Candriam, a global multi-asset manager focused on sustainable and responsible investing with over €145bn of assets under management, today (10 June) launched its Sustainable Equity Water Fund.

In response to the intensifying global water challenge, the SFDR Article 9 fund aims to address the current water crisis by investing in companies (the ‘water solutions enablers’) that provide solutions to treat, transport, distribute and valorize water as well as companies (the ‘water efficiency leaders’) that, through their own processes in high water use sectors, lead the reduction in water intensity.

Johan Van der Biest, co- head of thematic global equity at Candriam, said: “Water, indispensable for survival, is at the center of a growing global imperative. The launch of this fund provides sustainably conscious investors with an opportunity to be part of the solution to an intensifying global challenge. As the water crisis escalates, the market of solutions working to mitigate these challenges is growing in tandem – the global water market is expected to exceed $1100 billion by 2030.

"Investors also benefit from access to a growing market opportunity backed by our extensive experience in sustainable and thematic investing.”

With only 1% of the Earth’s water readily available for human consumption, the world is facing a water shortage exacerbated by the intensifying impacts of climate change. Without immediate action, the world will face a water shortage of 40% by 2050.

Growing water scarcity is now one of the leading challenges for sustainable development. There is a dire need for financial investment to mitigate this challenge - an estimated global investment ranging from $6.7 trn by 2030 to a staggering $22.6trn by 2050 is needed for essential infrastructure, the statement said.

The actively managed fund will follow a disciplined analytical approach to portfolio construction which includes thematic screening, ESG screening and in-depth thematic analysis, resulting in a highly convicted portfolio invested in all relevant aspects of water.

The fund’s investment approach is underpinned by a bespoke water taxonomy, developed through the integration of multifaceted data sources and artificial intelligence. The actively managed portfolio includes both water solutions enablers and leaders, creating a broad spectrum of investment opportunities.

The Fund will be co-managed by Bastien Dublanc and David Czupryna, both senior fund managers, with wider support from Candriam’s dedicated ESG team with a 25+ year track record in sustainable investing. The fund will also benefit from the expertise of the Thematic Global Equity team which manages €12.2bn in assets.

The fund is available for distribution in Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and The Netherlands. It will also be available in the UK "in the coming weeks".