‘The global water crisis is as relevant today as it ever was’

Pictet Asset Management’s Marc Olivier Buffle discusses the global water deficit and how climate change is adding to the pressure

What was the rationale behind launching a fund investing specifically in water?

We launched the water strategy in 2000 off the back of an increased understanding that water was getting scarce and polluted, and that climate change was going to add to that pressure.

We decided investing in companies that propose solutions to water quality or quantity challenges would achieve a dual objective: it would help the world through the financing of such solutions and it would represent an attractive investment opportunity, as such solutions were sure to be in high demand.

Some 23 years into running the strategy, that hypothesis remains fully valid. The global water crisis is as relevant today as it ever was. Summer 2022 was a case in point. The theme will remain relevant both from a positive impact and a financial perspective for decades to come.

Pictet Water has a particular focus on investing in water supply, technology and environmental services. Why these areas?

Our water strategy invests in the entire value chain, from water extraction all the way to wastewater treatment, including drinking water distribution, recycling, treatment, monitoring, leak detection and water irrigation.

The investment universe is therefore very large and global, and though we segment it in the three above categories, we could have segmented it differently.

Read the full interview in ESG Clarity’s February 2023 digital magazine.