Three sustainable global equities with Anthony Doyle
Firetrail's head of investment strategy talks through his global equity picks in the sustainable space.
Lewis Jackson: Hello, we're on the sidelines of the Morningstar Advisor Conference. I'm here with Anthony Doyle, Head of Investment Strategy at Firetrail.
Now, Anthony, you have three names, global equities in the sustainable space, you have to talk us through. The first was renewable diesel, not something I'm really familiar with. Talk through that.
Anthony Doyle: No, exactly. So, the Firetrail S3 Global Opportunities Fund really looking for companies with the sustainable edge, both current and future leaders that are contributing to positive change. So, we thought, right, we like the energy complex, we think that oil prices are moving higher. How can we get exposure to that dynamic via a company that is a lot more sustainable than a fossil fuel producer? So, we scoured the globe, and our analysts found a company named Darling Ingredients.
So, what Darling does? It's the leader in producing renewable diesel, two words you don't hear put together very often. So, essentially, what Darling does is take used cooking oil or offcuts from animals in terms of meat and convert it into renewable diesel, a 100% substitute for diesel. So, it can run in all the existing infrastructure. You can put it in your Toyota Hilux Ute, the 2.8-liter diesel fuel injected. So, what matters for Darling is, firstly, this huge obviously demand and supply that's coming on stream for renewable diesel for those companies that want to lower their carbon footprint like a transport logistics company, for example, even the airlines want to reduce their carbon footprint, but also getting your hands on that used cooking oil, so renewable diesel made out of used cooking oil. Darling actually has 40% of the feedstocks with relationships with restaurants to go in and extract it and convert that used cooking oil into a sustainable and renewable energy source. Very correlated to traditional oil prices, and it's actually been one of the best contributors in our fund over the last six months.
Jackson: Fantastic. And the second name you talk about is timber REIT, something about the largest forest owner in the United States. So, talk me through that.
Doyle: Yeah. So, Weyerhaeuser is a real growth opportunity for us. So, Weyerhaeuser is actually the largest private landowner of forests in the United States. 11 million acres, which is about 1.5 times the size of Tasmania. It also has on lease some 14 million acres of forests in Canada. And you probably know what it does. It cuts down some of those trees sustainably and in a renewable way. It plants over 150 million trees a year, plants far more trees than it cuts down. But obviously, it uses that lumber, that timber to produce houses, a renewable building material or renovations. So, we think that the U.S. housing market will slow. As we've seen interest rates rise, that will begin to bite. But we still think the lumber price will remain elevated. But the really exciting opportunity for Weyerhaeuser is those assets that it owns, those forests, are sucking in 35 million tons of carbon every year. So, it's a hugely carbon positive, and they're only now just exploring the opportunities to sell carbon credits into the infant U.S. carbon market, and it's an opportunity that we're working with Weyerhaeuser on. So, they say you don't – you can't make money – money doesn't grow on trees, but you can make a lot of money out of trees, either selling carbon credits, very high-quality carbon credits, or leasing the land underneath the trees for carbon capture and carbon storage. So, great opportunity. A growth company for us.
Jackson: Okay. Fantastic. Now, the third one now linked to electric vehicles, a copper miner, something people are probably a little bit more familiar with. Talk us through this company and copper prices in general right now.
Doyle: So, the Firetrail S3 Global Opportunities Fund, we're finding opportunities across value, growth, there's no style bias, but we own heavy carbon emitting companies, low carbon emitting companies. Importantly, our portfolio has a 30% less carbon footprint than the MSCI World on a like-for-like basis. So, there's no decarbonization without copper. So, we own Antofagasta, U.K.-listed as you mentioned. Antofagasta really best-in-class, long mine lives, good relationships with local communities, investing heavily in desalination plants, so not using fresh water in their mining operations, but pumping that from the sea and converting it via desalination plants.
Jackson: And that matters because Chile and Peru, there's is not that much fresh water.
Doyle: Absolutely, absolutely. And obviously, you don't have an impact on local communities by extracting that water for use in a heavy usage mining or a mine. Also, Antofagasta has committed to running its operations via renewable energy sources as well within the next five years. So, again, another great – a great company that we hold within the Firetrail S3 Global Opportunities Fund, getting that exposure to copper, which is with the supply/demand dynamics we continue to expect will appreciate in coming years.
Jackson: Okay, fantastic. Anthony, thank you your time.
Doyle: Thanks for having me.
Jackson: I'm Lewis Jackson reporting for Morningstar. Thanks.