DWS Concept ESG Blue Economy: equity fund focuses on ocean protection

With the DWS Concept ESG Blue Economy, DWS is expanding its thematic ESG product range with a new globally investing equity fund. The aim of the fund, managed by Paul Buchwitz, is to support the “Blue Economy” and to have a positive impact on the sustainable actions of companies. The focus is therefore primarily on shares of companies related to coastal and marine ecosystems.

The following figures make clear how much potential there is in the blue economy :

“The blue economy is expected to grow twice as fast as the established economy by 2030.”

Paul Buchwitz with a view to the Oceans Day on 8 June 2021

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) puts the global value of ocean-related assets at around 24 trillion dollars. And the annual “gross ocean product” of the oceans, at 2.5 trillion dollars, is so large that it would rank the Blue Economy eighth among the world’s largest economies. Due to the enormous importance of the oceans, not only as an economic resource, but also for the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), together with the WWF, has defined criteria for five ocean-related sectors, which the DWS Concept ESG Blue Economy has integrated into the investment process.

Focus on the health of the marine ecosystem

The focus of the fund is, for example, on companies that help to curb ocean acidification, reduce marine pollution and those that deal with the sustainable use of marine resources, ecosystems as well as sustainable fisheries. These include companies that contribute to ocean health and focus on sustainable consumption, reducing carbon emissions and preventing water pollution. There is also a focus on ocean-dependent sectors such as shipping and ports, energy and resources, coastal tourism and aquaculture.

Close dialogue with companies

“We invest in companies that offer solutions that can help the Blue Economy become more sustainable. However, the focus is also on companies that use the ocean as a resource and have already started to transform their business models or demonstrate their willingness to act more sustainably in the future. In addition, we enter into intensive dialogue with selected companies that have a clear negative impact on the ocean and have not yet embarked on the right path.”

Paul Buchwitz – DWS Concept ESG Blue Economy fund manager

Engagement process in cooperation with WWF

In the context of the fund, DWS relies on a partnership with WWF, the world’s largest independent conservation organisation.

“We are looking forward to working closely together to set concrete and measurable sustainability targets for companies and to document, review and evaluate them on a regular basis. By redirecting capital flows into sustainable business models, the financial industry has tremendous leverage which can be used to protect the planet. By applying the marine conservation criteria to companies, we can work with DWS to push the transition of marine-related industries. The fact that DWS, as an investor, can use its voting rights or draw attention to the urgency of transitioning from unsustainable business models in discussions with decision-makers is particularly relevant.”

Parisa Shahyari, an economist at WWF

With the WWF partnership, DWS is expanding its previous commitment to marine conservation. Among other things, it has been supporting the Healthy Seas organisation since 2019 to rid the world’s oceans of ghost nets

More information about the “The Blue Economy” can be found here.

Source: DWS