The Week in Green

The Week in Green (October 20th edition)

Nordic acquisitions, tobacco ethics and alternative responsibilities

Nordic Capital Fund VIII acquires 10% of Nordax – Private equity and sustainable companies investor Nordic Capital acquired 10% of Nordax Group bank, the specialist consumer lender, this week. “NC sees Nordax as a company working in a responsible way [making] sure people can repay their loans. NC will continue to drive the sustainability agenda,” said advisory director of sustainability and communications Elin Ljung (NordSIP).

Sustainability is hot, but who does what, and why? – NordSIP’s Aline Gustafsson looks at the differences and similarities between sustainability, impact investing and charity, and elucidates where and how these converge despite having oftentimes-different objectives. Where the convergence is lacking, the space opens up for the improved conceptualisation of sustainable investment (NordSIP).

Just because it’s legal, that doesn’t mean it’s ethical – Danish pension funds, including some who are signatories to the UN Global Compact, whose ban on tobacco investments trod into effect this week, are persisting in, well, their tobacco investments. The issue becomes a philosophical one: investing in tobacco is part of guaranteeing pension savings returns while, conversely, in one sense promoting deadly disease. What is the normative breakoff point for investors and society (NordSIP)?

Where in the alternative assets investment chain do responsibilities begin and end? – Emma Sjöstrom and Ulrika Hasselgren’s new report, “Sustainability in Alternative Asset Management,” investigates the need to map different investment processes in an increasingly complex universe of varied alternative assets and changing client demands (NordSIP).

Help! I’m being repressed – Kames Capital’s international equities investment manager Craig Bonthron takes issue with the vapid lament from sustainability sceptics about investment ‘restrictions’ following from sustainable investments. It’s called an investment process in active management: all fundamental, valuation and technical analysis is a form of restriction. So what’s their point (NordSIP)?

Norwegian Wood – The Nordic Investment Bank partners with Norway’s SPOL bank to launch a NOK750mn loan programme for onlending to SME sustainable investments in environmental and other projects. Productivity and competitiveness in the country’s Eastern regions will be bolstered through the alleviation of credit constraints.

 

Heard on E-Street

BlackRock has launched its 11th ESG ETF in Europe, the (it’s a mouthful) iShares MSCI World SRI UCITS ETF, which tracks the MSCI World SRI Select index that specifically excludes companies involved in controversial activities. The fund delivers exposure to global stock markets with a particular focus on companies with the strongest ESG ratings (Investment Europe). Schroders finds that sustainable investing continues to present a challenge to nearly four out of five institutional investors in its latest Global Institutional Investor Study (FINalternatives), MSCI Global Head of Research Linda Eling-Lee suggests investor emphasis on policy shifts is short-sighted when they actually reflect a process of ESG implementation (MSCI), and the UNEP FI partnered with Swiss Sustainable Finance to hold its regional roundtable in Geneva (UNEPFI).

Quote of the Week

 “Balancing the profit motive with the creation of societal value is about to become a precondition for the long-term success of any corporation, sector, scale or geographic reach notwithstanding”Andrew Chakhoyan, Founder and Managing Partner at Strategic Narrative Consulting, on how business might be restored from the brink of distrust (World Economic Forum)

 Question of the Week

 Which large Swedish insurance company presented an acquisition of green bonds to the tune of USD350mn to the UN General Assembly recently?

 Famous Last Words

 “Climate change is going to completely screw over New York” – with ocean levels expected to rise by two feet over the next 30 years, 10,000 homes in the tristate area would be put permanently under water, and almost 60% of the region’s energy production will come from facilities located in areas prone to flooding, according to a report from the Regional Plan Association (RPA) (Time Out).

Have an environmentally aware weekend!

Your NordSIP team

Image: (c) NosorogUA-shutterstock

 

Kames Capital
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