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Investment Week (September 14)

2020/ 09/ 16 by jd in Global News

The “Next Generation EU” deal provides ESG investors with much to watch. The €550bn “centerpiece of the stimulus” focuses on fighting climate change through “expenditures earmarked for promoting energy efficiency and developing renewable energy resources, emission-free vehicles, and sustainable transport, alongside other measures of environmental protection designed to help meet Europe’s 2050 climate neutrality pledge.”


Institutional Investor (August 25)

2020/ 08/ 27 by jd in Global News

“ESG investments have proven effective at reducing risk and delivering returns comparable to those of non-ESG oriented funds. During the stock market collapse in the first quarter of 2020, Morningstar found that all but two out of 26 ESG indexes suffered fewer losses than their conventional counterparts. Studies from Morgan Stanley and MSCI have found no financial trade-off in the returns delivered by ESG funds relative to traditional funds.”


Investments & Pensions Europe (November Issue)

2019/ 11/ 27 by jd in Global News

“In India, where there is next to no focus on ESG, there is a growing realisation that externalities matter in areas like water management or rice production, which is highly water intensive. A small but growing band of investors is seeking to put ESG on the map.”


Institutional Investor (December 14)

2018/ 12/ 15 by jd in Global News

“Institutional investors have long been skeptical that impact funds can deliver the returns they need to meet their investment objectives.’ But Impact Capital Investors a consortium of multiple investment firms is attempting to make the case with convincing evidence that investors “don’t have to trade high returns for so-called impact investing, or investing with social, environmental, and other objectives.”


The Economist (October 27)

2018/ 10/ 29 by jd in Global News

“Blind adherence to ESG criteria… could skew capital flows towards the most privileged parts of the world. That would make it harder for poorer economies to escape poverty—a failure that could, in turn, inhibit their progress on green, governance and social-justice matters.” For this reason, Charlie Robertson and others are arguing that “ethical investors should instead adopt a kind of economic relativism, judging countries relative to their GDP per person.”


Institutional Investor (January 16)

2018/ 01/ 18 by jd in Global News

“BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has written a letter to CEOs detailing his requests for corporate stewardship as the firm moves toward shareholder activism year-round…. The letter is the latest move by an asset manager to focus more on shareholder activism and environmental, social and governance criteria in investments. For instance, BlackRock competitor Vanguard Group said in an August report that it is taking a more active approach to monitoring companies in its portfolio, while a McKinsey & Co. study published in October found that asset managers no longer consider ESG a niche strategy.”


Professional Pensions (November Issue)

2017/ 11/ 26 by jd in Global News

“The problem with ESG fund ratings is primarily that they are fairly new—and are therefore prone to criticism that they are not detailed enough, are missing information, or are failing to analyse certain aspects of companies.” At this stage, “to truly reduce ESG risk exposure, those overseeing funds may need to do their own research and engage with companies to properly inform their decision-making.”



Institutional Investor (May 24)

2017/ 05/ 26 by jd in Global News

Quants may be able to “fundamentally transform the ability of investors to find companies that embrace ESG principles.” Beyond crunching more widely available ESG data, some hope that unstructured data, ranging “from people’s comments on social media to data mined from online retailers,” can reveal “hard-to-measure issues like corporate culture or a commitment to the environment.”


Institutional Investor (October 29)

2015/ 10/ 29 by jd in Global News

“Just as information from barometers and thermometers can help us prepare for tomorrow’s weather, so corporate information on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can help investors make better decisions and prepare for the future” by providing such information “as whether supply chain management takes account of climate risk, whether fixed assets are based in areas prone to flooding and cyclones and whether the scale of a company’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is contributing to more extreme weather events over the long term.” But the problem is “too few companies report on such ESG factors. And when they do, it is often voluntarily reported, which tends to mean different methodologies and measures too inconsistent for investors to compare efficiently.” There is an obvious solution. Global stock exchanges should “coordinate the reporting of sustainability metrics just as they do with financial metrics.”


Institutional Investor (June 26)

2012/ 06/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Despite the rise in prominence of environmental, social and corporate governance issues, many corporations still do not include ESG risks into their financial performance.” Part of the problem is the lack of a robust international framework, but progress is being made with the London-based International Integrated Reporting Committee expected “to release a prescriptive integrated framework that provides guidance details for measurements by industry sector by mid-to-late next year. Prior to that, GRI will publish their own prescriptive, but not as detailed, framework by next May.” Another issue, however, is data collection. Companies will “need the processes and controls to collect the data” for ESG reporting. Ultimately, Institutional Investor believes, “getting ESG risk in financial statements may need investor muscle…. It may be up to a few active ESG investors to push changes at the board level.”


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