Supertrends for now into the future
The latest Supertrends report delves into six multi-year trends that are shaping new opportunities and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint for a better world.
Since their launch in 2017, Supertrends have offered investors a compelling framework for long-term investing. While the focus has always been on identifying new equity investment opportunities driven by broader economic and societal shifts, the latest Supertrends report reinforces the link between thematic investing and positive impact. In effect, each Supertrend defines an area of investment that can directly or indirectly contribute to advancing specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which are even more vital in a post-COVID world.
To better understand how potential investment opportunities align with the SDGs, it is helpful to start with SDG 13, which centers on climate action. The urgency surrounding climate change is clear as political leaders take stronger measures to meet ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets and ultimately achieve net-zero emissions. EU leaders have announced updates to the EU Green Deal, with an emphasis on clean hydrogen, wind generation capacity and electric mobility. Under President Biden, the US has rejoined the 2015 Paris Agreement and reiterated its commitment to investing in cleaner energy and renewable electricity production. And China, with a goal of net-zero emissions by 2060, has turned its attention to service-oriented sectors, from digital technologies and high-tech industries to the electrification of transport and renewable electricity production.
SDG 13 is addressed in two Supertrends: “Climate change” focuses on the decarbonization of economic activity while “Infrastructure” encompasses promising developments related to energy and water. This sweeping Supertrend also covers the infrastructure facilitating safe, efficient transportation and the growth of “smart” cities that respond to urbanization with a more intelligent approach to waste management and emissions.
A priority on people
The “Anxious societies” Supertrend revolves around the search for more equal opportunity when it comes to essential human needs, such as housing, education, healthcare and personal security. With job security also in the spotlight – due to economic challenges and the rising costs of education and healthcare – the need to reskill and upskill employees has increased. In turn, employers and companies are paying more attention to the social component of their environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact.
The pandemic has exposed not only different forms of inequality, but also other pressing issues. From a public health standpoint, older age groups have been hard hit, as have disadvantaged populations with limited healthcare coverage. Our “Silver economy” and “Millennials” Supertrends highlight the demands of different generations – some of which have sparked solutions that tackle other health-related as well as environmental and social challenges.
Future values and technologies
As for planetary health, millennials are largely behind the push for responsible consumption. Their mobilization has sparked shifts in consumer brands, retail and now the financial sector. With new technologies and the “touchless economy” enabling more sustainable products and services, both the “Millennials” and “Technology” Supertrends explore the ever-growing impact of digitalization and innovations that could be integral to the achievement of multiple UN SDGs.
For more perspective on the forces shaping our world – and a clearer understanding of their role in meeting the UN SDGs by 2030 – we invite you to take a look at the latest Supertrends report.
Infrastructure. Crafting a better tomorrow.
Infrastructure spending is an important aspect for many countries as they gear up for post-pandemic economic recovery. But the infrastructure of the future will need to be built not just for performance, but sustainability.
Climate change Supertrend
The momentum behind low-carbon and sustainable investing continues to build. Investors can focus in four potential growth areas, each critical to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the UN SDGs.