The Week in Green (October 13th edition)

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – The first ever so-called Nordic swan ecolabel investment funds were presented to the world in Stockholm this week (NordSIP). 12 investment funds worth a combined SEK30bn, including funds managed by SEB, Alfred Berg, Handelsbanken, Skandia and Swedbank, were certified with the “Nordic swan” label, the official sustainability ecolabel in the Nordics.

    In an exclusive interview with NordSIP, Triple Jump founder Mark van Doesburgh explained the company’s mission to solve the world’s societal challenges through the microfinancing provided by the company’s five funds (NordSIP). The €740mn Netherlands-based impact-focused investment management company provides responsible investment opportunities in developing countries across Latin America, Asia, Africa. Inspiring!

    Turning to best-in-class approaches, one element of such is to define the terminology referring to specific types of strategy incorporating ESG into the investment process (NordSIP). Northern Trust Asset Management helpfully provided this week a guide of nine questions that can help weed out those lagging behind “good corporate citizens” by probing for risks and opportunities based on ESG practices. “Some of the best companies take a holistic approach,” NTAM finds.

    Heard on E-Street

    Investor, investment banker and ESG, SRI and impact investment advisor Michael Molnar describes the “four deadly sins” of ethical investing: unclear objectives, stubborn beliefs, weak process and static thinking (LinkedIn).

    Meanwhile, the Trump administration took its first step to undo president Barack Obama’s landmark Clean Power Plan Tuesday, likely triggering years of court fights (Politico). The EPA said it will move to repeal the rule, which aimed to hasten the electric power industry’s shift away from coal, on the basis that it violates federal law and would cost consumers $33bn in 2030. On the decidedly other side of ethical investing, “stubborn beliefs, weak process and static thinking” indeed.

    Quote of the Week

    “By examining ESG issues, investors may gain a better understanding of not just what companies do but how they do it” – Niall Kennedy, Portfolio Director at Cazenove Capital in Edinburgh, on the myth that returns take a beating if you invest sustainability (alongside four other ESG myths), citing research from Morgan Stanley and Empirical Research to the contrary (The Scotsman).

    Question of the Week

    Which Nordic Emerging Markets specialist recently launched a “forest fund”?

    Famous Last Words

    “The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed.” – Sophia, a robot designed by Hanson Robotics, explaining to UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed how AI can contribute to helping people who have no access to the internet or electricity by quoting sci-fi guru William Gibson (United Nations News Centre).

    Brr! Have a human weekend,

    Your NordSIP team


    Image: (c) NosorogUA – shutterstock

    Glenn W. Leaper, PhD
    Glenn W. Leaper, PhD
    Glenn W. Leaper, Associate Editor and Political Risk Analyst with Nordic Business Media AB, completed his Ph.D. in Political and Critical Theory from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2015. He is involved with a number of initiatives, including political research, communications consulting (speechwriting), journalism and writing his first post-doctoral book. Glenn has an international background spanning the UK, France, Austria, Spain, Belgium and his native Denmark. He holds an MA in English and a BA in International Relations.

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