The Week in Green (December 8th edition)

    Top Pensions, Sprouting Indices and a new Nordic SIF

    This week, Max Matthiessen issued its yearly ranking of Swedish pension funds. This year again, SPP stands alone at the top, being the only self-invested pension provider awarded top marks. AMF, Alecta, SPP and Folksam & KPA received merits in the traditional life insurance group. A little further north, Iceland SIF, the Iceland Sustainable Investment Forum neared an official announcement following its establishment November 13 and joins SweSIF, NorSIF and DanSIF as an equivalent type of organisation. The Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre, a ‘knowledge centre’ for sustainable investments, opened last week with backing from the Swedish government, the SSE and the SEI. Global index, analytics and data provider FTSE Russell announced the launch of the FTSE Global Climate Index Series and the FTSE ESG Index Series. Folksam is to become an anchor investor in Silvestica Green Forest AB, an investment fund for institutional investors that will invest in forest estates in Sweden, Finland and the Baltics using sustainable and responsible management, while KLP, the largest pension fund in Norway, is re-including several controversial companies in its funds’ investments due to improvements in accordance with the fund’s RI guidelines (NordSIP).

    Heard on E-Street

    HSBC launched a new type of sustainable bond based on the UN SDGs, the first time a private sector entity has issued a benchmark-size bond of this type (indiacsr). A joint project by the German Development Institute and the Stockholm Environment Institute looks at how climate actions formulated in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) corresponds to each of the 17 SDGs. George Serafeim, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, suggests that Index funds can be a force for sustainable capitalism (Harvard Business Review).

    Quote of the Week

    “In the coming four to five years, I see 10 percent to 20 percent of all new issuance having the ‘green’ label. We’re talking about trillions of dollars a year sometime in the future”Christopher Flensborg, head of climate and sustainable financial solutions at SEB and ‘father of the green bond’, tells Allen T. Cheng of his enthusiasm as the green bond market heats up (Institutional Investor).

    Question of the Week

    Which venerable institution is under fire for a conflict of interest in terms of unethical investments a mere few days before its annual prize-giving ceremony?

    Famous Last Words

    “We believe the winners of the future will be those management teams, boards and investors who realise that both the cost and value of a social licence to operate is rising. These winners will adjust their business models to build, identify and support those actions which will create true business sustainability”Schroders Global Head of Stewardship Jessica Ground tackling the sustainability outlook for 2018 (Cleantechnica).

    Inching close to Christmas, the cost of weekends is rising too. Enjoy yours!

    Your NordSIP team

    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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