/2013

Global demand for soft commodities continues to rise as supply remains constrained, often by natural events. The 2012 drought – the worst in a generation – slashed yields in the US and had a particularly strong impact on corn inventories, which fell to historic lows. Despite the meager harvest, last year US farmers earned record-high levels of net income because of high commodity prices and crop insurance. This year, strong demand, sustained commodity prices and a healthy balance sheet are once again encouraging farmers to increase investments in order to maximize crop outputs.

Vitamines for your portfolio - 04/2013

Across the world, consumers are embracing nutritional supplements as low-cost way to help improve overall health and wellness. As a result, the global nutrition sector has experienced strong growth in recent years - a trend that is set to continue, fueled by an aging population and an increased focus on health, fitness and prevention, with consolidation in a fragmented sector further driving investment returns.

Growth opportunities in store for lithium-ion batteries - 03/2013

Stationary energy storage is a new market, but a combination of aging, over-burdened power grids, growth in renewable energies, and increasing regulatory requirements regarding grid safety and stability will drive the sector’s future growth. Technological advances are fuelling the growth of lithium-ion batteries as an increasingly economical solution for the residential and small commercial markets. Find out more about this attractive investment opportunity in our latest RobecoSAM Foresight.

A growing market for wastewater treatment - 02/2013

In Brazil 82% of the population has access to clean water but only 51% is connected to sewerage systems. Sanitation is vital for protecting the environment and improving health. This point to the urgent need to expand sewerage systems. Find out which companies will most likely benefit from increasing demand for wastewater treatment equipment.

The automation renaissance - 01/2013

Industrial automation offers several advantages including lower manufacturing costs, improved productivity, enhanced product quality and improved safety. But the complexity of manufacturing processes and the availability of cheap labor in some regions have hindered the more widespread adoption of industrial automation. This is all about to change, likely triggering a new growth phase for providers of industrial automation.  

Titanium dioxide (TiO2): A truly smart material - 12/2012

Prices for titanium dioxide have stabilized after passing through some market imbalances in 2009. Learn in our latest SAM Foresight which TiO2processors are likely to benefit from the economic growth, especially in China and in North America, in the coming years.

eHealth - 11/2012

Healthcare expenditures are increasing at an alarming rate across the world. But with such high spending becoming less and less sustainable, there is an increasing focus on delivering high-quality outcomes to patients at the lowest possible cost by tackling inefficiencies in the healthcare system. Find out how IT companies look set to play a major role in improving efficiency in the healthcare sector in our latest SAM Foresight.

Cooling gas to cool the planet - 10/2012

Liquefied natural gas provides a climate-friendly alternative to oil. Not only is it more sustainable, but production is more stable giving liquefied natural gas a more reliable cash flow. Read in our latest SAM Foresight which integrated natural gas leaders are likely to benefit from these favorable trends.

Loyalty pays off - 09/2012

New technologies help retailers retain customers and command a larger market share. Retailers that place the client at the heart of their strategy through long-term incentive programs that reward customer loyalty stand to benefit from improved sales and margins.