October 2022 / INVESTMENT INSIGHTS
T. Rowe Price Global Impact Equity Fund Case Study: Mueller Water Products
Promoting Healthy Ecosystems
Global water use has increased by approximately 1% every year since the 1980s, primarily due to rising industrial and domestic demand, creating global pressure on supplies.1 It is estimated that leaks from pipes in the U.S. drinking water distribution system lead to a loss of 1.7 trillion gallons of drinking water and costs the nation approximately USD 2.6 billion annually.2 Implementing robust leak detection and repair programs in water delivery systems can help improve the sustainability of industrial and municipal usage and reduce stress on resources.
Mueller Water Products (Mueller) helps municipalities deliver clean water and reduce water waste. Mueller products include water and gas valves, fire hydrants, water metering solutions, leak detection, and pipe condition assessment systems. Mueller’s fire hydrants perform a critical safety and security function to help firefighters in times of emergency. We monitor the company’s revenue, less the exposure related to natural gas utilities (approximately 10%3), to assess impact.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI): Company revenues (excluding gas utility exposure), water saved
Five Dimensions of Impact
What: Improving water conservation through water treatment, distribution, and leakage detection solutions
How much: According to its 2021 ESG report, Mueller helped repair 250,000 pipes annually, monitored 3,200 miles of pipe globally, and shipped 3 million smart meters. Additionally, it supplied over 1 million fire hydrants in the last 10 years.
Contribution: Mueller’s EchoShore® products save approximately 675 million gallons of water per year. Mueller’s i2O Water, an advanced pressure management solution, has helped to reduce leakage by around 38% and burst frequency by 58%, helping to minimize waste and repair costs.5
Risks: Product issues and system glitches can lead to product quality and safety issues.
In our engagement with the company, we suggested that Mueller focuses on customer-focused impact goals in addition to existing operational ESG performance metrics. We were pleased that its 2021 ESG report included a goal to save 7.7 billion gallons of water loss by 2027 with its EchoShore® leak detection technology.
Note: T. Rowe Price uses a proprietary custom structure for impact pillar and sub-pillar classification.
This material is being furnished for general informational and/or marketing purposes only. The material does not constitute or undertake to give advice of any nature, including fiduciary investment advice, nor is it intended to serve as the primary basis for an investment decision. Prospective investors are recommended to seek independent legal, financial and tax advice before making any investment decision. T. Rowe Price group of companies including T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and/or its affiliates receive revenue from T. Rowe Price investment products and services. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The value of an investment and any income from it can go down as well as up. Investors may get back less than the amount invested.
The material does not constitute a distribution, an offer, an invitation, a personal or general recommendation or solicitation to sell or buy any securities in any jurisdiction or to conduct any particular investment activity. The material has not been reviewed by any regulatory authority in any jurisdiction.
Information and opinions presented have been obtained or derived from sources believed to be reliable and current; however, we cannot guarantee the sources' accuracy or completeness. There is no guarantee that any forecasts made will come to pass. The views contained herein are as of the date noted on the material and are subject to change without notice; these views may differ from those of other T. Rowe Price group companies and/or associates. Under no circumstances should the material, in whole or in part, be copied or redistributed without consent from T. Rowe Price.
The material is not intended for use by persons in jurisdictions which prohibit or restrict the distribution of the material and in certain countries the material is provided upon specific request.
It is not intended for distribution to retail investors in any jurisdiction.