Investors Tackle the Impact of Water Scarcity on Their Portfolios
Dutch pension manager PGGM and US bond shop Breckinridge Capital Advisors are confronting corporate water risk.
On a recent trip to New York, Piet Klop, senior adviser for responsible investment at Dutch pension fund manager and adviser PGGM, took in an encouraging sight. At the headquarters of financial data provider Bloomberg, Klop saw a giant map projected on the atrium wall that highlighted the world's most water-stressed regions. The map was overlaid with another showing how oil and gas company assets might be exposed to water risk.
Klop recognized the water map as part of the World Resources Institute's Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, an online tool he had helped develop while in his previous post as a senior fellow at Washington-based WRI. Last year Bloomberg made this tool part of BMAP, the interactive mapping platform available through its terminals.
For Klop, whose Zeist, Netherlands-based firm manages EURO188 billion ($203 billion) in assets, encountering the map also signaled a sea change. "Seeing that showed me that [water risk] has definitely moved from what used to be an NGO convern to something that is now about ready for prime time and mainstream investor interest," he says.
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