Breaking down plastic pollution: Part II

06/06/2019

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​The trend is clear!

With consumer preferences shifting away from products considered to have a large ‘plastic footprint’, risks from the irresponsible use of plastic will likely begin to impact companies operating in areas that are as yet unregulated. The encouragement of the responsible use of plastics therefore spans industries, as well as supply chains.

Furthermore, the relevance of plastic use to investments varies greatly within companies and industries, meaning that there is no single solution or identifier for positive impact, investment risks or sustainability and investment opportunities.

Progress: regulators and consumers responding to risk

Plastic was the dominant environmental issue of 2018 and this was reflected in legislation. Countries around the European Union (EU) set a precedent for plastic-limiting legislation, with bans on plastic microbeads and cotton buds1. In January 2018, China stopped accepting imports of plastic waste.


Source: Getty Images

 

In October 2018, the European Parliament voted in favour of a ban on 10 types of single use plastic, covering 70% of marine litter items found on EU beaches2. The new legislation embodies the ‘polluter pays’ principle through additional reduction targets, taxes and tariffs. As a result, manufacturers may be required to provide 80-100% of the funds necessary for clean-up and waste avoidance attributable to their products3.

In the UK, a tax on the production and import of plastic packaging from April 2022 was proposed in last year’s Autumn budget. Subject to consultation, this tax will apply to plastic packaging which does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic, to transform financial incentives for manufacturers to produce more sustainable packaging.

Trends in legislation are not limited to China and the EU; more than 15 African countries have banned the use of plastic bags entirely4.

Evidence that demonstrates the impact of legislation can be seen in the introduction of a 5p charge for plastic carrier bags in the UK. This quickly led to an 85% reduction in their usage5.

Our response to plastic pollution

The Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity Strategy has a very low exposure to plastic. Our portfolio has taken an active route towards reducing and managing our exposure to plastic pollution.

  1. We avoid industries that produce the raw products for plastic: We do not invest in fossil fuel extraction and petrochemicals.
  2. We avoid certain industries that can contribute to plastic pollution: This includes alcohol, tobacco, unsustainable intensive farming, contentious industries, and meat and dairy.
  3. We review a company’s products for detrimental effects on the environment: As part of our environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis we look at the life cycle of a company’s products and whether they employ a circular economy model. This assessment includes the packaging. In the last few months this has also incorporated looking at whether companies are prepared for the EU Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.
  4. We engage with companies on mitigation strategies: We are currently engaging with companies within our portfolio on this issue.

In addition to our engagement with McCormick & Company (discussed here), the portfolio holds shares in companies that are seeking to move to a more circular business model.

Nike: striking a blow for recycled plastic

Nike is the world’s largest supplier of sports shoes and clothing, and one of the largest users of recycled plastic globally, with 75% of all shoes and apparel containing some recycled material. Nike’s ‘Fast Fit Vaporknit kits’ contain 12 recycled plastic drinking bottles converted to recycled polyester, including kits worn by France, England, Brazil and Portugal during 2018's World Cup: In total, Nike has diverted nearly 5 billion plastic bottles from landfills since 2012.


Source: Getty Images

DS Smith: plastic pollution’s loss is a revenue gain

DS Smith is one of Europe’s largest cardboard and paper recyclers, providing corrugated packaging products. The backlash against plastic has been a positive revenue driver for the business as consumers switch to more sustainable packaging solutions.

Source: Janus Henderson Investors

We visited DS Smith’s Fordham site, which is close to Newmarket in England, late last year. We met with senior executives to learn more about production at their largest UK site where they service customers including Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, ABInBev and Heineken. DS Smith is currently transitioning to supplying packaging solutions based on performance, rather than weight. The company uses modelling and scenario analysis software to optimise packaging based on how it is stored and passed through the supply chain, in order to achieve the best performance with the lowest possible paper weight. With 50% of paper sourced externally, tracking systems with smart barcodes are used to improve product traceability.

We were impressed by the company’s commitment to safety, customer service and minimising defect rates versus the industry. We were also encouraged to learn that their visible safety focus extended to their extensive transport operation, where DS Smith’s trucks have driver sensors to monitor alertness and additional sensors that warn drivers about the presence of nearby cyclists. Live satellite data is used to monitor deliveries and there is a great focus on maximising asset utilisation, for example, filling trailers for every leg of their journey.

Kingspan

Kingspan, a global leader in high performance insulation and envelope solutions for low carbon buildings, uses recycled plastic within its manufacturing process. In March 2019, the company announced that it will now also be utilising recovered ocean plastic within its manufacturing process, made with raw materials from its plant near Barcelona, Spain. This plant recycles 250 million bottles each year and aims to quadruple this over six years. Energy efficient building insulation, made from ocean plastic, that saves carbon emissions is, we believe, a great approach to sustainability.

