The Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund (PGINX) invests in companies around the world that are developing innovative solutions in the areas of new energy (renewable energy and energy efficiency), water (water infrastructure and technologies, pollution control), waste (waste management and technologies, environmental support services) and sustainable food and agriculture. We believe the leading companies in these markets are fast becoming major drivers of global economic growth. Here are some examples:
Mettler-Toledo International is a global company that is a leader in scales and other precision measuring and testing instruments for applications in industrial, laboratory, food and retail markets. Testing plays a role in the management of food and food waste and is an important component of Mettler’s overall sales, including in the company’s industrial end market. Mettler’s strong management team has led the company to solid execution — brought about by a sharp focus on product dominance and economies of scale (creating pricing power), combined with a strong emphasis on customers and innovation. Capital deployment and investments, such as in R&D and sales, have been disciplined, strategic, and very effective at continually enhancing Mettler’s strong market position. Margin growth and stability of earnings have been consistent and impressive as a result. Mettler products often rank number one in their respective categories. The company has a well-diversified global presence, with strong operations and sales in Europe, North America and Asia.
A Belgian company founded in 1902, Umicore is a well-managed global materials technology and recycling group. Its divisions benefit from two environmental themes and drivers: First, pollution control — Umicore manufactures catalytic converters for engines. This catalysis equipment reduces emissions and in the process utilizes precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. Second, the electrification of vehicles — Umicore recycles metals such as cobalt, nickel, manganese, lithium and e-waste, and produces cathodes for lithium batteries, essentially the metal terminals that form a key component of electric vehicle batteries. Umicore has consistently invested in its catalysis business where it has about one-third of global market share. The catalysis and recycling divisions have strong free cash flow and have enabled Umicore to invest in continued growth in its battery-oriented cathode capacity. The latter growth has been due to increasing global electric vehicle penetration and related EV battery demand, including from China. Most recently Umicore has won a multi-year cathode supply agreement with a large Korean battery maker. Umicore has the unique competitive position of sourcing sustainable cobalt and nickel, which makes it an attractive partner to the large well-known manufacturers and users of these materials in electronics, mobile phones, and batteries. The company’s core belief is that metal-related materials have a vital role to play in the sustainable economy, as they can be efficiently and infinitely recycled.
Ansys is a software company active in computer-aided engineering. It develops, markets, and supports software solutions for design analysis and optimization. In particular, the company is a leader in virtual simulation. Ansys’s wide range of products help to accelerate product time-to-market, reduce production costs and improve engineering processes. The result is better product quality, materials and resource savings, and improved safety. These software solutions are used across a wide range of sectors such as automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, energy, healthcare and materials and chemical processing. Factories use approximately half of the world’s energy and manufacturing accounts for about 20% of emissions, Ansys should benefit from the increasing penetration and use of innovative and advanced technology to drive optimization in design and therefore cost savings. The company products’ nimble integration and applications across multiple industries mean diversified end markets across many sectors.
Global demand for water and waste water solutions is rising due to population growth, climate change and weather volatility, increasing water stress and bringing changes in water management and water standards. The gap between water supply and demand continues to increase, not just in the agriculture, beverage, or energy sectors, but also for water utilities and essential industrial uses. Idex has a wide portfolio of products largely focusing on water distribution and flow monitoring. This includes leak detection, water audits, valves and flow meters. Providing solutions to monitor water loss gives greater security to water infrastructure assets, minimizing real economic and natural resource losses. The company has a high quality management team driving organic and inorganic growth with excellent capital discipline and a focus on earnings growth and return on invested capital . The business generates high margins and returns-on-equity, facilitating strong free-cash flow and helping to expand market dominance through acquisitions.
Koninklijke DSM N.V.
Koninklijke DSM N.V. (Royal DSM, commonly known as DSM), is a large Dutch company focusing on science-based solutions in nutrition, health and materials. Products include food, beverages, animal feed ingredients and materials such as those that improve industrial efficiency. With employees and offices around the world, DSM seeks to address three defining core areas: nutrition and health, climate and energy, and resources and circularity. A majority 70 percent of its business is now in natural food ingredients to meet human and animal nutrition needs, among the higher margin business lines. Under strong management team guidance, this company has moved rapidly from its more cyclical chemical industry roots to an impressive nutrition and performance materials group with a very sharp focus on sustainability. DSM is also targeting leading positions in growing markets, including emerging markets such as China. Return on invested capital is improving; the balance sheet is solid; margins are continuing to grow; and cash flow is strong. These characteristics make DSM a more defensive holding in the portfolio. The solid operational and financial performance provides the company with the ability to invest heavily in R&D and stay at the forefront of innovation — DSM is involved in more than 80 partnerships with academic and other institutions.
Waste Management, Inc.
Waste Management is the leading private player in the U.S. refuse and recycling market, with a 22 percent share of the industry. With more than 21 million customers, Waste Management can act as an industry consolidator in a still highly fragmented industry. This essential services provider benefits from having local scale, which enables operational benefits for sales and efficiency, opportunities for industry consolidation and pricing power. The company’s end markets include residential but also the manufacturing and industrial sectors. The portfolio managers regard this as a lower volatility defensive stock with stable cash generation over an economic cycle, yet it can benefit from positive housing sentiment. Waste Management was named to Fortune’s “Change the World” list in 2015 — companies that have made a sizeable impact on major social or environmental problems. The company is transitioning its truck fleet to natural gas to reduce emissions and deploying technology to increase route and operational efficiency. Innovative projects include methane emissions capture, next generation landfills with accelerated decomposition technology, re-processing and recycling of older landfills and next-generation recycling plants with sensor or automation-based processes.
Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund Top 10 Holdings
This information is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security.