Clarifying Impact and Launches Aplenty
What, exactly, is impact investing? How do liquid investments achieve impact at all? NordSIP takes a close look at a report by the Investment Leaders Group (ILG), a global network of pension funds, insurers and asset managers, that redefines what impact means and proposes a comprehensive framework to measure investment impact. Meanwhile, a new Global Commission on Adaptation to “catalyse a new global movement to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions” was launched Tuesday by former United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank in the Hague. The GCA introduces 18 convening countries and 28 commissioners from the worlds of finance and politics to address major roadblocks slowing adaptation to climate change solutions.
Nasdaq announced a launch of Futures based on the recently launched OMXS30 ESG Responsible Index, an ESG-compliant version of its OMXS30 European index, which includes the 30 most traded securities on Nasdaq Stockholm and which follows a systematic rule-based ESG screening. Schroders announced its launch of a new Sustainable Multi-Factor Equity (SMFE) fund, a global equity strategy integrating ESG analysis into a systematic investment approach that will aim to outperform the MSCI All Country World Index. And Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) announced the launch of a new Positive Impact Equity strategy, a fund that provides access to companies with world-leading technologies and invests in companies with revenue streams which address the world’s most pressing environmental and societal challenges.
Danmarks Grønne Investeringsfond (Denmark’s Green Investment Fund) reached the DKK 1 billion mark in loans across 42 companies investing in green conversion since its inception in 2015, making possible savings of over 425,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. But a new survey conducted by the Swedish Investment Fund Association (sifo) on behalf of Nordea about the ability and willingness of respondents to live in a more climate-friendly manner yielded mixed results, particularly in terms of a divergence between personal habits and knowledge of the ends to which their investments are put to use.
Heard on E-Street
Carlos Joly, a co-founder and author of the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment, wrote an open letter to Norway’s finance minister Siv Jensen warning that the country’s reliance on investments in international oil and gas companies by its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund risks turning it into a “has-been rich country” (Social Europe). Goldman Sachs Asset Management launched the GSAM Emerging Markets Equity ESG portfolio, a long-only fund that will enable investors to invest in EM companies GSAM seems to have particular ESG strengths (Investment Europe). Brooks Macdonald launched a responsible investment service as part of its centralised investment proposition that will feature ‘Avoid’ and ‘Advance’ strategies, the latter of which will actively invest in funds that provide ESG solutions. Finally, BlackRock is set to launch an ESG-screened suite of six ETFs offering access to six different MSCI indices (Investment Week).
Elsewhere, Lyxor announced it is joining the Climate Action 100+ initiative launched at last year’s One Planet summit which has now united almost 300 investors worth over $30 trillion in AUM, Columbia Threadneedle Investments announced its European Social Bond Fund received the ESG Label (Investment Europe), while Royal London Asset Management is considering repositioning its £741.6m Global High Yield bond fund as a sustainable strategy (Investment Week). Finally, three state treasurers and a top NY official joined a shareholder’s motion to install an independent chairman at Facebook, claiming the move would improve governance and accountability (Daily Telegraph). Quite.
Famous Last Words
“There is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer availability and price will add insult to injury… There is something fundamental in the cross-cultural application of beer. If you still want to have a couple of pints of beer while you watch the football, then climate change [action] is the only way out. This is the key message” – Professor Dabo Guan of the University of East Anglia, a contributor to a new study finding that extreme climate change will damage the global barley crop, a key ingredient in the world’s favourite alcoholic beverage that will make it much scarcer (Guardian).
If that doesn’t get people to change their behaviour… happy weekend,
Your NordSIP team
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