Thematic investing seeks investment opportunities directly related to social or environmental needs, and often addresses both dimensions simultaneously. Sonen uses proprietary “impact frameworks” for various impact themes that identify specific social or environmental challenges and that identify outcomes that over time, are most desired to meaningfully address those outcomes. These frameworks then specify a series of investment strategies that contribute to achieving these outcomes.
Sonen invests in the following Thematic areas (frameworks for some of these themes can be found in Resources).
The following four frameworks have been summarized as an example of how we think about these themes:
Energy production is the source of 66% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.1 Reducing these emissions and meaningfully addressing climate change depends on widespread adoption, by industry and consumers, of low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels.
Financing centralized and distributed energy infrastructure in regions where availability varies or power sources are “dirty”.
Technologies across industries that increase energy efficiency; consumer-level technology that reduces energy consumption.
Human water consumption has increased at twice the rate of human population over the last 100 years, and global population is expected to increase by 3 billion by 2050.1 Existing water resources are stressed, depleted or severely compromised in their ability to continue providing for humans’ and natural ecosystems’ most basic needs.
Globally, the built environment emits 33% of all GHGs, and accounts for 40% of all energy use.1 Worldwide, more than 330 million urban households live in substandard housing or are financially stretched by housing costs.2
Real Estate investing can simultaneously address both social and environmental challenges. The built environment has the most potential for delivering significant and cost-effective GHG emissions reductions.1 Environmentally minded construction can help mitigate climate change and increase social equity through providing affordable, accessible housing to the world’s growing low- and middle-income populations.
Bonds for energy efficiency retrofits.
Technologies or innovations that reduce demand for raw materials and energy consumption within buildings.
Sustainably-built workforce housing in global geographies where demand greatly exceeds supply.
Without specific investment to support global sustainable agriculture, increased food insecurity and further environmental deterioration related to water scarcity and climate change are inevitable.1
Target key agriculture themes that improve global food security, meet global nutritional needs and improve environmental sustainability, including:
Financing for organic or sustainably-oriented food production; and preservation of the use of agricultural land.
Technologies for precision agriculture and increased water-efficiency.
Infrastructure for efficient production, storage and distribution of food resources; preservation of use of agricultural land.