Hamish Chamberlayne, Head of SRI.

  1. Kevin Keane, BBC News: “Scotland ban announced for plastic cotton buds.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-42640680.
  2. EU Commission: “Single-use plastics.” https://ec.europa.eu/commission/news/single-use-plastics-2018-may-28_en.
  3. “Implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan.” http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm.
  4. UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe: “Africa leads the way on plastic.” https://www.unric.org/en/latest-un-buzz/30578-africa-leads-the-way-on-plastic.
  5. Rebecca Smithers, The Guardian: “England’s plastic bag usage drops 85% since 5p charge introduced.”

These are the views of the author at the time of publication and may differ from the views of other individuals/teams at Janus Henderson Investors. Any securities, funds, sectors and indices mentioned within this article do not constitute or form part of any offer or solicitation to buy or sell them.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested.

The information in this article does not qualify as an investment recommendation.

For promotional purposes.


Important information

Please read the following important information regarding funds related to this article.

Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity Fund

This document is intended solely for the use of professionals and is not for general public distribution.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax assumptions and reliefs depend upon an investor’s particular circumstances and may change if those circumstances or the law change.

If you invest through a third party provider you are advised to consult them directly as charges, performance and terms and conditions may differ materially.

Nothing in this document is intended to or should be construed as advice. This document is not a recommendation to sell or purchase any investment. It does not form part of any contract for the sale or purchase of any investment.

Any investment application will be made solely on the basis of the information contained in the Prospectus (including all relevant covering documents), which will contain investment restrictions. This document is intended as a summary only and potential investors must read the prospectus, and where relevant, the key investor information document before investing. Copies of the Fund’s prospectus and key investor information document are available in English, French, German, and Italian. Articles of incorporation, annual and semi-annual reports are available in English. All of these documents can be obtained free of cost from Janus Henderson Investors registered office: 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE.

Issued in the UK by Janus Henderson Investors. Janus Henderson Investors is the name under which investment products and services are provided by Janus Capital International Limited (reg no. 3594615), Henderson Global Investors Limited (reg. no. 906355), Henderson Investment Funds Limited (reg. no. 2678531), AlphaGen Capital Limited (reg. no. 962757), Henderson Equity Partners Limited (reg. no.2606646), (each registered in England and Wales at 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) and Henderson Management S.A. (reg no. B22848 at 2 Rue de Bitbourg, L-1273, Luxembourg and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier). We may record telephone calls for our mutual protection, to improve customer service and for regulatory record keeping purposes.

Copies of the Fund’s prospectus are available in English, French, Spanish German and Dutch. Key investor information documents are available in English, Danish, German, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish and Dutch. Articles of incorporation, annual and semi-annual reports are available in English. All of these documents can be obtained free of cost from the local offices of Janus Henderson Investors: 201 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3AE for UK, Swedish and Scandinavian investors; Via Dante 14, 20121 Milan, Italy, for Italian investors and Roemer Visscherstraat 43-45, 1054 EW Amsterdam, the Netherlands. for Dutch investors; and the Fund’s: Austrian Paying Agent Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Am Stadtpark 9, A-1030 Vienna; French Paying Agent BNP Paribas Securities Services, 3, rue d’Antin, F-75002 Paris; German Information Agent Marcard, Stein & Co, Ballindamm 36, 20095 Hamburg; Belgian Financial Service Provider CACEIS Belgium S.A., Avenue du Port 86 C b320, B-1000 Brussels; Spanish Representative Allfunds Bank S.A. Estafeta, 6 Complejo Plaza de la Fuente, La Moraleja, Alcobendas 28109 Madrid; Janus Henderson Investors (Singapore) Limited, 138 Market Street #34-03/04 CapitaGreen, Singapore 048946; or Swiss Representative BNP Paribas Securities Services, Paris, succursale de Zurich, Selnaustrasse 16, 8002 Zurich who are also the Swiss Paying Agent.

Specific risks

  • This fund is designed to be used only as one component in several in a diversified investment portfolio. Investors should consider carefully the proportion of their portfolio invested into this fund.
  • The Fund could lose money if a counterparty with which it trades becomes unwilling or unable to meet its obligations to the Fund.
  • The Fund may use derivatives with the aim of reducing risk or managing the portfolio more efficiently. However this introduces other risks, in particular, that a derivative counterparty may not meet its contractual obligations.
  • Shares can lose value rapidly, and typically involve higher risks than bonds or money market instruments. The value of your investment may fall as a result.
  • If the Fund holds assets in currencies other than the base currency of the Fund or you invest in a share class of a different currency to the Fund (unless 'hedged'), the value of your investment may be impacted by changes in exchange rates.
  • If the Fund or a specific share class of the Fund seeks to reduce risks (such as exchange rate movements), the measures designed to do so may be ineffective, unavailable or detrimental.
  • Securities within the Fund could become hard to value or to sell at a desired time and price, especially in extreme market conditions when asset prices may be falling, increasing the risk of investment losses.
  • The Fund follows a sustainable investment approach, which may cause it to be overweight and/or underweight in certain sectors and thus perform differently than funds that have a similar objective but which do not integrate sustainable investment criteria when selecting securities.

