World Habitat Day: Why energy efficiency is a key element in move to sustainable cities

04 October 2021

Louise French, manager of the Tilney Sustainable Managed Portfolio Service and Tilney Sustainable Portfolio fund comments:

"Today marks World Habitat Day, the first day of Urban October, where the United Nations and Habitat come together to raise awareness and organise activities on urban sustainability. The theme for this year’s World Habitat Day is Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world.

"Migration around the physical impacts of climate change is a key megatrend and will continue to be over the next 20 years. Indeed, we are already seeing migration happening on a huge scale; China has seen dramatic urbanisation linked to its economic growth, while populations in other developing nations are increasingly moving away from climate-change affected areas due to issues such as water stress and famine. Some countries in Africa and South America have already seen thousands of people leave their homes in search of a more prosperous and sustainable future. 

"To help manage this population trend and the transition to net zero, societies need to focus on resource conservation and saving energy during industrial production, as well as improving the connections between renewable energy sources and where people live. Our cities and the global economy continue to waste energy on an enormous scale, making energy efficiency key to a more sustainable future.  We need to look at the greening of buildings, combined heat and power networks, moving away from gas-fired boilers, and insulating homes throughout the country. Many of these measures are not only good for the planet, but also have the potential to help consumers save money.

"As investors, there is an opportunity to help move urban areas to more environmentally friendly metropolises while also delivering returns for clients. In our Sustainable Managed Portfolio Service, we hold several strategies that have resource efficiency, water management and health as key themes.

SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust

"As its name suggests, energy efficiency is at the core of this FTSE listed investment trust, with a diversified portfolio of global investments across a variety of sectors."

FB WHEB Sustainability Fund

 "The FP WHEB Sustainability Fund features resource efficiency as one of the key themes that the managers focus on when selecting high quality companies. Of the portfolio, 22% is focused on resource efficiency, with another 7% in water management."

Impax Environmental Markets

Impax is an investment trust that we hold in our growth focused portfolios, which invests in firms that are creating cleaner and more efficient energy, water, and waste markets. The trust currently has 29% of its portfolio invested in the theme of energy efficiency, and we believe has a portfolio that features companies that will be key in the transition towards a greener world." 

About Tilney Smith & Williamson

Tilney Smith & Williamson is the UK’s leading integrated wealth management and professional services group, created by the merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson on 1 September 2020. With £54.8 billion of assets under management (as at 30 June 2021), it ranks as the third largest UK wealth manager measured by revenues and the eighth largest professional services firm ranked by fee income. The Group currently operates through three principal brands: Tilney, Smith & Williamson and online investment service Bestinvest. It has a network of 28 offices across the UK, as well as the Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands. Through its operating companies, the Group offers an extensive range of financial and professional services to individuals, family trusts, professional intermediaries, charities and businesses. It is uniquely well-placed to support clients with both their personal financial affairs and their business interests. Tilney Smith & Williamson’s personal wealth management services include financial planning, investment management and advice, online execution-only investing and personal tax advice. For businesses, its wide range of services includes assurance and accounting, business tax advice, employee benefits, forensic advice, fund administration, recovery and restructuring and transaction services.