Adam Robbins, Head of Business Development, Triodos Investment Management

Keep in mind that our commentary on the fund, as well as its past performance, is not a guarantee of what will happen in the future. It is also not financial advice – you should consider talking to a professional adviser if you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you.

These investments are designed to be held for the long term. Like all investments, your money is at risk – investments can go down as well as up, currency fluctuations can affect the value of your investment and you may not get back what you put in.

Equity Market Update

In the first quarter of the year equity markets rallied across the board, breaking all-time highs in most advanced economies.

Economic data kept painting a picture of resilience in the US economy, with unemployment remaining at low levels. In the eurozone, unemployment is similarly low, but growth and productivity figures are much weaker.

The UK economy, meanwhile, contracted in the last half of 2023 and kept signalling weakness throughout the first quarter of 2024. In Japan, strong economic performance coupled with above target inflation led to the first rate hike in 17 years, ending an era of negative interest rate policy.

Performance update

Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund achieved a return of 3.06% in the first quarter of 2024. This was lower than its benchmark of 6.9%.

The fund had a challenging start of the year in January. Particularly, investments in the renewable energy sector like TPI Composites, First Solar, Nordex, SolarEdge and Acciona Renovables continued to face pressure from declining power prices in Europe, rising interest rates, and negative sentiment from investors. But we remain committed to this segment as we see a strong impact narrative and signs of opportunities for long term growth. For example, in wind power, we’re seeing new orders signed at more favourable terms which could result in better profitability for companies in this segment.

The reporting season was positive for many companies held in the fund and this gave a boost to the February and March performance. Most companies were beating expectations and suggesting that there could be more growth this year. An example was Acuity Brands, which was the best performing stock during the first quarter. Also, First Solar, Knorr-Bremse, BE semiconductor, Strategic Education, Mueller Water, Gentex, KPN, Corbion and Badger Meter published solid results. Advanced Drainage was one of the best performers this quarter after it upgraded its full-year outlook.

The best performing stock of 2023, BE semiconductor, fell in March after a report that its newest machines might be used later than expected by some clients. This bad news negatively impacted the share price.



As of 31/03/2024


 1M3M1Y3Y avg5Y avgAll avg
Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund KR-cap4.72%3.06%0.44%-0.70%7.96%10.14%
Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund KR-dis4.73%3.07%0.43%-0.70%7.96%10.14%


Calendar year return

Triodos Pioneer Impact-Fund KR-cap4.63-8.740.5528.7628.3
Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund KR-dis4.62-8.730.5728.7728.3


The benchmark for this fund is the MSCI World Small & Mid Cap. Please remember that past performance isn't a guide to future returns.

You can find more performance figures, including a cumulative performance chart, on the Pioneer Impact Fund webpage.

Investments which contributed to performance

The fund benefited from the performance of two companies that could potentially be acquired. Paper packaging company DS Smith was approached by two peers for a take-over. Hearing aid company GN Store Nord saw its largest shareholder, Demant, increasing its equity stake, fuelling expectations for a full bid at some stage.

Wolfspeed performed poorly after a lower-than-expected next quarter guidance. However, we’re confident in the long-term prospects of this investment, as Wolfspeed is the leader in a relatively new technology (silicon carbide) and one of the most compelling narratives in semiconductors.

Also, Acciona Renovables underperformed due to pressure from continuing lower power prices. We recently met with this company and are reassured that the company will be doing more asset rotations that we consider positive for the share price.  

Changes to the portfolio

In February we added California Water Service Group. It is the third largest publicly traded water utility in the US, mainly providing drinking water to people in California. Being a water utility, this organisation fits well in the Renewable Resources theme. It also fits in with our Social Inclusion & Empowerment theme as the company provides safe, clean, and affordable drinking water.

We sold two investments: Power Integrations and Rohm.

Power Integrations was sold after we concluded that it did not meet our minimum standards. The company uses the Cayman Islands the primary jurisdiction where foreign earnings are derived and we consider this tax avoidance.

Rohm (a semiconductor company) was sold as we have other similar investments and consider Wolfspeed as a better alternative with a leading global market share in Silicon Carbide wafers.