Responsible Women and Utilities of the Future
‘Twas a week for women’s voices (again). According to a new study commissioned by Moxie Future, women are leading the way when it comes to Responsible Investment, with Chinese and American women in particular at the forefront. Practical hurdles remain, however, due to a disconnect between women and the financial services sector. The Arabesque Systematic Fund, which uses the S-Ray Index tool, is partnering with Feminvest, making the Fund available to a network of 20,000 female investors. A ‘Nordic Sustainability Tour’ ensues in Sweden in March.
Meanwhile, NordSIP sat down with Electron Capital Partners’ Eric Melloul, a long/short hedge fund manager focused on global utilities and infrastructure, to discuss investment opportunities in liquid infrastructure and utilities focusing on long-term changes related to environmental concerns. A new scientific framework to inform investment decisions while contributing to the UN SDGs has been developed by researchers at CUNY and Harvard in partnership with UBS that suggests new metrics for investors to assess the sustainability of corporations, as opposed to companies’ disclosures themselves, which are often skewered in the name of self-interest. P4G, the Green Growth and Global Goals 2030 initiative spearheaded by the Danish government, launched a new $4 million Fund focusing on public-private partnerships in food, water, energy, cities and the circular economy is calling for funding applications, with startups and scale-ups welcome.
In other news, Swedfund has made a $15 million loan to Cambodia’s largest microfinance institution Prasac Microfinance, for on-lending to SMEs in the hope of developing Prasac into a commercially licensed bank, while the Nordic Investment Bank has made an SEK 800 million loan to green property developer Hemsö to build an ophthalmology research and business centre in Solna, Sweden (NordSIP). Finally, EuroSIF Executive Director and HLEG member Flavia Micilotta explained HLEG’s final report recommendations to the European Commission for a sustainable EU, in a Euractiv interview.
Heard on E-Street
NASA scientists conducted a study documenting the first direct evidence that the international effort to ban chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), an effect of the 1989 Montreal Protocol, has led to the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, an effort hailed as an example of how concerted global action can help solve a planetary crisis (Ecowatch). ALFI, the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry, reckons SRI and sustainable products will dominate 2018 despite ‘greenwashing’ (Citywire). GreenBiz’s Michael Holder equally expects Green Bonds to have a ‘halo effect’ on financial markets in 2018, with green bond issuances set to top $200 billion by the end of the year (GreenBiz).
Question of the Week
Which Scandinavian city was named the most sustainable in the world last year?
Famous Last Words
“There is an increasing sense the way capitalism operates is overdue for a more careful examination… The integration of sustainability into the investing process is very difficult, but it can be done and it can be done quite successfully in ways that do not require trading of value for values” – Generation Investment Management co-founder and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, speaking slowly at the FT Climate Finance Summit (Devex).
Have a good, if equally overdue, weekend,
Your NordSIP team
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