Virtually all companies held in WHEB’s investment strategy have philanthropic programmes aimed at tackling poverty in their local communities and around the world. One example of this is Xylem’s Watermark programme which seeks to ‘provide and protect safe water resources for communities in need around the world and educate people about water issues’. The programme supports volunteer projects in Xylem’s local communities with 100,000 volunteer hours pledged for 2018 and $236k raised for local projects. The programme also works with six non-profit partners around the world. In 2018, the programme reached nearly 200,000 people around the world.

Royal DSM NV manufactures nutritional and pharmaceutical ingredients, and speciality chemicals and is in WHEB’s ‘Environmental Services’ investment theme. The company has developed a portfolio of products to address the nutritional requirements of a variety of the world’s most at-risk target populations. These include: micronutrient powders specifically for infants as well as supplements for children and adults, fortified rice kernels and other staple foods to increase the nutritional value of the most commonly eaten and affordable foods, and micronutrient blends for therapeutic and emergency foods.

In 2018 the company extended a partnership developing fortified nutrition products with the World Food Programme for another three years reaching more than 34 million people annually.
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At the end of 2018, 29% of WHEB’s investment strategy was invested in companies supporting SDG 3 ‘Good Health and Well-being’. One of these companies is Varian Medical Systems. Varian manufactures software and hardware to treat cancer. These include radiotherapy machines as well as proton therapy machines that are particularly effective in treating childhood cancers.

In 2017, the ‘Halcyon’ radiotherapy machine was launched which was specifically designed to provide highly efficient treatment for hospitals and clinics anywhere in the world. As well as being more energy efficient, approximately 40% of total orders have been from emerging markets such as Brazil, Morocco, China, India and South Africa. The machine is particularly well-suited to resource-limited settings in these markets and many of the machines are going to hospitals for use on patients who have not had access to radiotherapy before.
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WHEB’s investment strategy currently has just one investment in our ‘Education’ investment theme representing 2% of the total strategy.

The investment is in Grand Canyon Education which provides a variety of services to support university education. The business is located in Arizona in the United States and primarily supports Grand Canyon University with 19,000 places on campus and a further 70,000 enrolled on-line. The university is very popular with lower income groups having kept tuition fees flat for the last ten years. The quality of the education is nonetheless very good with no academic programmes failing the US’s gainful employment guidelines and course completion rates of >90%.
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Orpea is a French-headquartered company that operates nursing homes for the elderly, post-acute and psychiatric clinics mainly across continental Europe. In 2018 the company won an award for its approach to diversity in senior management. Over the past five years the company has increased the proportion of women on the company’s Board from 25% to 45%. Women make up 83% of the company’s employees and 66% of senior managers. 37% of the Executive Committee are women and the male/female salary equality indicator is 84/100*.

* - For more information on the male/female salary equality indicator please see
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10% of the strategy is invested in companies that directly support SDG 6 ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’.

One of the companies in the strategy is China Water Affairs which is involved in supplying tap water in the People’s Republic of China. The company is growing rapidly in response to the Government’s push to provide potable water across the country. China Water Affairs currently provides tap water across 50 Chinese cities and has a target to double their city coverage and capacity by 2020.
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Approximately 8% of WHEB’s strategy is invested in companies that support SDG 7 ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’.

Companies that support SDG 7 include manufacturers and operators of renewable energy equipment such as TPI Composites. TPI Composites is a specialised manufacturer of composite materials primarily for the wind turbine industry. The company is an outsourced manufacturer of wind turbine blades and is also building capacity in the US to manufacture lightweight body parts for electric buses.
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In 2018, WHEB’s investment strategy was invested in companies employing 2m employees, with 849 employees directly associated with WHEB’s level of investment.

WHEB’s focus on high quality businesses means that a high proportion of companies in the strategy are companies with a strong culture and high quality employee relations. One example is National Instruments, which develops software and hardware tools that are used to test and improve new products. National Instruments has been ranked among the Fortune Magazine’s ‘Best Companies to Work For’ in 15 out of the last 18 years.
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18% of WHEB’s investment strategy is invested in companies that support SDG 9 ‘Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

This goal is supported by companies that help to improve the energy and resource efficiency in manufacturing companies through more efficient and more automated equipment and processes. Companies like IPG Photonics support this goal through the sale of high-efficiency fibre lasers. Companies that provide environmental consulting and advice as well as companies that help make infrastructure and buildings safer are also considered to support SDG 9.
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Centene is a US company focused on providing managed healthcare services to clients in the US. The company focuses in particular on individuals and families who receive healthcare support through Government programmes principally Medicaid and Medicare. The company serves 12.3 million beneficiaries in the US focusing almost exclusively on poor and disadvantaged communities many of whom would not be able to access healthcare services without Centene’s presence in their community.
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26% of WHEB’s investment strategy is invested in companies that support SDG 11 ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’.

This includes companies that are helping to deliver low carbon logistics and transport such as the US business Aptiv plc. Aptiv is a manufacturer of vehicle components. The company provides products and services that support advanced safety features including automation and signal and power solutions used in hybrid and electric vehicles.
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Approximately 6% of WHEB’s investment strategy is invested in companies that support SDG 12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’.

This includes a variety of companies that make innovative materials with lower environmental impacts such as Lenzing. Lenzing is an Austrian business that makes clothing fibres out of cellulose derived from trees. Lenzing’s materials have a range of superior attributes including comfort and feel and have a significantly lower environmental impact than competing materials such as cotton.

The strategy invests in a range of other companies that support SDG 12 such as businesses that undertake safety testing for consumer products and that manage and recycle waste materials.
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8% of WHEB’s strategy is invested in companies providing products and services that directly increase the amount of renewable energy that is generated and sold around the world.

In addition, the strategy is also invested in companies like DSM and Kingspan that, as part of RE100, have committed to sourcing 100% of their energy from renewable resources.

Another group of companies including Johnson Controls, Siemens-Gamesa, Suez and TPI Composites have signed the Paris Declaration in support of the Paris Agreement.

The strategy is also invested in companies like Stantec and Xylem that are helping the world adapt to climate change.
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Relatively few companies in the WHEB strategy have a direct relationship with the marine environment. This was a subject that we discussed at WHEB’s Independent Advisory Committee (see One company that does support cleaner and healthier oceans is Renishaw plc. which has supplied equipment to enable researchers to accurately assess the proportion of microplastics in oceanwater.
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The WHEB strategy is invested in two businesses which own and use wood in their production processes. Lenzing uses wood in the manufacture of low impact clothing fibres and Smurfit Kappa uses wood to supplement their recycled cardboard operations. Both companies use independent sustainability certification schemes to ensure their woodland is managed sustainably. Across the two companies 100% of all timber is formally certified as sustainably managed.
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The 2019 ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ list selected by the Ethisphere Institute cited 128 companies for their role in influencing and driving positive change in the business community and societies around the world. Of these companies, seven are companies that are held in WHEB’s investment strategy. These seven are Aptiv, Ecolab, Henry Schein, Johnson Controls, Premier, Rockwell Automation and TE Connectivity.
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Several of the companies that are held in WHEB’s investment strategy are themselves active supporters of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. For example US healthcare business CVS Health is actively exploring ways to align their strategy to support the SDGs. In their 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report they set out five goals that they believe they are actively supporting through their business operations and through the products and services that they sell.