The Week in Green (March 29th edition)

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Featured interviews and more divestments

This week NordSIP features an interview with Carina Silberg, Head of Sustainability at Alecta, the SEK 800 billion Swedish pension fund, where we discuss Alecta’s sustainability overhaul, its actively managed portfolio and the importance of closing the gap between ESG and financial analysis. NordSIP also spoke to Aktieinvest CEO Therese Lundsted to follow up on Aktieinvest’s use of Arabesque’s S-Ray tool to screen investments in the effort to construct its investing tools in the most accessible way for junior investors. S-Ray allows Aktieinvest to offer a sustainable “savings box” ranking the best-performing companies by region. Meanwhile, Copenhagen is set to host this year’s Clean Energy Investment Forum. The Danish government and its Ministry for Energy, Supply and Climate are betting big on the May 22nd event, which will bring together G20 energy ministers (including from emerging markets), investors and green energy innovations. Denmark itself is clearly eyeing opportunity to export its clean energy solutions in sea and land wind.

Norges Bank Investment Management, the manager of Norway’s $1 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund, divested from six companies and excluded another 11 that failed to meet its upgraded ESG standards, as outlined in its most recent Responsible Investment report. In other exclusion news, MP Pension, the pension fund for Denmark’s public sector university and secondary school staff, is to exclude over 1,000 fossil fuel companies from its investment universe up until 2020. The returns from the stock sales will release DKK 1 billion that will be invested in green investments and elsewhere. The fund also recently made a DKK 360 million investment in the World Bank sister organisation International Finance Corporation Cornerstone Green Bond Fund, which focuses on renewable energy in emerging markets (NordSIP).

Green Bond Review

This week, NordSIP launches a new featured bond review. The goal is to bring a short summary of the green bond market on a regular basis to keep up with new issues, trends, regulatory changes and more! To start the series, we sat down with Lars Mac Key of Danske Markets, who updated us on the overall supply and demand trends of the European green bond market, with a special focus on the Nordics.

Heard on E-Street

Facebook continued its downward slide, both on markets and in the esteem of ESG funds (which hold about 6.3 million shares of Facebook combined), following Mark Zuckerberg’s failure to assuage investors and contain the damage from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. ESG funds such as Australia’s BetaShares Global Sustainable Leaders ETF have joined Nordea in removing Facebook from their funds, with others such as DNB Asset Management viewing the breach “as the digital equivalent of a toxic waste spill” (Bloomberg). Meanwhile, Facebook shareholders will seek to force a data privacy vote at the company’s annual meeting in June, citing resolutions predating the Cambridge Analytica scandal (Barron’s). Sustainable investment specialist RobecoSAM was selected to be the sub-advisor for the Daiwa SBI Global Electric Vehicle Revolution strategy to invest globally in companies that that benefit from the emerging EV revolution (RobecoSAM press release). Research from Triodos Bank, an ethical organisation, suggests there is an increasing desire to make financial decisions based on ethical values (Good With Money).

Check out more selected news on sustainable investing from the web, featured by NordSIP in a new section.

Question of the Week

Which Nordic pension fund was awarded the Investment and Pensions Europe prize for European Pension Fund of the Year in 2017?

Famous Last Words

“If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first degree murder; I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies” – former California Governor (and Republican) Arnold Schwarzenegger explaining his intention to follow New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s lead in suing oil companies for their role in climate change (Futurism).

Hasta la vista, baby! Wishing you a happy Easter.

Your NordSIP team

Image: (c) NosorogUA-shutterstock

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