The Week in Green (April 13th edition)

Nordics Best at SDGs & the Force of Green

This week, NordSIP sat down with Anette Andersson, ESG Investment Specialist at SEB, to find out how sustainable investment works at the asset management branch of one of the largest financial institutions in Sweden. Over in Norway, the ruling Conservative Party voted to allow the country’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth oil fund to invest in unlisted renewable projects, as the fund is currently not permitted to invest in unlisted firms. There is disagreement on the issue, related to fears that investment in private equity could actually dilute responsible investments. Meanwhile in Finland, the European Investment Bank signed a €40 million loan with Kemira Oyj, a Finnish global chemicals company, to increase its investments in R&D in chemical applications and technical solutions for the pulp and paper industry, municipal and industrial waste-water treatment and the mining industry. The investment is part of the EU’s drive to promote a circular economy.

Down in Denmark, the World Health Organisation (WHO) held a conference on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Copenhagen this week to spur private investment and awareness of the issue, which kills 40 million people prematurely annually. NCDs also hinder economic development, as such diseases often kill people at the height of their productivity. In happier news, the Danske Invest European Corporate Sustainable Bond Fund placed third in Morningstar’s annual ranking of funds with the highest sustainability value in Sweden with the help of Svenska Retursystem, the core investor in the Fund and the manager of SEK600 million in deposits from its system of reusable crates and pallets. Not to be outdone, though, SPP’s Green Bond Fund received the highest (five star) rating from Morningstar. “Words will not stop climate change, but investing in climate-smart projects will,” said portfolio manager Helena Lindahl. Finally, thanks to DWS (formerly known as Deutsche Asset Management), we find out that the Nordics rank at the top when considering SDGs.

Heard on E-Street

Meanwhile, Storebrand’s AM branch appointed Robert Vicsai as its new director of Institutional Clients for the Swedish market. Danish pension manager PKA, just announced the divestment from 35 oil and gas companies. Banque de France, the French central bank, adopted a responsible investment charter to govern the management of €20 billion of assets as part of its vision for the bank’s corporate social responsibility (Investments & Pensions Europe). Man Group, the global fund manager, is considering the impacts of divestment from tobacco as part of its broader approach to responsible investing (The Sustainability Report). UN PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds is encouraging asset owners to take a survey that will help the PRI plan roundtable discussions later in the year on how it can empower asset owners and collectively drive RI (PRI). Finally, “Germany, as far as energy policy is concerned, is the biggest fraud globally,” according to an unnamed EU official on the back of reports that Germany, known for its Energiewende policy, is expected to fall disastrously short on all its national an EU emission reduction and clean energy targets for 2020 (Politico).

Question of the Week

Which ETF focused on companies promoting workplace gender equality was launched last November?

Famous Last Words

“This is something that climate models have predicted for a long time, but we weren’t sure it was really happening. I think it is happening. And I think it’s bad news” – Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and co-author of a new study showing that the Atlantic Ocean circulation carrying warmth into the Northern Hemisphere’s high latitudes is slowing down and is weaker than at any point in the past 1,600 yearsbecause of climate change (Washington Post).

It’s later than you think. But happy weekend,

Your NordSIP team

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our weekly Green Bond Review.

Image: (c) NosorogUA-shutterstock