New water index tracks irrigation and agtech companies

The new index tracks water companies including Jain Irrigation Systems, Trimble Navigation and Novozymes.

Calvert Investments has launched the Calvert Global Water Research Index (CALH2O)

The new index tracks water companies including “water innovators”, such as Jain Irrigation Systems, precision irrigation company Trimble Navigation and biotech firm Novozymes, which is working on saving water using plant enzymes.

Water technology providers including Pentair, which makes equipment for urban aquaculture, agricultural irrigation and the food and beverage processing industry, are also tracked.

The index also includes water utilities such as Veolia Environment, American Water Works Company and United Utilities. These companies provide farmland irrigation and selling biosolids for use in fertiliser in non-food agriculture.

Calvert says that its index trackes a greater variety and number of companies than similar water indices, lowering the risk represented in the index. Calvert did not respond to Agri Investor‘s questions on whether these were given equal weightings, or how many holdings are tracked.

Other water indices include the World Water indices, which track the 20 largest companies in the fields of water utilities, water infrastructure and water treatment, according to Societe Generale Index. The S&P Global Water Index tracks 50 water-related companies, while the S-Network Global Water Index tracks 60.

Calvert is also switching strategy for its water mutual fund, Calvert Global Water Fund, to tracking the performance of the new index.

In the year ending 2016, the $426 million Calvert Water Fund’s average annual total returns have fallen by 5.62 percent, but its overall returns are 4.36 percent since the fund’s inception in 2008. Many of the companies cited by a spokeswoman to be included on the index are also included in the fund.

Calvert Investments has investments in seven funds, including the biotech-focused UV Ventures III,  SJF Ventures Fund III, and two Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) vehicles, SEAF India International Growth Fund and SEAF Central and Eastern European Growth Fund. SJF Ventures has current investments in food companies including Aseptia, Rustic Crust and egg and poultry provider Vital Farms.