«The European green bonds are a step in the right direction because with the taxonomy we are starting to work on the rules of the sector. Europe has an obvious primacy, it is the most sustainable continent in the world, but we must think that it is a very long journey. Moreover, public money has often been misused for environmental purposes, in this sense the Green Deal is the best exercise I have seen done. However, the ex post control of how the capital raised for these environmental projects is used will be very important. Up to now, in fact, the link between green bonds and sustainable investments is very opaque ». Nino Tronchetti Provera, founder and managing partner of Ambienta, believes that Europe is moving in the right direction on the issue of environmental sustainability. Also because the issue of green investments is becoming more and more central for all investment asset classes.
“On a global level, there is great interest from investors in assets linked to sustainable transition, also because it is now understood that this is a profound and non-reversible industrial phenomenon. Precisely because of this question, however, there is now a green bubble, comparable to that of the tech of the early 2000s “underlines Tronchetti Provera, who adds:”Ambienta has set up a long-short fund which today exceeds 600 million dollars, even to take short positions on assets that we believe have valuations that do not match the underlying. The market, in fact, is rewarding companies that make themselves attractive through green washing, but we, who have the skills to evaluate them, sell them short. In digital, the same thing happened, but then the investors clarified ».
The demonstration of a beginning of selection in green investments can be found with the analysis of the S&P Global Clean energy index, which after reaching the maximum of the last 10 years in January 2021, is now traveling at the levels of a year ago. «Two numbers can clarify this evolution. Il Clean energy index in the course of 2021 it registered negative returns for 25%. On the contrary, if we look at the Ambienta portfolio dedicated to sustainability as a whole, we have a return of + 20% on the long part. There is a real economy that is going in a certain direction, then there is a need for education on the markets that can allow us to make the necessary distinctions ”, emphasizes the managing partner of Ambienta.
From stock market prices to the real economy. The sector is reacting to the crisis following the pandemic and this is evidenced by the income statements of individual companies. “Ambienta in private equity has a portfolio of 12 platform companies, which have a total of more than 50 factories, 3,500 people and nearly one billion in turnover. A portfolio that represents a mix of industrial activities and which in 2020 recorded a decline of less than 3% in business volumes, despite the fact that a third of the factories were closed due to the pandemic for several weeks. At the end of 2021 compared to the end of 2019, the gross profitability of our portfolio will have grown by more than 15%. The pandemic has not had negative impacts on the companies in which we have invested, because the trend of sustainability is also able to overcome the effects of the post-Covid crisis “.
Private equity has the potential to have a significant impact in this sector, where assets under management today have tripled between 2010 and 2020 and are expected to double further by 2025, to exceed $ 9 trillion, according to Prequin.