Sustainable Investments

Für die ACATIS Fair Value Fonds werden Unternehmen ausgesucht, die Risiken verhindern, verantwortlich wirtschaften, nachhaltige Chancen nutzen und damit die 2015 von der UN verabschiedeten 17 nachhaltigen Entwicklungsziele, die Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), erfüllen.

The companies selected for the ACATIS Fair Value funds prevent risks, conduct their business in a responsible manner, take advantage of sustainable opportunities and thus meet the 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) that were adopted by the UN in 2015.

The 17 SDGs are a strategy for the world, and 193 countries have committed to implement them by 2030. The targets include

Target No. 1 - No poverty:
The aim is to eliminate extreme poverty in the world, establish social security systems or guarantee equal rights to economic resources.

Target No. 2 - No hunger:
All countries aim to end hunger and malnutrition by doubling agricultural productivity or preventing trade restrictions in global agricultural markets.

Target No. 7 - Affordable and clean energy:
Everyone has a right to affordable and reliable energy. The share of renewable energy is supposed to be increased.

Target No. 14 - Life under water:
We need the oceans to live. Plastic waste in the Far East is considered a problem.

Therefore, the sustainability screening for the ACATIS Fair Value funds takes into account both ESG and SDG criteria, which is different from the other approaches. ESG means that companies are assessed according to the categories Environment (E), Social (S) and Governance (G). For the SDGs, we measure the revenue portion of the product or service revenues that contribute towards reaching the SDG targets.

Sustainable investments have become a long-term trend and have established themselves as a separate asset class. Using our innovative sustainability approach, we focus on companies that have a positive impact for a world that is sustainable and worth living in.

News on sustainability and exclusion criteria

Exclusion June 2022

The French company operates care facilities, rehabilitation centres for seniors, assisted living and outpatient care services in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In Germany alone, it is present with more than 200 inpatient and outpatient facilities. Korian no longer meets our ESG requirements and was therefore excluded from the universe and sold from the portfolios.

Exclusion June 2022

Mercedes Benz Group excluded because of arms interests
Mercedes-Benz has held a 15% stake in the Russian vehicle manufacturer KAMAZ since 2008. Among other things, KAMAZ produces military vehicles. In March 2022, new research led to the conclusion that the carrier platforms of Kamaz vehicles are used for cluster bombs, which subsequently leads to a violation of the Mercedes Benz Group under the criterion "financing of controversial weapons". 
The new findings come, among other things, from non-corporate secondary sources, which is why it has so far been very difficult to prove involvement in a valid manner.
Although Mercedes would like to sell its share in KAMAZ, this has not yet been done. Accordingly, Mercedes is excluded from the ACATIS Fair Value Universe in the evaluation. Although we were and are not invested in Mercedes-Benz Group, the company is of general interest, especially in Germany.

Sustainability criteria January 2022

At the beginning of the year, we further tightened our sustainability process. We have significantly increased the minimum requirements for companies with regard to a good ESG rating, as well as the requirements for the Global Compact.

Exclusion March 2021
Nike was excluded from the universe and sold from the portfolios. The company received repeated entries for our sustainability criterion social standards in the supply chain. The company is accused of contracting Chinese factories that use forced labour programs directed against members of the Uighur minority. If a company has three entries for this criterion, it is excluded from the ACATIS Fair Value universe.

New sustainability criterion February 2021
Since February 2021, companies that are active in oil and gas production or that have participating interests in this area have been excluded from the ACATIS Fair Value fund universe. We have identified 390 companies in this segment. Of these, 330 had already been excluded according to our strict ESG and SDG criteria. The addition of the new exclusion criterion rounds off the issue of fossil fuels in the sustainability process.

Exclusion October 2020

Trust is a precious good and an essential secondary criterion for each equity investment. We have firmly integrated the principles of good business management in the sustainability approach (with the help of the ESG assessment) and in the investment process (under the item management quality). Even if the many allegations raised by the short seller attack turn out to be unfounded, questions remain with regard to corporate governance. Until now, Grenke has failed to clarify whether CTP Handels- und Beteiligungsgesellschaft, with which Grenke AG has had business dealings in the past, has been connected to Mr. Grenke for some time already. The explanations that were offered during a conference call were neither cogent nor clear, but rather more evasive. We also were not impressed by the fact that a telephone call with the CFO was not promptly arranged following our request.  Many times, the quality of an independent management team is only revealed during a crisis. It was not an easy decision for us, but after consulting with and receiving the approval of our sustainability advisory board, we decided that we no longer wished to be a Grenke shareholder, particularly given our growing focus on sustainability. Grenke was excluded from the ACATIS Fair Value universe and the titles were sold from the portfolios.

