ESG Jumbles, Unethical Nobels & Multidirectional Green Bonds
What Does ESG Actually Mean? Last week, NordSIP and Northern Trust Asset Management hosted a roundtable which examined how to implement sustainability into portfolios. As part of the discussion, moderated by NordSIP’s Aline Gustafsson, experts discussed Global Trends in ESG, broached themes as to how the UN SDGs can be integrated into investment processes, how impact can be achieved across portfolios and the role governance and ESG play in decision-making. (NordSIP) In an interview with NordSIP, SPP Senior Portfolio Manager Helena Lindahl, who is in charge of managing SPP’s $350mn green bond fund – the largest in the world – expresses her dissatisfaction with the slow adoption of green bonds despite positive momentum (NordSIP). In another interview with NordSIP, L&G’s Head of Sustainability and Responsible Investment Strategy Meryam Omi shared her thoughts as to how a low-carbon strategy should be implemented (NordSIP).
Un-noble Nobel? A major embarrassment looms for the Nobel Foundation as it prepares to laud its 2017 prize winners next month, including peace prize winner ICAN, the International Campaign to ban Nuclear weapons (NordSIP). Meanwhile, in Sweden, the issue of a SEK1bn green bond by Sveaskog, Sweden’s largest forest owner, invited the design by Danske Bank of a new framework for the emission of green bonds in the context of sustainable forestry. (NordSIP). It is no surprise that Nordic stock exchanges are at the forefront of sustainability: ranking agency Corporate Knights named Nasdaq Helsinki as its top sustainable stock exchange in the world for 2017, followed by Nasdaq Stockholm in 2nd place and Nasdaq Copenhagen in 8th. (NordSIP) In Finland, property investment company Sponda was awarded CDP’s leadership level A- score, the best score in Finland and among the four best in the Nordic Real Estate sector (NordSIP).
Heard on E-Street
UBS AM launched a new Global Impact equity fund, the UBS Equity SICAV Global Impact fund. The fund, which will be managed by Bruno Bertocci, will invest in stocks with a social and environmental impact coupled with consistent returns (Investment Week). A report co-authored by Corporate Accountability finds that outcomes of global climate negotiations have been skewed to favour the most significant corporate polluters benefiting from the exacerbation of climate change (Guardian). The UN finds in its annual review that the gap between carbon cutting plans and the reductions required to keep temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius is “alarmingly high”. McKinsey published an article on how to integrate ESG factors into the investment process based on over 100 interviews with CEOs, CIOs, ESG leaders and managers across a range of investment funds.
Quote of the Week
“…[P]utting the word ‘ethical’ or ‘sustainable’ in a fund name does not necessarily make it so. Unfortunately, the loose appellation of ‘SRI’, ‘ESG’ and ‘ethical’ to funds has created a caveat emptor – ‘let the buyer beware’ – situation.” – David Osfield, Portfolio Manager of EdenTree Amity International Fund, on why industry ‘greenwashing’ threatens the credibility of responsible investing (Money Observer)
Question of the Week
Which considerable Scandinavian financial group launched a green bond worth €500 million over the summer?
Famous Last Words
You are invited! Investorletter.net, the financial news website dedicated to Nordic professional investors, invites all NordSIP readers to sign up for this year’s Investor Letter conference at the cinema Rigoletto in Stockholm on November 15. The focus of this year’s edition will be dedicated sustainability. The event will include an exclusive preview of Al Gore’s new film “An Inconvenient Sequel”, alongside expert presentations from representatives at Aviva, Aberdeen, Jupiter, Kames Capital and Allianz Global Investors.
No need for 3D in this one! Have a great weekend,
Your NordSIP team
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