Nordic Launches and Davos ESG
This week, Nasdaq Nordic launched Nasdaq First North Sustainable Bonds, the first market focusing on sustainable bonds that can be both socially and environmentally sustainable, following a wildly successful 2017. This new market will aim to improve possibilities for external financing in sustainable bonds. Union Investment launched the UniInstitutional SDG Equities fund, which invests in equities of companies whose activities correspond to the UN SDGs and is aimed at institutional investors. In Denmark, Copenhagen Capacity, the official organisation for investment promotion and economic development in Greater Copenhagen, was listed on the World Finance 100 Leaders list for its efforts in bringing investment to the city’s sustainability efforts. Meanwhile, the municipality of Odense is to receive DKK 12 million from the European Regional Development Fund for projects in sustainable urban development directed at the handling of rainfall and waste management, which is expected to create business opportunities. In Sweden, Swedfund invested $20 million in Husk Power Systems, a mini-grid electrification company operating in rural regions of India and Tanzania. The investment could amount to a reduction of 150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. Finally, KKR Global Institute Chairman and former CIA chief General David Petraeus emphatically suggested that failure to manage ESG risks and opportunities means financial loss in a UBS White Paper prepared for the World Economic Forum (NordSIP).
Heard on E-Street
On the topic of UBS, the investment bank has launched a gender equality and sustainability-focused UCITS ETF which will dedicate 5 percent management fees to philanthropic projects supporting the UN SDG of empowering women and achieving gender parity (nestegg.com.au). In the run-up to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Nordea’s Head of Sustainable Finance Sasja Beslik comments the bank’s fiduciary responsibility and sustainability efforts amid what is likely to be yet another gabfest about what should be done (World Finance), while Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre Johan Rockström rather positively compares the WEF to “a kind of global Almedalen” (the most important annual event in Swedish politics) (Sydsvenskan). In Davos itself, Ikea won the Accenture Strategy Award for a Circular Economy Multinational thanks to its adoption of circular models throughout its business (BusinessWire).
Norwegian asset manager Pareto Asset Management appointed Oliver Roll as country head of its new German branch in Frankfurt, only its second foreign branch after Stockholm. Roll is an expert on the German and European asset management industry. Sampension, Denmark’s DKK 267 billion labour-market pension fund, hired Jesper Nørgaard from Nordea Life & Pension as its new deputy CIO (Investment & Pensions Europe).
Question of the Week
Which Norwegian financial services company unveiled a new fossil free bond program at the ‘One Planet’ summit in Paris late last year?
Famous Last Words
“You saw our pledge: 15% [in revenue from circular solutions] by 2020. Well, I want 100% by 2025… You [just] have to put your mind to it.” – Philips CEO Frans Van Houten in Davos on his plans to expand Philips’ 2016 5-year sustainability plan (Fortune).
Aim high and happy weekend,
Your NordSIP team
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