New York, 21 June 2018 – UBS Asset Management ('UBS-AM') today announced the launch of a sponsored research project with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in the Netherlands and Harvard University, to develop an impact measurement framework and methodology that tackles food security, the United Nation's (UN) second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The aim of the research is to build scalable models that can be applied to global listed equities of companies that sell technologies that can improve agriculture yields and access to nutritious food.
The development of the framework is in partnership between pension fund manager PGGM and UBS Asset Management. UBS-AM initiated the research project two and a half years ago, after its Sustainable Investment team were selected by PGGM to manage a €1.5 billion mandate of listed impact equities. UBS-AM's approach leverages academic expertise to develop impact measurement methodologies for four impact categories including climate change and air pollution, access to clean water, health and food security. The impact metrics are aligned with those suggested for the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals.
"Our client PFZW, the pension fund for the Dutch healthcare sector, selected food security as one of its priority areas for investments in solutions with real world impact. With a world population approaching 9 billion in 2030, it is pretty evident that providing food to every person poses a great challenge, especially if we consider aspects of nutritional quality, access to food, and resource productivity,” said Piet Klop, senior adviser of responsible investment at PGGM. "In order to tackle such a complex issue, we partner with the best in the finance and academic community to develop a replicable, science-based methodology for measuring impact on food security. We are still in the early days, but are happy to lead the charge and hope to demonstrate that mainstream investors can deliver both market-rate returns and measureable impact."
WUR, a leading university in the Netherlands that focuses specifically on the theme of healthy food and living environment, will research the link between technologies produced by listed companies and agriculture yields in different parts of the world. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is building models that link access to nutritious food by deprived communities.
"Wageningen and Harvard's research will focus on just four food security related metrics," said Dr. Dinah A. Koehler, executive director in the Global Sustainable Equities team at UBS Asset Management. "Building these models is challenging given the complexity of our global food system. Based upon our experience building impact models for climate change and water, we believe we have established a solid foundation for building out our impact measurement framework."
In conjunction with UBS-AM, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has been working on developing impact models for climate change and air pollution, health, and food security. Harvard Chan School is a global leader in air pollution modelling and public health impacts dating back to seminal work in the 1980s, and has developed interdisciplinary models to assess the social and environmental impacts of climate change. In addition, City University of New York (CUNY) was contracted by UBS-AM to develop the impact models for water scarcity, leveraging their ground-breaking global water risk models.
Notes to Editors
UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. UBS' strategy is centered on our leading global wealth management business and our premier universal bank in Switzerland, enhanced by Asset Management and the Investment Bank. The bank focuses on businesses that have a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital efficient, and have an attractive long-term structural growth or profitability outlook.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 52 countries, with about 34% of its employees working in the Americas, 34% in Switzerland, 18% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 14% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs approximately 61,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
PGGM is a cooperative Dutch pension fund service provider. Institutional clients are offered: asset management, pension fund management, policy advice and management support. On December 31, 2017 PGGM had EUR 218 billion in assets under management and was administrating pensions of 3 million participants. Around 725,000 workers in the Dutch healthcare are connected to PGGM&CO, our members organization. Either alone or together with strategic partners, PGGM develops future solutions by linking together pension, care, housing and work.
About Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen University & Research is a collaboration between Wageningen University and the Wageningen Research foundation. The mission of Wageningen University & Research is ‘To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’. Over 6,500 employees and 12,000 students from more than hundred countries work everywhere around the world in the domain of healthy food and living environment for governments and the business community-at-large.
The strength of Wageningen University & Research lies in its ability to join the forces of specialised research institutes and the university. It also lies in the combined efforts of the various fields of natural and social sciences. This union of expertise leads to scientific breakthroughs that can quickly be put into practice and be incorporated into education. This is the Wageningen Approach.
The scientific quality of Wageningen University & Research is affirmed by the prominent position we occupy in international rankings and citation indexes.
About Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health.
For marketing and information purposes by UBS.
This document and its contents have not been reviewed by, delivered to or registered with any regulatory or other relevant authority in any jurisdiction. No representations are made with respect to the eligibility of any recipients of this document to acquire interests in securities or benefit from any services under the laws of any jurisdiction. You are advised to exercise caution in relation to this document. The information in this document does not constitute advice and does not take into consideration your investment objectives, legal, financial or tax situation or particular needs in any other respect.
Before investing in a product or subscribe to any services please read the latest prospectus and/or the terms and conditions carefully and thoroughly. Units of UBS funds may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors and may not be offered, sold or delivered in the United States. The information mentioned herein is not intended to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments or to subscribe to any services. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Commissions and costs have a negative impact on performance. If the currency of a financial product or financial service is different from your reference currency, the return can increase or decrease as a result of currency fluctuations. The details and opinions contained in this document are provided by UBS without any guarantee or warranty and are for the recipient's personal use and information purposes only. This document may not be reproduced, redistributed or republished for any purpose without the written permission of UBS AG. Source for all data and charts (if not indicated otherwise): UBS Asset Management.
This document contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements”, including, but not limited to, statements relating to our future business development. While these forward-looking statements represent our judgments and future expectations concerning the development of our business, a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors could cause actual developments and results to differ materially from our expectations.
For professional clients / qualified investors only. The information and opinions contained in this document have been compiled or arrived at based upon information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and in good faith, but is not guaranteed as being accurate, nor is it a complete statement or summary of the securities, markets or developments referred to in the document. UBS AG and / or other members of the UBS Group may have a position in and may make a purchase and / or sale of any of the securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this document.
© UBS 2018. The key symbol and UBS are among the registered and unregistered trademarks of UBS. All rights reserved.