We were thrilled to be joined by Feargal Sharkey OBE at our recent “The ‘undertone’ of investing in water” webinar. Honestly, our first briefing call initially had us all rather starstruck; it’s not often you get to chat with a former popstar! His relaxed charm soon made us at ease and the Quilter Cheviot team got to know Feargal - the water campaigner. He is someone who has undoubtedly found his purpose. True to his song lyric he does have “a good heart” and we were all hanging on his every word.
We learnt that 85% of the world’s chalk streams are located in south-eastern and eastern England so we are enormously fortunate to have these rare ecosystems on our doorsteps. Feargal enjoys fly-fishing so has been in and around these streams frequently for years. He told us his passion was ignited as he witnessed the health of these precious streams deteriorating and he decided to advocate for them.
Water challenges are not only seen on our own shores, and we discussed global progress too. Some may not be surprised to read that the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, to ensure “availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, is significantly off-track to be met by the target year of 2030.
In our Climate Assets Funds, we strive to invest in positive solutions to the global challenges of resource scarcity, population growth and climate change. One of the five positive investment themes we target is Water. Facilitating the efficient use of water is a vital and highly investable growth opportunity. We’ve found over the last 13 years managing the strategy, we’ve been able to invest in attractive businesses that deliver goods and services for both managing water demand and those providing solutions to water pollution.
I recommend you listen to the webinar recording. No songs from Feargal, but an inspiring cry for leadership at all levels to make a difference to this pressing and worrying issue.