Based in Denmark, Sampension is a customer-owned pension company offering labour market and company pensions. The organization provided pension benefits to 278,000 individuals and had USD 44 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2018.
Sampension's Responsible Investment policy applies to all of its assets under management. Additionally, it applies recognized international norms and investor initiatives based on Environmental and Social issues such as the UN PRI, the UN Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the OECD Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors. As an active owner, Sampension engages with portfolio companies which are negatively contributing to the UN SDGs, as well as highly pollutant companies through Climate Action 100+.
GreenBiz: With global stock markets having plunged into bear market territory, the conventional wisdom is that the coronavirus storm sinks all boats. Or does it? While it’s true that equity funds experienced severe losses pretty much across the board, some fared better than others.
Top 1000 Funds: ESG data provider, Fair Supply Analytics, has produced technology that maps the impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains, and can be used by investors to measure their investment portfolios exposure to the sectors and countries most effected.
Funds Europe: The three European Supervisory Authorities (the EBA, EIOPA and Esma – collectively known as the ESAs) have opened a consultation on ESG disclosure standards for financial market participants, advisers and products.
IPE: Nordic pension funds PKA and Folksam have invested in a new SEK11.5bn (€1bn) 2022 issue of Swedish krona-denominated sustainable development bonds from the World Bank, some of whose proceeds will be used to fight the coronavirus pandemic in developing countries.
Top 1000 Funds: Once the core part of the COVID-19 crisis is behind us, leading market participants will continue to engage with the long-term imperative. Major asset owners have asserted their long-term view and the stakeholder approach seems likely to accelerate given the shape and impact of this current crisis.
Bloomberg: The officials who oversee New York’s city and state pensions are joining a push to remove Lee Raymond, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s longest-serving director, from the bank’s board due to his track record on climate change.
Pensions & Investments: U.S. senators have sent competing letters to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell regarding climate risk in BlackRock's management of the Fed's three new programs aimed at supporting the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Bloomberg: When Billy Bailey first pitched betting against shale stocks to oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, crude prices were above $70 a barrel and the fracking boom was in the first few years of its life.
Bloomberg: Citigroup Inc. will stop providing financial services to thermal coal-mining companies over the next 10 years to help accelerate the economy’s shift away from fossil fuels.
Established in 1990, TelstraSuper is a superannuation fund for current and past employees of Telstra, an Australian telecommunication company. As of June 30, 2019, the superannuation fund had AU$ 21 billion of assets under management.
As a long-term investor, TelstraSuper integrates sustainability into its investment process, and behaves as an active owner to prevent value destruction in both its internally and externally managed assets. Furthermore, the super fund implemented a climate change strategy in order to manage the carbon risks embedded in its portfolios. As such, it joined Climate Action 100+ in December 2019 to engage highly polluting companies, and invests in wind and solar power generation.
The Asset: Like a metal door closing shut, the global virus pandemic has silenced the steady hum of commerce. Lockdowns have halted businesses and schools, disrupted supply chains, closed airports and stopped air travel. As streets from Manila to Mumbai turned eerily empty in what would have been congested daily traffic, photos shared on social media instead were of picture-perfect magnificent blue skies of city views never seen for some time.
Top 1000 Funds: The current coronavirus crisis has exposed many weaknesses, one of them being the chronic under-investment in social infrastructure in most countries – developed and emerging. In fact, after a long period of neglect and decay, investment needs and investment gaps were already huge before this crisis, not only for health and disaster management but across the board.
Forbes: The COVID-19 pandemic is, first and foremost, a human tragedy and global health crisis, affecting millions of people around the globe. As much of the world reels from the crippling effects of this crisis, so does the global economy.
Bloomberg: Social bond issuance is poised to almost double last year’s total as more borrowers raise debt to respond to the humanitarian crisis presented by Covid-19, according to one of the top underwriters of the securities.
Bloomberg: When Gideon Smith and his AXA Rosenberg colleagues set up their quant fund in 2013, they called it “Sustainable Equities” since the original goal was to deliver sustainable earnings.
Strategy + Business: The year 2019 was one of cataclysmic fire and rain. Wildfires swept across California, the Amazon, and Australia, and storms and floods deluged parts of six continents — a string of natural disasters that scientists say were caused by the changing climate. And in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has coursed through the world.
Bloomberg: We are all grappling with coronavirus right now— both the immediate reality and what it means for the future. Governments are assuming a much bigger role in the economies of developed countries, propping up households and businesses that would otherwise be ruined by the desperate measures being taken to stop the spread of disease.
Bloomberg: Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, has become a shorthand for what companies do to integrate environmental, social and governance issues into their businesses. Until now it’s been a mashup of philanthropy, employee engagement, renewable energy programs and investor relations.
