The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is a Quaker trust founded in 1904 to support people who address the causes of conflict and injustice through grants applied for by applicants. In 2018, the Charitable Trust awarded 100 grants for a total of GBP 7.2 million in organizations dealing with Peace and Security, Power and Accountability, Rights and Justice, Sustainable Future and other causes.
To fund its grant-making activities in the long-term, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust invests its endowment with external managers whose strategy matches the aim of the organization. As such, the Trust only invests in enterprises aligned to the organization's mission and encourages business to be ethical, socially responsible and to protect the environment. Consequently, the Trust has implemented an exclusion criteria on companies whose primary business is the extraction of fossil fuels, armament, gambling, tobacco and new generation nuclear power stations. The exclusion also applies to bonds from governments with high military expenditure or oppressive regimes. Additionally, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust expects from all of its external managers to strive to achieve a good gender balance within the teams that are managing the funds in which they are invested.
Top 1000 Funds: There has been widespread adoption and more board engagement since the launch of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures recommendations in 2017 but more work is needed to get a uniform and comparable approach to climate change disclosure across the investment community.
Nikkei Asian Review: Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund will begin allocating substantial amounts of money to bonds with an environmental purpose as early as the fiscal year beginning next April.
IPE: Too many companies are still not reporting their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions despite the growth of data-driven ESG investing.
IPE: Denmark’s government and several of its biggest pension funds have pledged to invest an additional DKK350bn (€46.8bn) between now and 2030 to support the green transition.
Morningstar: Investors would do better to pick ESG funds rather than their non-sustainable counterparts. Morningstar data reveals that funds taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into account in their investments have performed better than their non-ESG sister funds.
Financial Times: Big-name hedge funds such as Man Group and Caxton Associates are among those hunting for reliable ways of identifying stocks with strong or improving ESG (environmental, social and governance) characteristics that are likely to beat the market more often than not. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers.]
Newswire: In one of the boldest actions yet by the world's largest investors to decarbonize the global economy, an alliance of the world's largest pension funds and insurers – responsible for directing more than US$ 2.4 trillion in investments – has today committed to carbon-neutral investment portfolios by 2050.
The Wall Street Journal: Many companies have resisted disclosing environmental, social and governance data out of fear of being shunned by investors. These days, not disclosing that information may be even more risky.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development: The EBRD has successfully launched the first ever dedicated climate resilience bond, raising US$ 700 million with the issuance. BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB acted as joint bookrunners, which saw demand from approximately 40 investors in 15 countries.
Ircantec is a French public sector supplementary pension scheme managing pensions for over 4.9 million pensioners and active public-sector employees. As at December 31st, 2018, Ircantec had US$ 12.5 billion of assets under management.
In December 2008, the pension scheme adopted an SRI approach based on the six principles for responsible investing developed by the UN PRI. In April 2016, Ircantec adopted a 4-year roadmap to further develop its approach to responsible investing by aligning its portfolio with a 2°C scenario by integrating climate issues, and financing the transition to a low carbon economy. Since 2017, the entirety of its assets are managed using ESG integration, Proxy Voting, Corporate Engagement and Negative Screening on companies manufacturing controversial weapons, tobacco, and coal.
Funds Europe: Women are significantly underrepresented in the UK venture capital sector whilst some firms have no females involved in the investment process at all.
Funds Europe: A group of over 500 institutional investors has called on world governments to step up their efforts in tackling climate change. The coalition – with $35 trillion (€31.6 trillion) in assets under management (AUM) – has urged world leaders to phase out coal power, put a “meaningful price” on carbon pollution, end subsidies for fossil fuels, as well as update and strengthen commitments to meet targets set by the Paris Agreement.
IPE: Nearly 70 asset owners have backed a statement calling on companies to reinforce their efforts to make sure their operations and supply chains do not contribute to deforestation.
The Los Angeles Times: Our job is to make money for the University of California, and we’re betting we can do that without fossil fuels investments. We are investors and fiduciaries for what is widely considered the best public research university in the world. That makes us fiscally conservative by nature and by policy — “Risk rules” is one of the 10 pillars of what we call the UC Investments Way.
The Guardian: Some of Wall Street’s largest asset management companies are failing to live up to commitments to use their voting power to fight the climate crisis.
Pensions & Investments: Asset owners such as CalSTRS say they are loath to resort to divestment as they increasingly act on incorporating sustainability and ESG factors into their investing.
The Real Deal: Real estate executives at the front of the industry’s push toward sustainability will gather in New York City in a few days for Climate Week – the annual event coinciding with the U.N. General Assembly when business and government leaders join together to tackle climate change.
Climate Bonds Initiative: Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), and Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) to collaborate on growing the green Sukuk sector and stepping up the exchange of knowledge and expertise in the field.
