Established in 2017 under the German Nuclear Waste Management Act, KENFO is responsible for funding the costs of the safe disposal of radioactive waste from the commercial use of nuclear energy to generate electricity in Germany and invests the funds transferred to it. KENFO has around EUR 24 billion of funds under management.
As part of its responsible investment approach, KENFO integrates environmental, social and governance considerations into the process for selecting investment managers. Additionally, it applies negative and norms-based screening on coal, nuclear power plant operators and the UN Global Compact. To further its commitment to sustainability, KENFO joined the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance in March 2020 and became a signatory of the UN PRI in November of the same year.
BNN Bloomberg: The flip side of the stampede into sustainable investments in recent years is that companies with the greatest need to decarbonize are increasingly starved of funding.
ESG Today: Several sustainability-focused investors and investment organizations have signed on to an open letter, along with scientists and NGOs, calling for new fossil gas projects to be excluded from the EU Taxonomy classifying sustainable investments.
ESG Today: Following the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRS) announcement in February of plans to move forward towards the establishment of global sustainability reporting standards, the IFRS has announced the formation of a working group consisting of leading reporting standards bodies to accelerate that goal.
Institutional Investor: Community foundations are prioritizing diversity and inclusion in their investment portfolios and grant-making, according to investment consulting firm NEPC.
Hedge Week: There is a lot of talk about ESG. It dominates column inches and pitch decks at levels unimaginable only a decade ago. The need for companies to adopt and integrate ESG is imperative if environmental issues – the hardest and most important component – are to be resolved in the coming decades and a mass extinction avoided.
Reuters: Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s CEO responded to complaints from junior bankers by saying management is going to work harder to give them Saturdays off and to shift bankers from other divisions to the busiest teams in the investment bank, according to a transcript of a call seen by Reuters on Monday.
BNN Bloomberg: Bitcoin’s massive rally over the past year means it’s only getting worse for the environment.
Institutional Investor: Inappropriate questions, sexual harassment, racial discrimination: The world’s largest asset manager confronts an ugly past.
Top 1000 Funds: Two of the world’s most influential institutional investors are hitting a brick wall in their attempts to engage with Amazon’s board on workplace safety. Every time the Netherland’s APG and the office of New York City Comptroller, fiduciary to New York city’s five pension funds, try to engage with the board at the tech giant in which they own a combined $6.5 billion they get push back from management.
Established in 2006, the Swiss Federal Pension Fund PUBLICA (“PUBLICA”) is the pension fund of the federal state employees of Switzerland. As at December 31, 2019, they had CHF 41 billion of assets under management.
As a responsible investor, PUBLICA has implemented screening criteria around the Swiss Association for Responsible Investments SVVK-ASIR'S list of exclusions and the UN Global Compact’s principles. With regards to its infrastructure bond portfolio, PUBLICA favors investments with a better ESG profile over alternatives that have the same risk/return profile. With respect to active ownership, PUBLICA actively exercises its voting rights and actively seeks dialogue with portfolio companies on ESG issues. To further its commitment to responsible investing, the organization became a signatory to the UN PRI in November 2020.
Top 1000 Funds: Sustainability bonds issued by sovereign governments in developing and emerging markets offer exciting investor opportunities. The proceeds are used for impact and allow investors to target real change in sectors like health and education.
ESG Today: World Bank Group member the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), and a group of leading impact investors announced the launch of the Joint Impact Indicators (JII), a set of high-level, harmonized indicators aimed at helping impact investors to measure and report on their investment activities.
IPE: FIR and France Invest publish report about conclusions reached by working group of investment professionals. [Full article available to IPE subscribers.]
Yahoo! Finance: BlackRock on Thursday warned companies that rely on nature or have an impact on natural habitats to publish a "no deforestation" policy and their strategy on biodiversity or face pushback from the asset manager at their annual meetings.
Reuters: JPMorgan Chase & Co is expanding a recruitment program to fast-track more Black college students to internships and jobs in the investment bank, commercial bank and asset & wealth management businesses, the company said on Wednesday.
BNN Bloomberg: The biggest Nordic bank plans to reduce its holdings of oil and gas stocks. The largest French insurer dropped RWE AG as a client because of the German energy giant’s reliance on coal. HSBC Holdings Plc announced plans to scale back its lending to fossil-fuel companies following criticism from shareholders. And the European Union has introduced new rules intended to crack down on greenwashing by managers of investment funds.
Top1000Funds: Targets, allocating to diverse managers and acting on calls for change from diverse staffers are just some of the ways asset owners are boosting diversity in their own organisations. Investors at the Kresge Foundation, AP2 and AIMCo talk about their diversity, equity and inclusion action.
The Asset: Increased efforts to bring sustainable disclosure standards together.
Funds Europe: Asset managers are keeping UK pension trustees in the dark on how they oversee their investments, research has suggested.
Created in 2008 by the Luxembourg State and the Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, Fondation de Luxembourg now supports and guides donors who wish to make a long-term commitment to the development of philanthropic projects.
As part of its responsible investment practices, Fondation de Luxembourg applies negative and norms-based screening on controversial weapons, pornography, tobacco, and countries on which the European Union has imposed sanctions. Moreover, it favors socially responsible investment funds with an ESG label granted by an independent labelling agency, instruments that have a clear ESG focus for index-tracking investments, and investments in microfinance and impact funds. Furthermore, when selecting an asset manager, the foundation reviews their socially responsible investment practices. Fondation de Luxembourg became a UN PRI signatory in December 2020.
The Asset: Four pointers to speed trend towards gender equality on International Women’s Day.
IPE: Review of existing schemes comes ahead of next week’s introduction of EU sustainability regulations.
GreenBiz: Last summer, the investment arm of northern Europe’s largest financial services group dropped Brazilian meat giant JBS from its portfolio. Nordea Asset Management, which manages roughly $280 billion, gave several reasons for the decision, including JBS’s links to farms involved in Amazon deforestation.
Reuters: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has formed an enforcement task force to examine misconduct related to environmental, social and governance issues as the regulator ramps up a focus on climate and other hot-button topics.
Top1000Funds: The climate-impact dashboard is part of a 3-D investment framework that balances risk, return and impact. This includes total portfolio thinking, long-horizon investing, impact investment strategies, system-level engagement and strategic partnership between asset owners and asset managers. Here Tim Hodgson lays out eight guiding principles to help shape a climate-impact dashboard.
BNN Bloomberg: Three days after new Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser outlined a net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions target, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon is following suit.
Top1000Funds: The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund says that voting is one of the most important tools to safeguard its assets. Ahead of the AGM season getting underway, NBIM – which owns the equivalent of 1.5 per cent of every listed company – plans to publish its voting decisions five days ahead of corporate meetings in a bid to increase transparency.
Reuters: Private equity firms are proving there’s still plenty of profit in the U.S. coal industry despite a decade of falling demand for the fossil fuel. They are spending billions of dollars buying coal-fired plants on the cheap - and getting paid even when they are not providing power.
Institutional Asset Manager: The average pay for female directors at FTSE-350 financial services firms stands at GBP247,100 compared to GBP722,300 for their male counterparts, suggesting slow progress has been made in promoting women to senior, higher-paid executive positions, according to new research by Fox and Partners, the employment and partnership law specialists.
The California Wellness Foundation was established in 1990, when HealthNet, one of the state's largest health care and insurance providers, converted from non-profit to for-profit status. The foundation now aims to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, health environments and safe neighbourhoods.
In 2017, the California Wellness Foundation started to align their investments with their mission and vision. Since then, they have allocated $US 48 million to mission-related investments that provide resources and capital to underserved communities. The foundation’s mission-related investments integrate environmental, social and governance considerations and actively exclude companies causing the greatest harm to underserved communities. Moreover, the California Wellness Foundation committed to invest $US 10 million in program-related investments that target affordable housing or small business lending over the next five years.
Financial Post: For the second consecutive year, Barclays Plc shareholders will vote on whether the bank should wind down its lending to the fossil-fuel sector.
City A.M.: The US mutual fund company Vanguard has been named the world’s largest institutional investor in the coal industry, with holdings of almost $86 bn, according to research carried out by Rainforest Action Network, Urgewald and 28 other NGO partners.
BNN Bloomberg: Emerging-market nations are looking at issuing the first nature-linked bonds as part of talks involving the World Bank and major sovereign creditors to make their debt more sustainable.
GreenBiz: After years of debate over the definition of materiality, 2020 has brought a consensus that materiality is double — meaning that businesses should report on financially material topics that influence enterprise value as well as topics material to the economy, environment and people.
BNN Bloomberg: More than any other bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co. finds itself stuck at the center of a fossil-fuel quagmire.
IPE: Pension fund says NGO campaign played no part in decision behind move leading to Elbit Systems dropping out of portfolio.
Institutional Asset Manager: Black Women in Asset Management (BWAM) has launched the BWAM Leadership Accelerator - a transformative six-month programme that will bring together a cohort of high-performing Black women from across the asset management industry (including professional services).
The Guardian: Asset manager says it will also scrutinise generous pay packages if companies have had state aid in pandemic.
The Guardian: The bank, which is due to reveal its annual results this week, faces more challenges than the impact of Covid-19 on profits.