The Week in Green (May 18th edition)

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Danes in Vienna, sustainability doubts & the science behind impact

As Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (and Norwegian PM Erna Solberg) participated in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s R20 Regions of Climate Action conference in Vienna, Austria, an op-Ed statement in the influential daily Politiken signed by 301 leading Danish climate academics called for a far more ambitious climate policy in Denmark. The article argues in effect that Paris Agreement objectives will be impossible to meet for as long as economic growth as measured in GDP is prioritised over sustainability. Elsewhere, a survey commissioned by Danish pension company Sampension found employee rights to top Danes’ pension investment concerns, with 54% saying they would leave a pension company if it were investing in companies that abuse workers’ rights.

Remaining in critical territory, a forthcoming report from sustainable hedge fund manager Auriel Investors is suggesting that many European sustainability funds are not as sustainable as they claim to be, with some even having a negative sustainability impact. Well known managers such as Aberdeen, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Nordea and RobecoSAM were analysed. Also in report news, the Climate Bonds Initiative released a new report examining the latest green bond market developments in Europe at both the regional and country level. The report finds a positive outlook for the European green bond market, not least in the Nordics, which it designates as being “at the forefront of sustainability and defining green”.

This week, we also publish an interview with UBS Asset Management‘s Dinah A. Koehler, who told us about how she finds herself working in her element, with a scientific mindset and a genuins passion for sustainable investing.

DWS (formerly Deutsche Asset Management) announced the launch of four new ESG Xtrackers Exchange Traded Funds, which will track indices that are part of the MSCI ESG Leaders Low Carbon ex Tobacco Involvement 5% series. Finally, Trucost, whose trade is to make estimates about the hidden costs of the unsustainable use of natural resources by corporations, has launched an SDG Evaluation Tool allowing companies to determine which SDGs are most relevant to business operations, supply chains and products by providing a quantitative analysis of corporate performance (NordSIP).

Heard on E-Street

Iceland is pursuing an ambitious plan to increase the adoption of renewable energy, with incentives to promote electric vehicles and the installation of over 20 new ABB fast-charging stations (Renewable Energy Magazine). RobecoSAM launched its sustainable food equities strategy, a renaming of its sustainable agribusiness strategy, to focus on investing in companies building a more sustainable food system by addressing resource scarcity, food supply and demographic changes. The strategy is managed by Holger Frey (Investment Europe).

Question of the Week

 Who won the CFA Sweden 2017 ESG Award?

Famous Last Words

“The lower we stoop before the green transition occurs, the swifter and more dramatic the change must be. For investors, it has always paid to be ahead of the curve and opportunistic in trying times. Or as Winston Churchill so clearly put it – Never let a good crisis go to waste” Matthew Smith, Head of Sustainable Investments with Storebrand Asset Management, on 2017 development figures on global CO2 emissions, plastic production, inequality and other statistics that come up far short of what needs to be done to reverse climate change (NordSIP).

Don’t let a good weekend go to waste, either.

Your NordSIP team

Image: (c) NosorogUA-shutterstock

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