BNN Bloomberg: Bank of America Corp. sparked a stir in January -- and a little envy -- with just a few lines of disclosure in its fourth-quarter earnings report.
National Post: Climate activists shattered 19 windows at HSBC’s headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf on Thursday as part of a protest against the financing of what the group says is devastating climate change that threatens the planet.
BNN Bloomberg: The stock performance of an Australian fund manager that’s focused on ethical investments is trouncing its peers as ESG assets soar in popularity.
Financial Post: Shareholders are making their biggest push yet into getting corporate America to look more like America.
Nasdaq: Jamie Dimon is a stone in the shoe of green investing. One of the guiding assumptions of environmental, social and governance-focused investors is that corporate enablers of heavy pollution will get whacked by the market.
BNN Bloomberg: Since late February, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued at least five public statements spelling out the wide variety of climate-related risks facing businesses and investors. It’s also warned the money-management industry about mislabeling ESG funds as being green when they really aren’t at all.
Yahoo Finance: JPMorgan’s head of environmental, social, and governance research Elaine Wu pointed out that sustainability funds doubled in 2020, and the market segment could double again in Asia, CNBC reports.
Investment Executive: Canadian asset managers are targeting boutique firms with environmental, social and governance (ESG) expertise to meet growing investor demand for responsible investing products.
Cision: RBC GAM became a formal supporter of the TCFD in 2020 and this report is RBC GAM's first stand-alone disclosure aligned to the TCFD recommendations. The report discloses data and metrics for the portfolios managed by RBC GAM, and demonstrates its commitment to providing clients with transparent and effective reporting on climate change considerations.
The University of Windsor Endowment is responsible for managing endowed gifts to support the university’s mission.
As part of its responsible investment practices, the University of Windsor Endowment evaluates investment managers on how effectively they incorporate ESG policies and active ownership into their responsible investment framework. Managers appointed by the University of Windsor Endowment must provide ESG reporting to investors, adhere to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment or have implemented their own ESG policy. To further its commitment towards responsible investment, the University of Windsor Endowment became a UN PRI signatory in July 2020.
Pensions & Investments: Pension funds and other asset owners are increasingly interested in beneficiaries' preferences when it comes to ESG issues, according to a report released by the Principles for Responsible Investment, a U.N.-affiliated investor initiative. [Full article available to Pensions & Investments subscribers.]
Reuters: The European Commission on Wednesday published its long-awaited system to classify "green" investments in sectors from industry to transport, but delayed vexed decisions on whether to label nuclear energy and power plants fuelled by natural gas as green.
GreenBiz: In the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, hundreds of U.S. companies produced statements decrying racism and promoting equity and inclusion.
Pensions & Investments: The Biden Administration is "probably going to join with Europe on mandating disclosure" of climate risk, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said Tuesday. [Full article available to Pensions & Investments subscribers.]
GreenBiz: In January, the city of New York announced with great fanfare that its massive public service retirement fund would jettison $4 billion worth of fossil fuel-related stocks and bonds.
Pensions & Investments: Now in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, investors are raising expectations about companies' responses to highlighted ESG issues such as diversity and, increasingly, connecting that to executive compensation. [Full article available to Pensions & Investments subscribers.]
Institutional Asset Manager: A group of global investors has developed investor expectations for the banking sector through the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), calling on banking firms to set enhanced net zero targets for 2050 or sooner with interim targets to be included, scale up green finance and withdraw from projects that fail to meet Paris Agreement goals.
Korea Herald: Under the pandemic, ESG becomes crucial element in evaluating financial firms, but tools, criteria still incomplete.
Wall Street Journal: For years, money manager Pacific Investment Management Co. wore its cutthroat reputation as a badge of honor. [Full article available to Wall Street Journal subscribers.]
The University of British Columbia Investment Management Trust (UBC IMANT) is responsible for the investment of the University of British Columbia’s Endowment Fund, Staff Pension Plan and Working Capital.
As part of its responsible investment practices, UBC IMANT requires their external managers to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in investment decision-making as well as corporate engagements and proxy voting decisions. Additionally, UBC IMANT monitors managers’ responsible investment practices as well as their participation in responsible investing organizations. Moreover, UBC IMANT collaborates with peers to promote ESG integration and disclosures. UBC IMANT became a UN PRI signatory on behalf of the University of British Columbia (Endowment) in July 2020.
BNN Bloomberg: One of the world’s biggest proxy-advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services, recommended investors vote against proposals filed with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other companies calling for them to undergo independent racial audits.
Institutional Asset Manager: A new study by PGIM and Greenwich Associates has revealed a significant gap between investors’ beliefs and their actions when it comes to climate change risks.
BNN Bloomberg: A study by an Ottawa think tank has found that women remain underrepresented in boardrooms of Canadian companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, despite the 2015 introduction of disclosure requirements intended to boost their numbers.
Buyouts Insider: Public relations firm Prosek Partners found most respondents to make virtual meetings a permanent part of their operations. [Full article available for Buyouts Insider subscribers.]
Eco-Business: Investment group Green Century used a shareholder proposal strategy to request that JPMorgan Chase issue a public report, outlining how it could improve efforts to reduce negative impacts on biodiversity across its banking portfolios.
Reuters: Global banking rulemakers need to undertake further analysis to clarify if lenders need to build up bigger capital buffers to cover possible environmental risks, the Swiss-based Basel Committee of banking regulators said on Wednesday.
Reuters: New York’s state pension fund is restricting investment in six Canadian oil sands companies because they have not shown they are prepared for a transition to a low-carbon future, the fund’s Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Monday.
ESG Today: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a Risk Alert, highlighting its observations from recent examinations of investment advisers, registered investment companies, and private funds that offer ESG products and services.
Eco-Business: The solutions that Indigenous people and local communities have to the climate crisis need to be heard above business-friendly 'sustainable development' experts from the West, say campaigners.
Established in 1997, the Australian Communities Foundation (previously the Melbourne Community Foundation) aims to achieve social and environmental justice by tackling inequality, strengthening democracy, supporting Indigenous communities, protecting the environment and promoting culture.
In 2019, the Australian Communities Foundation announced its intention to transition to a 100% responsibly invested portfolio. When selecting new external investment managers, the organization includes ESG considerations in its due diligence and monitors their responsible investment activities throughout the business relationship. Additionally, it requests managers to apply negative screening criteria on tobacco, gambling, alcohol, fossil fuels, anti-climate advocacy, weapons, violations of indigenous rights, modern slavery, pornography, animal cruelty and uranium. Moreover, the Australian Communities Foundation supports resolutions that promote gender diversity, responsible action on climate change, ethical and sustainable business practices and support indigenous communities. To further its commitment to responsible investing, the organization became a signatory to the UN PRI in November 2020.
Responsible and Impact Investment Policy 2020
Reuters: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday said it has found “potentially misleading” claims and inadequate controls around investing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in a review of investment advisors and funds.
BNN Bloomberg: Green funds have gained a reputation of benefiting from the tech rally during the pandemic. As the economy recovers and investors shift to cheaper stocks, those products might still be able to thrive.
Reuters: Britain’s pensions regulator will consider enforcement action against pension schemes that do not make mandatory climate risk disclosures, it said on Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal: The money manager and its lenders tied costs around a $4.4 billion credit facility to BlackRock’s diversity and sustainability goals. [Full article available to Wall Street Journal subscribers.]
Funds Europe: FactSet’s Adam Salvatori analyses some of the challenges of making the UN's Sustainable Development Goals a reality, and looks at what role impact and ESG investors can play.
Insitutional Asset Manager: More than a third of total assets under management worldwide are now under the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, an industry action group aiming to reduce carbon emissions in the investment world.
Institutional Investor: A Canadian pension fund and its private equity partner come under fire.
Yahoo! Finance: BlackRock is one of the first major investment firms set to conduct an independent audit of how its business may have contributed to racial inequities in the financial system, Bloomberg News reported.
Institutional Investor: With backing from Investcorp-Tages, DSC Meridian’s Sheru Chowdhry is hoping to fill the void for ESG credit strategies.
Established in 1974, East Sussex Pension Fund (“ESPF”) provides pension benefits for employees of the County Council, other councils and public authorities of East Sussex. As at March 31, 2020, they had GBP3.479 billion of assets under management.
As part of its responsible investment approach, ESPF ensures that its external managers integrate environmental, social and governance considerations (“ESG”) into their investment analysis and provide transparency through ESG reporting. With regards to climate change, ESPF takes part in collaborative engagements through ESG-related industry groups such as Climate Action 100+ and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). To further its commitment to responsible investing, ESPF became a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment in December 2020.
Statement of Responsible Investment Principles 2020
Top 1000 Funds: Asset managers have a chance to really impact the real economy with their commitment to net zero. The Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative now has 73 signatories and one third of assets in the industry committed. It’s reached tipping point, says one of the initiatives’ founders Ed Mason.
Private Equity International: The country’s limited partners will continue to favour corporate engagement over exclusionary screening of controversial sectors. [Full article available to Private Equity International subscribers.]
GreenBiz: After the murder of George Floyd in May, Amazon’s official Twitter account tweeted: "Together we stand in solidarity with the Black community — our employees, customers and partners — in the fight against systemic racism and injustice."
Institutional Investor: Allocators and consultants shared concerns about staff mental health in a survey of 700 institutional investors.
Wall Street Journal: A billionaire British hedge-fund manager’s campaign to make large public companies set near-term targets for carbon-emission cuts is encountering challenges from U.S. corporations and money managers. [Full article available to Wall Street Journal subscribers.]
ESG Today: The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) announced today the launch of a Technical Expert Group (TEG) tasked with assessing the technical recommendations to be developed as part of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation’s (IFRS) sustainability standards project.
Reuters: A group of religious and socially conscious investors and other funds are ramping up pressure on Western companies over alleged human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, highlighting the challenges for brands trying to maintain their business ties amid rising tensions.
CNN: Worsening inequality, trillions of dollars in economic damage and depressed economic growth. Those are the outcomes that economists fear we will face unless the world aggressively confronts the climate crisis.
Institutional Asset Manager: Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of the world’s largest asset managers, has released its tenth annual ‘Active Ownership’ report, which reveals that over the course of 2020, it increased company engagements by 21 per cent and continued to vote globally, opposing the election of more than 4,700 company directors, as it sought to effect positive change at companies in which it invests.