NordSIP Insights – ESG Integration Casebook 2023

    Amidst a storm of criticism and greenwashing allegations, ESG is quickly becoming one of the most controversial acronyms out there. “ESG is the devil,” twitted Elon Musk just the other day. And he is hardly the only media-savvy populist eager to hijack and distort the concept to make it fit his personal or political agenda.

    In these times of cheap rhetoric and sweeping generalisations, it is essential to recall the true meaning of ESG and its different components. In this year’s ESG Casebook edition, we aim to do just that. Through concrete cases, we go beyond the general concept of ESG and highlight the many different ways that asset owners and asset managers work with the E, the S, and the G aspects of sustainability, individually or together.

    We take a look at how Norwegian pension fund KLP has chosen to deconstruct ESG into specific actions targeting deforestation, climate inertia and tax avoidance. We examine the way Danish AkademikerPension, Norwegian Storebrand Asset Management, and Dutch APG Asset Management have pinpointed Toyota’s climate lobbying as a concrete and meaningful case to tackle together.

    Steward Investors urges us to avoid the pitfall of narrow carbon tunnel vision and zoom in on factors like income inequality and demographics to illustrate the importance of the human aspect of ESG. Meanwhile, UBS Asset Management showcases a different approach, deconstructing the ESG concept to its constituents in order to be able to integrate it into their factor index solutions.

    We also consider the plight of a manager selector trying to integrate ESG into the complex equation of choosing the best external manager to partner with. Three organisations with ample experience in the field, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (NBIM), Kempen Capital Management, and Cardano, provide some useful guidance via the PRI. The experts at Global Fund Search (GFS) are also eager to provide help.

    Last but not least, we dive deep into emerging markets and biodiversity to find out about the role of blended finance in the race to preserve endangered ecosystems.

    It takes deconstructing the concept of ESG to find out it is not just an empty label and certainly not one that can simply be hung out and set on fire. The ESG is not the devil but it is in the detail!

    Tired of flipping the book? Access individual articles or download the pdf here!

    1. the editor’s word: ESG deconstructed
    2. Integrating ESG into factor index solutions, by Marcin Wojtowicz, PhD, UBS Asset Management
    3. Sustainable Investing: Don’t forget the humans, by Stewart Investors
    4. The case of Toyota and climate lobbying: Engagement beyond dialogue, by Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    5. Building sustainable manager relationships, by Richard Tyszkiewicz
    6. Fighting against climate inertia, deforestation and tax avoidance, an interview with Kiran Aziz
    7. What to look for in sustainable external managers, by Filipe Albuquerque
    8. What is the Role of Blended Finance in Supporting Biodiversity?, by Filipe Albuquerque


    Tired of flipping the book? Access individual articles or download the pdf here!