Financial News London: Climate-change campaigners are putting on a brave face. They say the coronavirus crisis will focus attention on this even bigger threat to global public health, give governments more levers to force companies to take the issue seriously, and change consumers’ behaviour in a way that will lead to permanent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Founded in 1904, PREVI (Caixa de Previdência dos Funcionários do Banco do Brasil) is one of the largest pension funds in Latin America with total assets of R$ 201.7 billion ($ 52.7 billion) and around 200,000 members as at December 31, 2018.
As one of the founding signatories to the UN PRI, PREVI is heavily involved with promoting responsible investment in South America. The Brazilian pension fund regularly organizes events with other institutional investors to share best practice, leading to the creation of best practice guide on ESG implementation for institutional investors.
Politico: Sustainability discussions are taking on a new shape as the world heads deeper into the Covid-19 pandemic. They’re turning away from the E in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments, and toward the S and G.
IPE: Luxembourg’s €20bn pension reserve fund Fonds de Compensation (FDC) is to publish a sustainability report in the third quarter of 2020, after pressure from environmental campaign group Greenpeace Luxembourg (GL).
IPE: Danish pension funds PKA and PenSam have signed a new green energy deal under their alternatives partnership, investing DKK1.7bn (€228m) in two solar energy plants in California and Texas owned by US renewables developer Longroad Energy.
Bloomberg: ESG investors face a new threat in the age of coronavirus: "social washing". Much like the greenwashing that exaggerates or misrepresents the environmental credentials of a project or a company, social washing can occur when the impact of an investment on labor rights or human rights are falsely overstated.
IPE: The European Commission has launched a well-trailed consultation on its renewed sustainable finance strategy, which it aims to adopt in the second half of this year and is closely linked to its green economic growth plan.
Top 1000 Funds: The integration of ESG issues into investment practice and decision making is an increasingly standard part of the regulatory and legal requirements for institutional investors around the world. In China, two key drivers have recently prompted interest in responsible investment: a government effort to promote green finance, and the increasing globalisation of China’s investment market.
Bloomberg: Harris Associates, a multibillion-dollar asset manager that has touted responsible investing, agreed to enact a series of investor-driven measures after it was disclosed that one of its top managers helped fund groups that question the consensus on climate change.
Bloomberg: After running one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds for Western Europe’s biggest oil-producing nation, Kjaer has become something of an activist. “Climate change is a threat to our civilization,” he says after gathering up some old Ikea glasses and heading to his 10th-floor conference room. “We only have a few decades to handle it.”
Pensions & Investments: It's time for hedge funds to take ESG investing seriously or risk losing money and assets.
The West Midlands Pension Fund is an UK-based institution that forms part of the Local Government Pension System. As of March 31, 2019, the Pension Fund managed GBP 17.5 billion of assets on behalf of over 320,000 members.
The West Midlands Pension Fund considers responsible investment and climate change as guiding principles of its investment approach. The Pension Fund conducts specific due diligence on the ESG integration capabilities of external managers. Furthermore, it conducts corporate engagements and submits shareholder resolutions at portfolio companies. For the 2019 and 2020, the Fund focused on Climate Change, Sustainable Food Systems, Human Rights and Responsible Financial Management as its core focus for corporate engagements.
Responsible Investment Framework – 2020
Yahoo Finance: Funds focused on buying stocks that score well on environmental, social and governance-related metrics proved a safer harbour for investors during the coronavirus-fuelled market rout last month.
The Wall Street Journal: Last year, 11 mutual funds in the U.S. rebranded themselves or changed their strategy to emphasize interest in environmental, social and governance, or ESG, on the part of the companies that they held.
African Development Bank Group: The African Development Bank’s “Fight Covid-19” social bond, the largest social bond to date to be issued in the capital markets, listed on London Stock Exchange on Friday 3 April 2020, and is now available through its Sustainable Bond Market.
Institutional Investor: The hedge fund that’s vacuumed up almost 100 local newspapers hit its Southern California papers with another round of layoffs Thursday, cutting jobs that the state deems “essential” in fighting the pandemic.
IPE: The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has launched two signatory groups to facilitate discussions about investor responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
GreenBiz: Since the launch of the first green bond (labeled a "Climate Awareness Bond") on July 4, 2007, by the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank, green bonds have seen many breakthroughs, but challenges remain.
IPE: Danish pension funds PKA, Lærernes Pension and Velliv have all taken action recently on their holdings in US companies involved in the running of for-profit prisons, with the first two divesting and the third engaging with firms to improve practices.
Bloomberg: Sustainable bonds are a “defensive opportunity” that credit investors should favor over non-green, investment-grade corporate notes, said UBS Global Wealth’s head of credit, Thomas Wacker.
IPE: Swedish national pension fund AP7 has joined large pension funds from the US and elsewhere in founding a new sustainability initiative to raise awareness about the harm companies can do to water supplies around the world.