The Church of Sweden maintains assets at the national level as a buffer against future needs. Internal regulations of the Church Order state that asset management must take a long-term perspective. As such, the entirety of its assets under management (US$ 930 million as at December 31, 2018) are invested using sustainability criteria.
The Church of Sweden only uses external managers that have proven to incorporate sustainability into their investment process. Every year, the institutional investor hires consultants to review all of its holdings and ensure external managers comply with the Church's responsible investment policy. This document states that all portfolio companies must comply with the International Labor Organization Conventions, the OECD Guidelines for Multi-National Enterprises, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Global Compact's ten principles and the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. Furthermore, as an active owner, the Church of Sweden seeks to influence public opinion, engage with portfolio companies, their peers and policymakers through industry groups like the UN PRI, the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change and others.
Top 1000 Funds: Institutional investors are investing more in emerging markets in line with the SDGs and Denmark’s PKA pension fund (Pensionskassernes Administration A/S) is one fund that is leading the way. The fund targets 10 per cent of its $40 billion assets under management in alternative ESG investments and an increasing portion of that is now invested in emerging markets via allocations to green bonds, infrastructure, micro-finance, water sanitation and a specific SDG fund.
IPE: Dutch asset managers APG and PGGM are developing an artificial intelligence (AI) based asset owner platform to assess potential “sustainable development investments” (SDIs).
Institutional Investor: Steve Pagliuca, the co-chairman of private equity firm Bain Capital, and Howard Marks, the co-chairman of alternative investment firm Oaktree Capital Management, were among the 145 executives who sent a letter to the Senate Thursday asking them to pass a bill on gun control.
Funds Europe: With Amazon fires burning at an unprecedented rate, investors should analyse their holding companies for deforestation risk policies.
S&P Global Market Intelligence: The U.S. may need to create its own classification system to encourage investment funds to take a standardized approach to environmental, social and governance criteria, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Robert Jackson Jr.
Top 1000 Funds: There has been an “evolution” among private equity managers in integrating ESG over the last three years, said Michael Cappucci, senior vice president, compliance and sustainable investing at the $37.1 billion Harvard Management Co, speaking at PRI in Person in Paris.
Funds Europe: Denmark’s AP Pension has decided to drop tobacco manufacturers from its multi-billion-euro investment portfolio on health and environmental grounds.
Institutional Asset Manager: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and European asset manager Amundi, have announced a USD500-million Asia Climate Bond Portfolio which aims to accelerate climate action in the Bank’s members and address the underdevelopment of the climate bond market.
Private Equity Wire: Capital is flowing into ESG investments with many private equity GPs now on the case. But to stay ahead, they will need credible evidence of impact, not just slick marketing.
Folketrygdfondet is an investment manager whose task is to manage the Government Pension Fund Norway (GPFN) on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. Contrary to the Government Pension Fund Global, also known as the "oil fund", the GPFN's capital base originates from surpluses in the national insurance scheme and is invested in Norway and the other Nordic countries. As at June 30th 2019, Folketrygdfondet had US$ 28.6 billion of assets under management.
As an investor with a long-term perspective, the Manager recognizes the links between sustainable development and financial returns. As such, it considers ESG risks in both its Equities and Fixed Income portfolio. Additionally, as part of its Equity strategy, Folketrygdfondet exercises its ownership rights and engages regularly with companies to enhance their value, either individually or as part of collaborative initiatives like Climate Action 100+.
GreenBiz: Two new global reports conclude that climate change could exert strong downward pressure on global economic performance. Although the effects are projected to have global implications, the impact will not be spread evenly. As such, understanding risks, exposures and relative positioning might help both companies and investors better protect themselves from the consequences.
IPE: The Church of England Pensions Board (CEPB) and Denmark’s MP Pension have co-filed a shareholder resolution with the world’s largest mining company BHP, calling for it to suspend its membership of industry associations whose lobbying activities are not in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Citywire Selector: Investors are operating with a ‘striking knowledge gap’ when it comes to ESG, despite many wanting to increase or improve their allocations here.
Top 1000 Funds: Shareholders, including institutional investors, were at the core of the obsession with short term returns by corporates, and are key to its reversal, according to Sir Winfried Bischoff chair of the UK regulator, the Financial Reporting Council.
Funds Europe: BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has transformed its flagship fund range to become fully sustainable in accordance with strict new criteria.
IPE: The battle lines are being drawn up in the debate over whether shareholder value maximisation or satisfying all stakeholders should be the primary objective of corporate management.
Funds Europe: Investors following the responsible investment trend focus less on returns from social and governance investing than they do on environmental opportunities.
IPE: Guy Opperman, UK pensions minister, is on a mission. And that mission has to do with climate change and UK pension schemes. Recently, in various contexts, he has made clear that he sees the latter as having a role to play in reining in the former.
Advisor's Edge: Most socially responsible investment funds are outperforming the average for their asset class in both short- and longer-term returns, according to a report from the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).