New sustainability criterion January 2020
Since the beginning of January 2020, our sustainability research agency imug Vigeo Eiris has been analysing our universe using the new exclusion criterion “Fracking”: Operators and suppliers of machines and chemicals that are used to produce oil and gas through fracking are now excluded. Currently, this applies to 190 companies in our global universe, of which 80 were already excluded based on our ESG and SDG ratings. Over 60 new companies were added by the rating agencies. The downgrade to exclusion affects approximately 40 companies in the current universe. No titles had to be sold from the portfolio. Most of the excluded companies are from the US and Canada.

Exclusion December 2019 and M3 had to be excluded from the universe and sold because their ESG score was too low.
A participating interest by Brookfield Asset Management and Brookfield Business Partners breaches one of the ACATIS Fair Value exclusion criteria. As a result, both companies are excluded from the universe and are sold from the portfolio. 

Exclusion July 2019
SFC Energy AG is a leading provider of direct methanol and hydrogen fuel cells. Since its sales with the military are now well above our tolerance level, the companies had to be excluded from our universe and the title was sold from the portfolio.

Extended sustainability approach April 2019
A change in perspective has taken place in our ACATIS Fair Value sustainability approach. Now, the 17 sustainability targets of the UN (Sustainable Development Goals; SDG) are also integrated as future-oriented criteria filters, in addition to the exclusion and ESG criteria. We check whether the company's business activities involving products and services (Sustainable Goods and Services; SGS) make a positive contribution to achieving the SDGs.

Exclusion January 2019
Alphabet and Visa are excluded from the universe and sold from the portfolio due to breaches against the ACATIS Fair Value exclusion criteria. A total of 75 controversies have been entered for Alphabet, of which 26 are deemed serious. While this number drops to seven for Visa, four of these are nevertheless serious and another eight are related to corruption and preventing competition.

Exclusion April 2017
BMW was excluded from the universe and sold from the portfolio after an Indian company that supplies a Chinese supplier to BMW illegally mined mica and employed child labour. There were also deaths in this mine.

New sustainability criteria June 2016
Our sustainability research agency imug/EIRIS has supplied two new exclusion criteria for our universe since the beginning of June 2016: Effective immediately, companies active in “oil from tar sands and shale” and “power plant coal” are excluded from the ACATIS Fair Value universe. Both of the new exclusion criteria are among the world's largest producers of CO2 and those responsible for environmental destruction. The extraction of oil from less efficient tar sands and shale becomes more lucrative as oil prices rise. Surface mining does enormous damage to nature, besides visibly and drastically contaminating the water while also polluting the soil with chemicals and the air with aerosols.

Energy production from coal results in significant and noticeable air pollution, particularly in developing countries and emerging economies that do not have the requisite environmental regulations; this pollution has a direct effect on people’s health, their food supply and the global climate.

Many of these titles were already excluded from our universe as they did not generate the required positive criteria for our sustainability screening process. Now, additional companies such as Anglo American (UK), Consol Energy, Teck Resources, TransAlta, Whitehaven Coal or Scouth32 are also excluded.

Exclusion November 2016:
Ross Stores - Convention Watch for exclusion criteria child labour in the supply chain.

Exclusion June 2016:
Exclusion Turkey
Turkey is excluded from the sustainability universe due to its suspension of the European Convention on Human Rights and the present serious threat to human rights in the country (e.g. great restrictions on press freedom, violation of the right to freedom and property, right to a fair trial etc.).
Exclusion Volkswagen AG
After the company used software manipulation to ensure its engines would achieve the required pollutant levels, which had the effect of harming and deceiving the environment and people, and because company management has been very slow to address this issue, the sustainability advisory board has decided to exclude Volkswagen AG from the sustainability universe.

Exclusion May 2016:
Inpex - Breach against the new exclusion criterion oil from tar sands and shale.

Exclusion October 2015:
Samsung - Convention Watch for the exclusion criterion child labour
Fibria Celulose - Convention Watch for the exclusion criterion green genetic engineering.

Exclusion September 2015:
Microsoft - Convention Watch entry for the exclusion criterion corruption
Fossil - Excluded because negative score is too high.
Medivation - Excluded because negative score is too high.

November 2013: 
Berkshire Hathaway is removed from the Fair Value universe: The company exceeded the negative score in our sustainability rating following the takeover of PVC manufacturer Lubrizol. PVC contains chlorine chemicals, and this sector has been classified as a critical industry sector for the ACATIS Fair Value funds. Berkshire Hathaway was sold.

October 2013: 
Apple is removed from the Fair Value universe: Our sustainability advisory board conducted a review following consistently negative media reports, and it decided that workplace grievances in the supply chain must be attributed to Apple. As a result, Apple can no longer be considered an investment candidate for our sustainability equity fund and had to be sold.