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The Week in Green

November 30th edition

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On Thursday, NordSIP hosted an inspirational lunch seminar in Copenhagen and discussed impact investing together with leading local insitutional investors, as well as Union Bancaire Privée‘s Victoria Leggett, AXA Investment ManagersShade Duffy, responsAbility‘s Per Haagensen and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership‘s Jasminka Enderle.

NordSIP caught up with Man Group‘s Steven Desmyter who believes integrating responsible investment practices should be done from the ground up. “Everyone can create a dedicated ESG strategy,” Desmyter argues. “That is not the battle I want to win. I am glad we didn’t just monetise the opportunity from the start by generating suitable products. Otherwise, the rest of the firm wouldn’t have had the chance to benefit from the work we’ve done.”

- Promotion -

Earlier this week, European Sustainable Investment Forum published its 2018 Eurosif Market Study, revealing sustained growth for most SRI strategies over the past two years and clear signs of SRI becoming integral to European fund management – but also some fundamental problems. The study is being presented as a “landmark” and as a manifesto in support of the Action Plan on Sustainable Finance in support of European policy changes on sustainable finance that promise to fundamentally change the financial sector.

How accurate is ESG data? ESG indices help to mitigate and assess the risk of companies against ESG factors and helps socially responsible investors to navigate around ESG risks. But what are the challenges in assessing these? At the TBLI Nordic conference, NordSIP attended a roundtable featuring representatives form Beyond Ratings, Russell Investments, S&P Trucost ltd and Hermes Investment Management.

Christian Hyldahl, the chief executive of Denmark’s €104 billion pension fund ATP, announced his departure following a mushrooming tax-avoidance scandal and disclosures of questionable activities during his time as head of Nordea Markets. “If we had the same focus on social responsibility as we have today, we would not have pursued these deals,” Hyldahl said.

Doconomy, a new startup founded by sustainable investment alumni from SPP and Ålandsbanken, is preparing to launchDO’, a banking service in the form of an app and credit card that will work towards reducing the climate footprint of individuals by allowing users to follow the climate impact of their purchases and offer climate-compensating fund investment opportunities. Meanwhile, ahead of COP 24 in Katowice next week, Storebrand’s Jan Erik Saugerstadt announced a new commitment to tighten investment criteria related to coal. Finally, ahead of the we also read attentively (and translated for you), a letter by SPP, Alecta, AP4 and AP7, pleading for global cooperation in the financial sector to remediate climate change.

Heard on E-Street

UBS Asset Management launched the UBS Sustainable Development Bank Bonds Ucits ETF in response to strong continued growth in assets managed according to SRI principles in markets such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and which will replicative the Solactive Global Multilateral Development Bank Bond USD 25% Issuer Capped index (Investment Europe). An energy-efficient investment trust named SEEIT managed by Sustainable Development Capital thought to be the first UK-listed investment company to invest exclusively in the energy efficiency sector announced its intention to IPO in the coming weeks, targeting a £150m fund raise from ordinary shares listed on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange’s main market (Investment Europe).

Brand Affairs and H-Ideas, two Swiss brand consultancies, analysed 239 European investment groups to evaluate whether management companies’ “good intent” was communicated through their brands in their ‘H&K Responsible Investment Brand Index’. Actual commitment was measured by the index in terms of hard facts, like commitment to the UN PRI (IPE). And Paula Dupraz-Dobias looks at whether the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative can go far enough in pushing listed companies to do more for the UN SDGs (Devex)

Famous Last Words

Trump claim: “What I’m not willing to do is sacrifice the economic well-being of our country for something that nobody really knows.”

Climate report (p. 13): “[T]he continued warming that is projected to occur without substantial and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions is expected to cause substantial net damage to the U.S. economy throughout this century, especially in the absence of increased adaptation efforts. With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century — more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states.” – The Washington Post’s Philip Bump takes a look at how the Trump administration’s own climate report released to little fanfare last Friday undermines President Trump’s parade of lies on climate change (WaPo).

Truth is a precious commodity. Happy weekend,

Your NordSIP team

Image © NosorogUA – Shutterstock

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The Week in Green