Stockholm (NordSIP) – ‘Twas a week for Nordic accolades. The Swedish sustainable global equity fund Öhman Global Hållbar A from Öhman AM was awarded a five star appraisal from fund analyst Morningstar reflecting its placing in the top ten funds in its category over ten years (NordSIP), while the €1.2bn real estate holding company SPP Fastigheter and its management company Storebrand were awarded the “Green Star 2017”, the highest grade from GRESB, the real estate ESG benchmarking organisation (NordSIP).
Meanwhile, Denmark, Sweden and Finland topped the Center for Global Development think tank’s Commitment to Development Index 2017, which measures the impact of finance, environmental and other policies on helping developing nations (NordSIP). Denmark’s top ranking resulted from a combination of sound aid, security, finance and trade policies, while Sweden excelled in the environmental category of biodiversity and global climate, with Finland ranking first in finance due to its sustainable support to investment and transparency. But Norway surpassed its Nordic peers in the realm of foreign aid.
And RobecoSAM, the investment specialist focused exclusively on sustainability investing, together with S&P Dow Jones Indices announced the results of its annual DJSI Review based on detailed criteria on 20 different ESG categories. SEB was the only Nordic bank included in the DJSI World for the second consecutive year, while Denmark’s pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk was ejected from the DJSI Europe. 18 Nordic companies made the global ranking (NordSIP).
During his visit to Stockholm, Yves Choueifaty, CEO of the French smart-beta manager TOBAM, exposed to NordSIP his firm’s take on sustainability, perhaps proving that beta (which ironically, in French is also a synonym for “moron”) can actually be both smart and responsible (NordSIP).
In darker news, the MSCI ESG rating system predicted last week’s cyber attack on credit reporting company Equifax, which potentially impacts 143m U.S. consumers. MSCI ESG Research had downgraded Equifax to CCC, its lowest rating, in August 2016 and consequently excluded it from its Leaders Index in December on the basis of insufficient security and privacy measures to prevent data theft and its reputational consequences (MSCI ESG News).
Finally, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) launched a CHF 26mn humanitarian impact bond to help transform how vital services for people with disabilities are financed in conflict-hit countries such as Nigeria, Mali and the DRC. The issue marks the very first time a multinational humanitarian organisation is venturing into the private financing space (NordSIP).
Heard on E-Street
Researchers at Norway’s institute for interdisciplinary climate research (CICERO) ask what Islamic finance and European bureaucrats have in common (Euraktiv), TruValue Labs’ Hendrik Bartel looks at how investors can overcome ESG data hurdles (State Street) and Fortune’s Chris Taylor finds that Trump’s White House is giving certain ESG mutual funds a big boost (Fortune)
Quote of the Week
“Right now, it looks like business-as-usual for most oil majors… Despite a lot of talk about alternative energy investments, the reality is that capital expenditure on low-carbon energy is dwarfed by spending on traditional upstream ventures” – Kames Capital Head of ESG Research Ryan Smith, on the difference between reality and oil majors’ dissembling in their low-carbon transition (or lack thereof) (NordSIP).
Question of the Week
Which Finnish hedge fund manager with a decidedly novel approach to CSR and social issues became the first Finnish company to be certified by the B Corp Certification, a measure awarded to enterprises meeting the most rigorous ESG standards?
Famous Last Words
“Man is stupid. When you don’t want to see, you don’t see… Those who deny climate change need to go to scientists and ask them” – Pope Francis, while flying over areas in the Caribbean decimated by Hurricane Irma (Huffington Post).
Wishing you a happ(ier) weekend,
Your NordSIP team
Image: (c) NosorogUA – shutterstock