Season 3, Post 22: The future is multi-coloured (and made of many materials)

Helping to protect the planet is top of mind for an increasing number of companies, individuals and investors. It was therefore both pleasing and eye-catching…

Season 3, Post 22: The future is multi-coloured (and made of many materials)

Helping to protect the planet is top of mind for an increasing number of companies, individuals and investors. It was therefore both pleasing and eye-catching to read about three recent innovations that speak explicitly to this theme.

First up, Pandora, the world’s largest jeweller, announced that it will cease to use mined diamonds in its products. Instead, its rings, bracelets, necklaces and the like will be made from lab-created diamonds. Beyond the humanitarian and environmental benefits, Pandora says that the cost could be one-third lower when diamonds are produced in the lab. Moreover, they are “identical” in terms of optical, chemical, thermal and physical qualities. The products are already on sale in the UK and are set to launch globally over the course of the next year. During 2022, Pandora says it diamonds are expected to be made using 100% renewable energy. 

Just as the traffic in diamonds often evokes strong emotions, readers may be interested to read that the most trafficked wild product in the world is neither ivory nor rhino horn. In fact, it is rosewood. The tree has become increasingly endangered as demand for furniture made from it has led to the desecration of forests in some countries. The good news is that a solution is at hand: via 3D printing, wood can be ‘printed’ with a grain that is able to mimic any type of tree. The grain in question is developed using wood by-products and effectively rebuilds a tree-equivalent bottom-up. The technology has been developed by a start-up called Forust but is being rolled out by 3D-printing business Desktop Metal. We have made the case for 3D-printing in the past and may return to the topic in more detail later this year. 

Finally we saved arguably the best story until last. Many of us (including your author) are missing foreign holidays and where better to visit in spring than Seville, in southern Spain? The city is famous for its eponymous oranges. Seville counts close to 50,000 trees which grow them. Beyond the pleasing sight and smell, the fallen oranges constitute a major problem, both as a hazard to pedestrians and for the council to dispose of. However, Emasesa, the local utility company is taking some of the oranges off the council’s hands. It is then fermenting them with the intention of using the energy produced from this chemical process to generate green (or might one want to say ‘orange’?) electricity. If successful, all the city’s oranges may be recycled next year. The future looks bright(ly coloured)...

3 June 2021

​​​​​​​The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. The author of this piece has no personal direct investment in the business. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.

Alex Gunz, Fund Manager


The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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