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SDG 1 aims to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. Virtually all companies held in WHEB’s investment strategy have philanthropic programmes aimed at tackling poverty in their local communities and around the world.

Sonova, a company held in the strategy, develops manufactures and services a variety of hearing care solutions including hearing instruments and aids as well as cochlear implants. Untreated hearing loss among children can impede speech, cognitive development and school performance. This can make it difficult to find work in adult life, increasing the likelihood of children becoming trapped in a cycle of poverty and isolation.

In addition to offering products specifically designed for children, Sonova’s not-for-profit Hear the World Foundation focuses on increasing access to hearing care in low- and middle-income countries, especially for children. Launched in 2006, the Foundation provides funding, hearing technology and training to local professionals. Sonova has set a target to increase the number of people benefiting from the Hear the World Foundation’s work by 10% year-on-year and significantly exceeded this target in 2021/2022 – in part due to lower numbers in the preceding year due to the COVID pandemic.



HelloFresh is the leading supplier of fresh food meal kits to consumers in developed markets around the world. The meal kits use fresh ingredients in pre-measured quantities allowing for calorie control with the intention of supporting healthy eating. In addition to this, their supply model also offers up to one third less food waste than more traditional food supply models.

The company’s unique approach to supply chain management prioritises ingredients from suppliers that actively manage their environmental and social impacts through sustainable agriculture, fishing or chemical farming.

They also support a sustainable farming and forestry project in the Kasigau Corridor region of Kenya, which focuses on promoting sustainable agriculture for increased crop yields with local farmers.


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At the end of 2021, 34% of WHEB’s strategy was invested in companies supporting SDG 3 ‘Good Health and Well-being’.

One of these companies is CSL which develops medical products for serious and life-threatening diseases. This includes for the treatment of bleeding disorders, rare and serious infections and autoimmune diseases. CSL also manufactures vaccines and related products, including for flu and cervical cancer. In 2021 the company produced 130m influenza vaccines for use around the world and 50m COVID-19 vaccines. The company also works with the World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH), a not-for-profit global network aiming to improve diagnosis and access to care for patients in developing countries. CSL has committed to donate 50 million international units of product over a three year period.


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WHEB’s investment strategy currently has one investment in our ‘Education’ investment theme representing 3% of the total strategy.

The in Grand Canyon Education 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 since 2009. 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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Cooper is a global medical devices company that operates in two segments. Cooper Vision manufactures soft contact lenses, including a small but rapidly growing product suite to improve myopia in children. Cooper Surgical provides medical devices and procedure solutions that improve delivery in women’s healthcare including medical devices, diagnostic products, and surgical instruments and accessories used primarily by gynaecologists and obstetricians.

In 2021, Cooper Cos achieved 50% board gender diversity and improved gender equality year-on-year by increasing the proportion of women at all levels of seniority across the business.


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8% of the strategy is invested in companies that directly support SDG 6 ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’.

One example of this is Xylem which manufactures a range of pumps, filtration and testing and treatment equipment for the water industry. The company’s Watermark programme also seeks to ‘provide and protect safe water resources for communities in need around the world and educate people about water issues’.

In 2021, Xylem focused heavily on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) across its supply chain. Not only is this central to the company mission, but it is also a key component of business continuity and supply chain resilience for Xylem.

Since January 2020, more than 400 of Xylem’s suppliers (representing almost 35% of its supply base (by spend) have committed to the WASH4Work Program which ensures that every employee has access to safe WASH facilities at work.


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Approximately 4% of WHEB’s strategy is invested in companies that support SDG 7 ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’.

SolarEdge inverters and power optimisers maximise the energy output of a rooftop solar system compared to older-style string inverters. All of SolarEdge’s products are critical technologies for decarbonisation as Solar PV is a near-zero emission technology


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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 Autodesk which makes software enabling designers to factor in environmental criteria into their product designs. The company is certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ with 91% of employees saying it is a great place to work. In addition, in 2021 the company won Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index.


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23% 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 Daifuku support this goal through the sale of warehouse and factory automation equipment. 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.

Other companies in the strategy contributing to this SDG include A.O. Smith and Ansys. A.O. Smith’s products play a significant role in reducing the energy demand of buildings that is associated with heating and cleaning water, as well as filtering air. Ansys’ simulation software is an important tool in cost-efficient validation of designs.


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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 25.5 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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14% of WHEB’s investment strategy is invested in companies that support SDG 11 ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’.

SD11 is focused on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

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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Advanced Drainage Systems is a leading provider of stormwater management systems in the US. It is the leading manufacturer of high performance thermoplastic corrugated pipe, providing a comprehensive suite of water management products and superior drainage solutions for use in the underground construction and infrastructure marketplace. The company is the largest recycler of used plastics in the US. More than half of all polymer purchased by the company is recycled accounting for approximately 250,000 tonnes of plastic annually



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74% 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.

SDG13 is mainly focused on the public policy that is needed to tackle climate change. Several portfolio businesses including Autodesk, DSM, Ecolab, First Solar, and Infineon are supporters of RE100 a network of companies committed to sourcing renewable energy and supporting public policy to accelerate decarbonisation of the electricity system.


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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 http://www.whebgroup.com/media/2019/03/20190223-Summary-minutes.pdf).

Nonetheless, the marine environment is of increasing importance to Vestas Wind Systems as offshore wind becomes a more important part of their business. The installation of offshore wind farms can be damaging to the marine environment for example through physical disturbance caused by driving the turbine towers into the seabed.

However, there is evidence that once installed, offshore wind parks can benefit biodiversity by providing artificial reefs to which marine organisms can attach. Offshore wind parks then become de facto marine reserves because trawling and other activities are not allowed within the parks.


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The WHEB strategy is invested in one company that uses wood in their production processes. Smurfit Kappa, a manufacture of recycled cardboard packaging, uses wood to supplement their recycled cardboard operations. The company announced in 2020 that 99.8% of the virgin wood fibre that they produce or purchase is Chain of Custody certified under Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC) or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI).


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The 2021 ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ list selected by the Ethisphere Institute cited 136 companies for their role in influencing and driving positive change in the business community and societies around the world. Of these companies, five are companies that are held in WHEB’s investment strategy. These five are Aptiv, Ecolab, Linde, 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, Spriax-Sarco is an industrial engineering business with steam at the heart of it. Steam is a high efficiency, mission-critical tool for diverse and important industries. Its properties make it the preferred choice in a variety of applications, including electrical power generation, humidification, sterilisation, cleaning and cooling/refrigeration.

The company’s ‘One Planet’ strategy is aimed at ‘becoming a global leader in industrial sustainability’. Within this strategy, four areas of impact have been identified (Climate and environmental action; customer sustainability; resilient supply chains; Stronger communities), under each of which the most appropriate SDGs are selected.