The sustainable investor for a changing world

World Water Day 2021


Every year on the 22nd March, the United Nations’ World Water Day brings together governments, companies and individuals around the world to celebrate water and promote awareness of the global water crisis.

World Water Day 2021 focuses on the value of water. Not in monetary terms, but its huge role in households, culture, agriculture, business and the natural environment.

A better understanding of these complex relationships should help us to address the water crisis.


Globally, there is an ever-increasing imbalance between clean water supply and demand.

Rising populations are putting our freshwater resources under considerable strain. According to the UN, the global population is expected to increase from around 7 billion to an estimated 9 billion by 2050.1

Meanwhile, the global volume of fresh water remains static, if not dwindling. Rising temperatures fuelled by global warming are accelerating glacial ice melt, a key source of fresh water, and, in the second half of this century, annual rainfall is forecast to be up to 40% lower than current levels.2

Quality is another risk. Increasing pollution is degrading both freshwater and coastal aquatic ecosystems. Many industries, some of them heavy polluters, have moved from developed countries to emerging-market economies, often with inferior environmental and labour standards. For instance, more than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated, polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas.3

If we do not act immediately and radically to promote better governance and responsible consumption of water, we will face a serious social and economic challenge.


At BNP Paribas Asset Management, we want to improve the environmental impact of our investments and use them as a force for good. This means we:

  • Integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations across all our funds
  • Practice stewardship through shareholder engagement and public policy advocacy activities
  • Apply responsible business conduct policies and product-based exclusions
  • Focus on key sustainability issues including energy, equality and the environment
  • Promote awareness about the role finance can play in achieving a more sustainable world


By allocating capital towards sustainable strategies or those that seek to effect change, investors can target attractive financial returns while making a positive contribution to the environment, society or both.

BNP Paribas Aqua BNP Paribas Global Environment
Capture compelling opportunities across the global water value chain.

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Target innovators in global resource efficiency and environmental markets.

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Aqua strategy Water: a portfolio staple? Sustainability Report
A video describing how we invest across the water value chain.

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Justin Winter, portfolio manager, on where we see opportunities.

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An in-depth update on our approach to sustainable investing.

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  1. United Nations, World population prospects, 2019
  2. United Nations, Water for a sustainable world, 2015
  3. UNESCO, World water assessment programme, 2017

The investments in the funds are subject to market fluctuations and the risks inherent in investments in securities. The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay.