The Week in Green (February 2nd edition)

European Sustainable Finance and Shifting Norms

This week, HLEG, the EU Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, published Financing a Sustainable European Economy, its final report. A year in the making, the report makes recommendations, among them European sustainability labels and standards for Green Bonds, to implement an EU-wide financial system that supports sustainable investment. Speaking at a Stockholm conference, Alecta CEO Magnus Billing, one of the HLEG experts, suggested the most consequential point, however, is the recommendation to change investors’ perspective on fiduciary duty. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank partnered with index provider Solactive to launch Sustainability Index Europe, which tracks environmentally and socially responsible European companies using the S-Ray, a tool developed by Arabesque that determines whether company behaviour corresponds to UNGC principles. NordSIP also happened to catch up with Arabesque board member Barbara Krumsiek, a senior fellow at the Women’s Leadership Institute at Georgetown University and ex-CEO of Calvert, one of the first sustainable investment AM houses, who now leads a research project on gender equality. Why aren’t we there yet?

In other news, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen took the opportunity last week in Davos to talk up P4G, a Denmark-spearheaded initiative involving numerous countries, the C40 and the SDG Investment Fund to ensure investments worth $6 billion to subtend green initiatives globally. Meanwhile, fellow Dane and sustainable startup Penstable co-founder Morten Bruun found himself honoured by Forbes. Elsewhere, Finland spotted investment opportunities in Morocco’s clean energy efforts, while the Climate Bonds Initiative suggested a number of ‘Super Trends’ for Green Bonds in 2018 (NordSIP).

Heard on E-Street

The Energy Efficiency Global Forum 2018 will be held in Copenhagen on May 21st-22nd and will focus on the theme: Innovation, Investment, Impact (Ritzau). EU ambassadors confirmed a political agreement on a directive that will improve energy efficiency and decarbonisation in buildings, which account for 40% of energy consumption in Europe (European Council). Newton Investment Management launched the Newton Sustainable Global Equity Fund, to be managed by Terry Coles (Citywire). Socially Responsible Investing gets a ‘Trump Bump’ (USA Today), while The Nation’s Bill McKibben conjures up three ways to get around Washington’s Trump swamp and continue on the path towards a fossil-free America (The Nation).

NordSIP Gossip

Ulrika Hasselgren, Global Head of RI Strategy at Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), was hired by Danske Bank to revamp its RI operations in a move effective February 1st.

Question of the Week

Which veritable Swedish institution broke into the Bretton Woods Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative Global Top 25 late last year?

Famous Last Words

“There is a cooling and there is a heating and I mean, look – it used to not be climate change – it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well, because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records, so okay, they’re at record level” – U.S. President Donald Trump experiences conceptual confusion in a presumably freezing January interview with Piers Morgan (Politfact).

Fake news is, indeed, a terrible thing. Happy weekend,

Your NordSIP team

Image © NosorogUA – shutterstock