Stockholm (NordSIP) – This week, three of the largest pension funds in Denmark (PensionDanmark, PKA and Laegernes Pension) launched the “Africa Infrastructure Fund I”, which will be managed by private equity firm AP Møller Capital. The fund, with an initial investment of €468 million, will make investments in sustainable transport and energy in Africa over ten years. Its objective is a target of $1bn in Danish and foreign investments over the next 12 months (NordSIP).
Heard on E-Street
The battle of interpretations rages on as to whether SRI causes financial returns to suffer: “The Price of Taste for Socially Responsible Investment”, a joint study by researchers from the Universities of Rome and Groningen, has found evidence that investor preference for SRI led to a considerable 4.8% underperformance annually in its sample companies (NordSIP). Conversely, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing published a survey showing a stronger-than-ever interest in sustainable investing among active individual investors. Meanwhile, Janet Brown argues against the biggest “myth of sustainable investment” – the misconception that performance suffers – citing mainly positive findings from other academic studies and real-world experience (Triplepundit.com).
Elsewhere, Forbes’ Devin Thorpe asks what the fine line is on measuring impact investments – how much impact reporting from ventures is required without smothering startups? (Bloomberg/Forbes), while Rebecca Lake suggests three ways for millennials to build a socially responsible portfolio in tune with their social values (U.S. News & World Report).
Quote of the Week
“Without good data as a basis, Paris essentially collapses. It just becomes a talkfest without much progress” – Professor Glen Peters, of the Centre for International Climate Research, cited in a BBC News investigation finding that potent, climate-warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere without being recorded in official inventories (BBC News).
Question of the Week
Which European country was recently singled out by the PRI as less advanced on ESG integration than its neighbours?
Famous Last Words
2016 was the Earth’s warmest year on record, according to the international climate report issued this week by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which documents various record-breaking global warming trends during last year (Politico). Despite this not mattering much to Donald Trump, whose administration has told the U.S. Department of Agriculture to avoid using the term “climate change” in its work (Guardian), there are signs the hapless U.S. president is inadvertently driving interest in ESG to ever higher levels (Morningstar/NordSIP).
Wishing you a happy weekend,
Your NordSIP team
Image: (c) NosorogUA-shutterstock