The Optimists’ Week


The sun is shining, the birds are chirping happily and, despite the gloominess of the pandemic still in the background, it looks like sustainable investors have reasons to get a little more optimistic.

This week, we caught up with Karin Björk, who just joined 2050, one of Sweden’s leading sustainability and climate change consultancies. She believes the carbon-saving habits we are now forming in these extraordinary times may last beyond the quarantine. Our partner this week, State Street Global Advisors, echoes her words (see below!) Coincidentally, we also found out that Karin’s previous employer, Sustainalytics, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Morningstar.

- Promotion -

Also a coincidence, Morningstar published a report that will add water to the ESG-optimists’ mill. The study shows how two-thirds of sustainable funds outperformed their average peers during the March sell-off.

The green bond market continues to flourish in the Nordics, with Finnish pulp & paper giant Stora Enso issuing a SEK-denominated green bond and the Nordic Investment Bank a EUR seven-year zero-coupon green bond. Meanwhile, Getinge, the Swedish manufacturer of medical equipment (among which highly sought-after ventilators) issued a COVID-19 themed commercial paper maturing in October.

Elsewhere, BlackRock launched three new ESG low-volatility equity ETFs and Lyxor Asset Management an ETF providing exposure to the 50 best ESG companies on the DAX.

Last but not least, Infracapital, the infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G Plc, acquired a majority stake in Fortum Recharge, a leading public electric vehicle charge point operator in the Nordics.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Partner message

In the midst of a global pandemic, Apple announced one of the corporate world’s most ambitious environmental blueprints – to reduce the climate impact of every Apple device to net zero by 2030. The plan involves cutting 75 per cent of the company’s existing carbon footprint, not only for its own business but also across the manufacturing supply chain and product life cycle.

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