Circular

Like it or not, if the developed world wants to play its part in saving the planet things need to change. This is not just about scrolling Autotrader for an affordable EV or googling ‘domestic heat pump’ or ditching the big summer flyaway, it runs deeper. Consume less. Live more. And live a bit more local. Fresh air alone, though, will not keep a modern body politic in a state of happiness and the reality is consumption, egged on by syrupy buy-now/ pay-later type offers, remains at large. The statistics on all the making and shipping and throwing away in the context of carbon emissions and the need for a more frugal existence are enough to leave even an Amazon Prime member feeling bad. There is, though, potential. Potential to change. If humankind is going to continue to buy stuff, what it does with the stuff when it’s been used really matters. Enter the circular economy. The circular economy promotes a reuse, repair, remake, and recycle economic model that cuts down the use of virgin material consumption. It also reduces energy consumption and the associated billowing carbon emissions involved in making all the new stuff in the first place. It cuts pollution. It also creates employment and promotes economic growth potential. Analysis suggests that a more circular economy could avoid almost 45% of baseline emissions. Ka-BOOM. What’s not to like about that? And the analysis goes on. Take Europe. If the heavy-use sectors like cement, aluminium, steel and plastics all got a bit more ‘circular’, the climate minded bloc’s carbon footprint would more than halve. HALVE! The sad fact is that when slicing the income data, the top ten percent of earners account for nearly half of global emissions, and so we should all get in on the game. Who knows if all the numbers are accurate, but the message is clear: do something. And do something soon. One company at the nexus of the circular economy is Crown Holdings, a leading supplier of aluminium cans. The benefit of aluminium cans is that they can get used again and again and again. They are also light, so can get transported more easily. They are also sold out. Such is the demand from fizzy pop manufacturers and the like to cut down on plastic, demand in a once ex-growth category had been dialled up into the red zone. Q3 results spoke as much, but also revealed of a more inflationary cost line. Analysts doused their models with this news and muttered. The shares wheezed. Zoom out and whilst the S&P is trading on record multiples and priced for the monetary fairy-tale to continue, some stocks within it are not. Some stocks are cheap. Hyper growth might be in vogue, but with rates turning higher performance could well be coming from a very different cohort into the bowels of 2022. Given the uber-green circular credentials and cheap looking valuation, Crown Holdings could be one. As for those cost pressures, the vast majority are simply passed straight on through.