ESG NEWS IN COLLABORATION with
Here are the top news, stories, observations and other interesting things that we hear about in the market, with relevance for selection teams and sustainable investing.
#1 Danish Endowment appoints NN IP for a Mission related investment & Ninety One for an Impact Mandate
In 2021, Danish philanthropic organisation Realdania intensified its endeavour to boost investments in which financial returns and philanthropy go hand in hand. With the ambitious goal to have more than DKK 1 billion in mission-related investments by 2026, CIO Kenneth Lillelund Winther and the Realdania team have been busy searching for the right matches. After a thorough screening, facilitated by Global Fund Search (GFS) and an extensive due diligence process, the association awarded two such mandates at the end of December. For their passive ESG equity portfolio, Realdania chose to team up with NN Investment Partners (NN IP) and invest in their Enhanced Sustainability Strategy. Meanwhile, the newly listed equity impact mandate was awarded to Ninety One.
Looking for the right combination of ambitious sustainability goals, proven engagement results, and a long track record of running an enhanced passive ESG strategy can be challenging for a lean investment organisation like Realdania’s. Luckily, external partners can provide some support. “By using GFS, we make sure that a huge part of the universe is screened,” says Winther. “They also help us structure the requests for proposals and the incoming data in a way that makes it easier to compare the different strategies,” he adds.
Read the full NN IP article here (source: NordSIP)
Read the full Ninety One article here (source: NordSIP)
#2 New Year, New Taxonomy Controversy in the EU
While most of us were busy popping up champagne, the European Commission chose the last hours of New Year’s Eve 2021 to initiate consultations on the part of the green taxonomy concerning gas and nuclear activities. “Taking account of scientific advice and current technological progress, as well as varying transition challenges across Member States, the Commission considers there is a role for natural gas and nuclear as a means to facilitate the transition towards a predominantly renewable-based future,” reads the press release from Brussels published on the very first day of 2022.
According to the proposal, nuclear projects would be labelled “sustainable” if the host country can “ensure that no significant harm is done to other environmental objectives due to potential risks arising from the long-term storage and final disposal of nuclear waste”. This applies to all “new nuclear installations for which the construction permit has been issued by 2045,” the text says. The draft also notes that substantial progress is presently accomplished in the realisation of deep geological disposal facilities and, therefore, realistic solutions are becoming available for member states to develop and operate such facilities by 2050.
Read the full article here (source: NordSIP)
#3 US Institutions Widely Support new ESG rules
A majority of institutions support a proposed rule from the Department of Labor that would explicitly permit retirement plan fiduciaries to consider climate change and other environmental, social and governance factors when selecting investments and exercising shareholder rights, according to a new report examining comment letters.
The report, published Tuesday by the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and Environmental Defense Fund, found that 83% of comment letters submitted by institutions supported the Labor Department proposal.
Read the full article here (source: Pensions & Investments)
#4 The Scale of Radioactive Waste Management
Nuclear proliferation, environmental and public health concerns create a need for the establishment of well-regulated nuclear waste management processes, particularly when discussing nuclear energy as a potential green alternative. As is the case with the topics previously covered in this nuclear Energy series, even a cursory review of the issues affecting and affected by radioactive waste management shows that the topic is complex. The dangers are real, but technological solutions appear promising, particularly with regards to nuclear waste recycling.
Read the full article here (source: NordSIP)
#5 Are electric cars the new ‘diesel scandal’ waiting to happen?
Electric cars generate polluting particles just like petrol vehicles, are not even that cost-effective and, as one expert finds, will not save the planet. While diesel cars tend to be more fuel-efficient with lower emissions, they also emit greater quantities of other pollutants that damage air quality and health. Now, electric cars could be the future for many as Bjørn Lomborg explains.
Remember Britain’s ‘dash for diesel’? It began more than 20 years ago when the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced a new car tax system favouring vehicles with lower emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Diesel cars tend to be more fuel-efficient with lower emissions, and Mr Brown hailed them as the greener and cheaper option. Over a decade and a half, the number of such vehicles on British roads quadrupled. What didn’t emerge until much later — although it was no secret in the motor industry or among government officials — was that diesel cars also emitted greater quantities of other pollutants, nitrogen oxides and particulates that damage air quality and human health. Such particulates, which have been linked to respiratory problems, heart disease and lung cancer, have been responsible for thousands of premature deaths. Britain wasn’t alone, of course. In their desire to be seen as ever greener, governments of richer countries were all pursuing the same policies on car tax, or cutting duty on diesel fuel.
Read the full article here (source: Daily Mail)