united kingdomen
Eliminating PFAS brings fresh opportunities for water investments

Eliminating PFAS brings fresh opportunities for water investments

03-06-2021 | Insight
  • Jindapa Wanner-Thavornsuk
    Jindapa
    Wanner-Thavornsuk
    Equity Analyst

Speed read

  • Some PFAS banned, others still used in industry and consumers products
  • Research still exploring link to health and environmental impacts
  • Regulation and clean up technologies creating tailwinds for water
PFAS are chemicals that may be in your backyard but also in your living room, kitchen, bathroom and tap water. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS for short) are not only everywhere, they also have earned the notorious moniker of “forever chemicals.” They don’t break down naturally and so accumulate in the environment and the human body.

PFAS is not a single chemical but rather a broad class of chemicals (more than 4,700) that are widely used in industrial processes and consumer goods. The two most notorious PFAS (PFOA and PFOS sub-groups) are confirmed to cause serious health issues and pose a risk to public health. For this reason, many countries have banned their production, but efforts are still needed to clean up contamination in water supplies and soils.

Increasing product sophistication means waste is becoming more complex (and dangerous)

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just recently issued a regulatory determination for PFOA and PFOS, an important step in establishing minimum allowable concentration levels in public water supplies. Similar measures are in effect across the EU and in other countries worldwide. But besides PFOA and PFOS, thousands of other PFAS are still produced and used across the global economy. The confirmed risks of just a few has put the entire group under closer scrutiny.

Given tighter regulatory environments and heightened public awareness, the market for treating and remediating PFAS pollutants already in water supplies is expected to swell. In March, the Biden administration announced more than a hundred billion USD in funding to build a resilient water infrastructure that includes decontaminating and monitoring PFAS in US soil and water supplies. Moving forward, investments are expected to expand for test-detection analytics, filtering systems, and safe waste disposal technologies in water and waste management utilities and across industries that use and produce PFAS.

Knowledge of the full impact of all PFAS is still unclear. What is clear is that society and the man-made products it consumes are growing ever more sophisticated. Increasing product sophistication means waste is becoming more complex (and dangerous). In future, the power and precision of basic services like supplying safe water and providing effective waste treatment must also increase to protect public health and natural resources.

Steady growth streams should lift investments across the water value chain in the next decade.

Logo

Disclaimer

Please read this important information before proceeding further. It contains legal and regulatory notices relevant to the information contained on this website.

The information contained in the Website is NOT FOR RETAIL CLIENTS - The information contained in the Website is solely intended for professional investors, defined as investors which (1) qualify as professional clients within the meaning of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), (2) have requested to be treated as professional clients within the meaning of the MiFID or (3) are authorized to receive such information under any other applicable laws. The value of the investments may fluctuate. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Neither Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. nor any of its affiliates guarantees the performance or the future returns of any investments. If the currency in which the past performance is displayed differs from the currency of the country in which you reside, then you should be aware that due to exchange rate fluctuations the performance shown may increase or decrease if converted into your local currency.

In the UK, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (“ROBECO”) only markets its funds to institutional clients and professional investors. Private investors seeking information about ROBECO should visit our corporate website www.robeco.com or contact their financial adviser. ROBECO will not be liable for any damages or losses suffered by private investors accessing these areas.

In the UK, ROBECO Funds has marketing approval for the funds listed on this website, all of which are UCITS funds. ROBECO is authorized by the AFM and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.

Many of the protections provided by the United Kingdom regulatory framework may not apply to investments in ROBECO Funds, including access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. No representation, warranty or undertaking is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information on this website.

If you are not an institutional client or professional investor you should therefore not proceed. By proceeding please note that we will be treating you as a professional client for regulatory purposes and you agree to be bound by our terms and conditions.

If you do not accept these terms and conditions, as well as the terms of use of the website, please do not continue to use or access any pages on this website.

I Disagree