Risk rating

Janus Henderson Horizon Global Sustainable Equity Fund

This document is intended solely for the use of professionals and is not for general public distribution.

The Janus Henderson Horizon Fund (the “Fund”) is a Luxembourg SICAV incorporated on 30 May 1985, managed by Henderson Management S.A. Any investment application will be made solely on the basis of the information contained in the Fund’s prospectus (including all relevant covering documents), which will contain investment restrictions. This document is intended as a summary only and potential investors must read the Fund’s prospectus and key investor information document before investing. A copy of the Fund’s prospectus and key investor information document can be obtained from Henderson Global Investors Limited in its capacity as Investment Manager and Distributor.

Issued in the UK by Janus Henderson Investors. Janus Henderson Investors is the name under which investment products and services are provided by Janus Capital International Limited (reg no. 3594615), Henderson Global Investors Limited (reg. no. 906355), Henderson Investment Funds Limited (reg. no. 2678531), AlphaGen Capital Limited (reg. no. 962757), Henderson Equity Partners Limited (reg. no.2606646), (each registered in England and Wales at 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) and Henderson Management S.A. (reg no. B22848 at 2 Rue de Bitbourg, L-1273, Luxembourg and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier). We may record telephone calls for our mutual protection, to improve customer service and for regulatory record keeping purposes.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The performance data does not take into account the commissions and costs incurred on the issue and redemption of units. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax assumptions and reliefs depend upon an investor’s particular circumstances and may change if those circumstances or the law change. If you invest through a third party provider you are advised to consult them directly as charges, performance and terms and conditions may differ materially.

Nothing in this document is intended to or should be construed as advice. This document is not a recommendation to sell or purchase any investment. It does not form part of any contract for the sale or purchase of any investment.

The Fund is a recognised collective investment scheme for the purpose of promotion into the United Kingdom. Potential investors in the United Kingdom are advised that all, or most, of the protections afforded by the United Kingdom regulatory system will not apply to an investment in the Fund and that compensation will not be available under the United Kingdom Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Copies of the Fund’s prospectus and key investor information document are available in English, French, German, and Italian. Articles of incorporation, annual and semi-annual reports are available in English. Key Investor document is also available in Spanish. All of these documents can be obtained free of cost from the local offices of Janus Henderson Investors: 201 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3AE for UK, Swedish and Scandinavian investors; Via Dante 14, 20121 Milan, Italy, for Italian investors and Roemer Visscherstraat 43-45, 1054 EW Amsterdam, the Netherlands. for Dutch investors; and the Fund’s: Austrian Paying Agent Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Am Stadtpark 9, A-1030 Vienna; French Paying Agent BNP Paribas Securities Services, 3, rue d’Antin, F-75002 Paris; German Information Agent Marcard, Stein & Co, Ballindamm 36, 20095 Hamburg; Belgian Financial Service Provider CACEIS Belgium S.A., Avenue du Port 86 C b320, B-1000 Brussels; Spanish Representative Allfunds Bank S.A. Estafeta, 6 Complejo Plaza de la Fuente, La Moraleja, Alcobendas 28109 Madrid; Janus Henderson Investors (Singapore) Limited, 138 Market Street, #34-03 / 04 CapitaGreen Singapore 048946; or Swiss Representative BNP Paribas Securities Services, Paris, succursale de Zurich, Selnaustrasse 16, 8002 Zurich who are also the Swiss Paying Agent. RBC Investor Services Trust Hong Kong Limited, a subsidiary of the joint venture UK holding company RBC Investor Services Limited, 51/F Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, Tel: +852 2978 5656 is the Fund’s Representative in Hong Kong.

Specific risks

  • The Fund may use derivatives with the aim of reducing risk or managing the portfolio more efficiently. However this introduces other risks, in particular, that a derivative counterparty may not meet its contractual obligations.
  • Shares can lose value rapidly, and typically involve higher risks than bonds or money market instruments. The value of your investment may fall as a result.
  • If the Fund holds assets in currencies other than the base currency of the Fund or you invest in a share class of a different currency to the Fund (unless 'hedged'), the value of your investment may be impacted by changes in exchange rates.
  • Securities within the Fund could become hard to value or to sell at a desired time and price, especially in extreme market conditions when asset prices may be falling, increasing the risk of investment losses.
  • The Fund follows a sustainable investment approach, which may cause it to be overweight and/or underweight in certain sectors and thus perform differently than funds that have a similar objective but which do not integrate sustainable investment criteria when selecting securities.

Risk rating

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