Have we got Christmas views for you?


Christmas starts for the bah-humbug amongst us in October by complaining that shops are full of “Yuletide fare,” but, before you know, it is a week away and maybe a bit of preparation might have been rather useful!

I, like many of us, have had a long stint since the summer and am looking forward to rest and relaxation with my family and catching up with friends, I am pleased to say not before, I nip off with youngest son for a week on the slopes. So, this is my final email sent from office in 2023.

During 2023 we have been looking increasingly at Sustainability as a sector, and last month set about doing a sector review. Getting preprepared Sustainability market/valuation data is difficult as it is far from clear which companies to include.  We have, therefore, pulled together listed metrics and reviewed private company transaction data from a wide range of the more traditional market sectors where we think there is a proper sustainability angle. I hope you find our market overview interesting.

You may remember that, a few months ago, we asked business owners, managers, and investors for their real views on sustainability, and whether they see it becoming integral to their businesses and, ultimately, affecting company valuations.   We had a great response, with all sectors well represented and nearly 25% of these being private equity firms – so you can see what the investors think, too.  Thank you again to all that took part.  The feedback was really interesting, it is clear that not everyone is thinking the same way.

At the conclusion of COP28 on Wednesday, countries from around the world agreed for the first time on the need to “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems”. As we have seen during the last six months, rhetoric is one thing, but even laws on hitting net zero – or the transition from oil powered cars by, say, 2030  – can be changed by politicians with their eyes on an impending election/acceptance of the reality (you chose the narrative here).  At the end of the day, if we are to leave a planet fit for future generations, we will need to make bold decisions individually, corporately and globally.

The message of Christmas is of hope even in dark days, and there is no doubt we live in dark days. So, let us at Polestar wish you a joyful and relaxing holiday, so we call return in 2024 with hope and energy.

By Charles Whelan on 19/12/2023