Water Risk: Single Largest Risk Threatening People, Planet and Profit

Let me begin by asserting that SRI and ESG will escalate to the forefront of global thinking, speaking, doing and capital. Both represent the sole solution to save people, planet and profit. And if you do not know Richard L. Sandor yet, I encourage you to look him up: “Sandor is known for asserting that the next financial revolution will be in the convergence of the financial markets and the environment.” He is often credited for founding the field of environmental Finance. His first book, Good Derivatives: A Story of Financial and Environmental Innovation, was published by John Wiley & Sons in April 2012. My own particular dedication is to water security, a sector that I am immersed in. Once I discovered the gravity of water risk it became a calling that burgeoned into a passion.

Water Risk

Physical and financial water risks are the greatest threats to people, planet and profit. By 2025, $145 Trillion in assets under management are either directly or indirectly exposed to financial water risk. Financial water risks are increasingly material. Climate change and other drivers are turning water into a scarce commodity, increasing competition for available resources and making protection of water quality more vital than ever. These risks have to become an integral part of investor research and risk management processes and daily financial decisions. Otherwise, investors will be blind to a risk that is only continuing to grow. Asset managers require transparency to make decisions. Typically, water risk transparency is based on share pricing, curated corporate financial accounting and voluntary disclosures of environmental risk attributes. Indexing water risk allows the asset manager to extract a probabilistic financial indicator of corporate and portfolio risk to facilitate allocation decisions. Corporate water risk assessments influence or modify financial projections or their weighted average cost of capital assumptions. Scenario analysis modeling determines how much the market cap of companies would be impacted if they had to absorb more of the costs of treating their wastewater discharges, especially as drought intensifies and communities and regulators become less tolerant of water use and pollution. Hence a deeper understanding of the probability of large financial losses due to strategic risks related to water, such as not being able to grow revenue, access new markets, or develop new facilities is imperative.

Source: Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas from World Resources Institute,  https://www.wri.org/resources/maps/aqueduct-water-risk-atlas

Water Security

Water security is the single largest investment opportunity. It is the foundation for healthy people, planet and profit. Water security investments ensure social and environmental returns, and financial outperformance. In a water-secure world: Investors, companies and cities understand that water is an essential and fundamental factor in practically all economic activities. They recognize its crucial role in mitigating and adapting to climate change and take transformative steps to increase its security. There is equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, hygiene and sanitation for all, in line with the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6. This requires significant and sustained investment in water infrastructure to secure future water supply.

Water Risk Index

LIMEYARD TSC Water Risk Index is a new benchmark index designed to inform asset owners and investment managers of the water risk to equities in their financial portfolios. Rather than forcing asset managers to make their own interpretations of operational reports and resource management scenarios, the index translates the key metrics of water risk into financial measures that can be accurately and effectively incorporated into financial models. Professor Peter Adriaens of Equarius Risk Analytics LLC, Ann Arbor, Michigan invented the underlying algorithm and waterBeta. Equarius Risk Analytics is a data solutions provider focused on financial risk management in portfolios with assets exposed to water, with virtually every company and security being directly or indirectly affected by financial water risk. LIMEYARD, Zurich is a proprietary and non-proprietary benchmark provider, delivering rule-based, compliant traditional and smart-beta investable solutions to institutions on the sell and buy sides. First TSC Water Risk Index US50 publishes November 2018 followed by US500, EURO 600 and an APAC index version. The LIMEYARD TSC Water Risk Index family will eventually cover the financial water risk performance of large- and mid-cap stocks across 23 developed markets with more than 1,600 constituents and approximately 85 percent of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.

Water Security Fund

TSC Water Security Fund is a global fund family venture to advance a water-secure world while capturing sustainable alpha and social and environmental returns. First UCITS ETF and UCITS vehicles launch 1/2019 ex London and Luxembourg, the latter representing the leading global hub for sustainable finance. TSC Water Security Fund UCITS ETF lists on London, Milan, Frankfurt and Amsterdam stock exchanges. Europe has historically embraced SRI, ESG and sustainable finance with the Nordic countries and their large pension funds being leaders of sustainable and responsible investing.

A Water Secure Future

Thomas Schumann Capital (TSC) is the sponsor of both index and fund family. TSC’s mission is to serve 7 billion humans and $145 Trillion in global assets under management by 2025 by advancing a water-secure world. Today’s investors aren’t just focused on profit, they want to know about impact also. Ultimately, we want to capture and protect alpha, reduce volatility, create long-term capital appreciation, and social and environmental returns. Our planet is facing a colossal problem; we hope to help turn the tide.


Article by Thomas Schumann, founder of Thomas Schumann Capital, which provides financial products and services to public, private and philanthropic capital to advance a water-secure world. TSC embraces social and environmental impact and responsibility, and financial outperformance. A thought leader and expert in the water space, Thomas is a truly global seasoned business/finance executive with an extensive global network of water investment and water industry experts, possessing information capital in the global finance/investment sector specifically relating to water risk/water security.

Thomas loves trail running in the Santa Monica Mountains, travel, meaningful connections with people, and acting as an agent of positive, global change. Thomas values “Spirit, People, Planet and Profit”, in exactly that priority.

Additional Articles, Energy & Climate, Impact Investing, Sustainable Business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *