The commitments for investments in a sustainable future continue this week and seem to confirm the early trend for the year. As Greta stated at the end of 2019, 2020 should be a “year of action” and it looks like we are starting on the right foot.
After disappointing investors last year and joining Climate Action 100+ last week, BlackRock‘s Larry Fink upped the antes in his annual “letter to the CEO”. “Awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance,” he states in bold. Most importantly, Fink also underlines that the firm will be exiting investments that present a high sustainability-related risk, such as thermal coal producers. In a less positive outcome, Siemens voted to stick with the Adani coal mine project, as there was no legal way out of it, according to CEO Joe Kaeser.
Smaller asset managers in the impact space have long been advocating better investments and assets seem to be poring their way now. ResponsAbility announced the first close of its new Energy Access fund with US$ 151 million and NextEnergy Capital announced the second close of NextPower III with US$ 118 million. Both funds gathered particular interest from Nordic investors, including Norwegians KLP and Norfund. Meanwhile, sustainability and innovation strategies are scaling up, as illustrated by the recent US$200m investment of US$ 1.6 billion fund CVC Growth Partners II in sustainability rating provider EcoVadis.
NordSIP’s sister publication focused on megatrends, Ekonamik, took a closer look at Danish cooperative bank Merkur Andelskassen. In an interview with CEO Lars Pehrson, we find out about the bank’s entrenched drive for sustainability. We also noted the first NOK green covered bond listed on the Oslo stock exchange by Fana Sparebank. Meanwhile, in Sweden, asset management group Catella recently announced the blacklisting of fossil fuel for three hedge funds.
Amidst this flurry of sustainable activity, we see people move (such as Skandia Investment Management’s CIO moving to Alecta as head of real assets). But there are still spaces to be filled in the Nordics, of which two positions in Stockholm: ESG data specialist S&P Global Trucost is looking for a Senior ESG Business Development Manager and impact manager Blue Orchard for a Business Development Vice President – Nordics.