Green Danes and a Flying Swan
As the Swedish Swan eco-label celebrate their first year anniversary, they announced the first labeling of an index fund. XACT Sweden was the first of its kind to qualify for the Swan, following a collaboration with index provider SIX and sustainability data provider ISS-Ethix-Oekom.
The government of Denmark rolled out its new climate and clean air initiative designed to put Denmark on course to reaching its 2030 goals and a climate-neutral Denmark by 2050. Among the 38 initiatives are phasing out diesel and petrol cars, attaining zero carbon emissions from public transport, and climate labelling. The plan is under scrutiny for not doing enough in light of the new UN IPCC report and not focusing enough across sectors, however. Elsewhere, Denmark and the Nordics scored highly on the new edition of the biannual Morningstar Sustainability Atlas in terms of overall ESG scores, while Danish bank Merkur Andelskasse is partnering with SDG Invest, a Danish investment fund launched earlier this year investing uniquely in the top global companies that address the 17 UN SDGs.
€1.4 trillion asset manager Amundi adopted a three-year plan to integrate ESG analysis across all its funds and voting practices by 2021, requiring shareholder engagement and voting to systematically include ESG analysis. An ESG advisory service and the doubling of investment initiatives are also on the cards.
Heard on E-Street
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences to Yale University’s William D. Nordhaus “for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis” and Paul M. Romer of NYU Stern School of Business “for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis” (Press Release). JP Morgan Asset Management will launch three fully transparent active equity ETFs next week, the JPM Europe Research Enhanced Index Equity (ESG) Ucits ETF, the JPM US Research Enhanced Index Equity (ESG) Ucits ETF, and the JPM Global Research Enhanced Index Equity (ESG) Ucits ETF (Investment Europe).
Hermes Investment Management suggests its recent research has identified a clear connection between companies with better ESG scores and their ability to benefit from narrower spreads on credit default swaps (Investment Europe), while RBC Global Asset Management found investors increasingly believe integrating ESG factors into investments could help generate alpha (Funds Europe). Aberdeen Standard Investments was hired as the manager of the new Global Sustainability Trust, which will invest primarily in private market investments expected to have a positive environmental and social impact (Investment Week).
In a deep dive with IPE, Marie Giertz, CIO at Kåpan Pensioner, the pension fund for Swedish government employees, described the fund’s strategy and ongoing projects, including strengthening the fund’s ESG credentials (IPE).
Famous Last Words
“It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now. This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilises people and dents the mood of complacency… We can see there is a difference [in terms of the change caused by half a degree] and it’s substantial” – Debra Roberts, co-chair of the working group on impacts and co-author of a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning there is only a dozen years left for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C and suggesting unprecedented changes are needed to reach the Paris target, with even half a degree more significantly worsening risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty (Guardian).
No time to waste. But happy weekend,
Your NordSIP team
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