Just as we were congratulating ourselves for surviving a long and exhausting pandemic, the dramatic events of the past few months have re-opened a page in European history that many of us thought was closed.
Faced with war’s brutal reality, many asset managers are now forced to re-examine their stance on fundamental issues that seemed set in stone just yesterday. Priorities are shifting as the challenge of securing energy and food supplies becomes palpable. Even weapons, that used to be one of the least controversial exclusion categories for institutional investors, are suddenly being labelled sustainable by some, based on their function in security and defence. It is a watershed moment indeed!
For our 2022 ESG Integration Casebook, eleven Nordic asset managers shared their thoughts on the sustainability of weapons and how the current geopolitical situation has changed their perspective on the defence industry. It seems end-investor demand comes in handy when it comes to calibrating the moral compass.
SDGs continue to be a useful guide too and we looked to the UN PRI for some useful guidance. Checking the latest on another sustainability frontier, private assets, we learned how collaboration between asset owners and asset managers helps tackle the complex ESG data challenge. A systematic approach and rigorous ESG analysis are a must, whether in private assets or credit investments.
This is a case book, of course, so it wouldn’t be complete without some specific and engaging cases. Luckily, even in tough times, exciting sustainability opportunities abound if you know where to look: from heat pumps to buildings and infrastructure and from cyber security to diagnosing diseases.
Actively engaging in the material ESG issues that investors encounter is essential, too, as we learn from the case of improving working conditions in the Gulf.
One thing is clear, integrating ESG into investments is as tough as ever. To paraphrase a quote from late Pope John Paul II, the ultimate test of your sustainability is the way you treat every investment opportunity.
Tired of flipping the book? Access individual articles or download the pdf here
1. the editor’s word: the litmus test
2. Case #1: Cool Growth Opportunities for Sustainable Investors, and interview of Milou Beunk and Dirk-Jan Dirksen, NN Investment Partners
3. Case #2: Looking for Long-term Stewards of Capital, an interview of Lorna Logan, Stewart Investors
4. Case #3: Integrating ESG in your Credit Portfolio, by Davide Guberti and Philippe Kybourg, UBS Asset Management
5. Case #4: Leading the Way in the Private Markets ESG Integration, an interview of Jennifer Signori, Neuberger Berman
6. Case #5: The Energy Transition & the Challenge of Legacy Infrastructure, an interview of Peter Dahl, Polhem Infra
7. Case #6: Improving Sustainability-related Data Flow in Private Markets, an interview of Susanne Roge Lunds, ATP and Mikael Bek, PenSam
8. Case #7: Engaging with Working Conditions in the Gulf, and interview of Kiran Aziz, KLP
9. Case #8: Integrating the SDGs with the UN PRI Framework, with examples from AP2 and East Capital
10. Case #9: The Curious Case of Weapons & ESG, with comments from Anette Andersson, SEB, Stephanie Hubold, Altor, Sanna Petersson, Captor, Erik Eliasson, Danske Bank AM, Eric Pedersen, Nordea AM, Ulrika Hasselgren, Coeli, Janicke Scheele, DNB AM, Kamil Zabielski, Storebrand, Ann-Sofie Odenberg, Brummer & Partners, Emma Englén, Spiltan and Martin Andersson, SBB Norden
Tired of flipping the book? Download the pdf here