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Orangutans spend most of their lives in the treetops of the jungles of Sumatra and Borneo. But today they're critically endangered, largely because millions of hectares of their habitats are being cleared to make way for palm oil plantations. The palm oil producers are under increasing pressure from consumers, NGOs and investors to lessen their environmental impact. And it's working.

From the jungles of Southeast Asia, we move to the steel mills of northern China, where the government is closing the least profitable and most polluting plants in part to reduce the thick toxic smog that can hang over the homes of hundreds of millions of people.

So what do these two stories of environment-related pressure mean for the industries in question? Will short-term pain bought on by external pressures lead to long-term gain for the companies - and investors - involved? And what might that mean for other sectors facing similar challenges?

In this podcast, Asia Editor Neil Gough talks to Fidelity's Forest Shultz, an equity Investment Analyst who focuses on metals and mining across Asia, and Minlin Lee, a Research Associate who covers equities including Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil producers.

Ways to listen

  • Search ‘Fidelity Answers’ on your favourite podcast app
  • Click here to go straight to the podcast in iTunes
  • Click here to listen to the podcast via the web

Also from our Fundamentals series:

Shipping is the lifeblood of the global economy but it's also one of the world's worst polluters. Of the entire global transport sector, shipping accounts for 90 per cent of its sulphur dioxide emissions, a gas with grave environmental impacts: deforestation, acidic rivers, and poisoned wildlife. In an effort to tackle the problem the UN's International Maritime Organisation plans to introduce new caps to further restrict the amount of sulphur dioxide generated by commercial shipping. The regulatory impact is likely to be immense and not just for the sector - manufacturers, retailers, consumers, even fuel prices themselves.

In this podcast, Editor in Chief Richard Edgar talks to two of Fidelity's senior analysts about the forthcoming law: shipping credit analyst Jonathan Neve, and North America energy equity analyst Paul Gooden.

Neil Gough

Neil Gough

Asia Editor

Forest Shultz

Forest Shultz

Minlin Lee

Minlin Lee

Research Associate