ESG News

ESG News 07/2023 (13.02. – 19.02.)

Weekly ESG News: Financial Services and Insurance Industry

Weekly ESG News by Sustainable Finance Daily provide you with all relevant sustainable finance information of the last week. We cover the Insurance- and Financial Services Industry. No sign-up or mail address required.

Products and Service

Deutsche Bank and WWF signed a new agreement to advance sustainable finance

Deutsche Bank and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) intend to work together on creating structures, processes and the bank’s dialogue with its clients for sustainability related topics. In addition, the cooperation focuses on understanding different investment needs around sustainable projects in order to develop financial products which meet the expectations of Deutsche Bank´s clients. The agreement runs for two years.

AXA Investment Management links compensation to ESG ambitions

In order to strengthen AXA´s net zero commitments by 2050, AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) included ESG targets in the remuneration of its senior executives. Overall, 400 employees are affected. Criteria for the deferred compensation include e.g. weighted average carbon intensity of the portfolios, alignment of the real estate portfolio to the CRREM trajectories and the carbon emission footprint. Read more here.

World Bank issues a $50m emission reduction-linked bond to support water access in Vietnam

The World Bank issued this week a five-year, $50m emission reduction-linked Bond. The return is linked to the issuance of Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) issued in Vietnam. The project targets to manufacture 300,000 water purifiers and distribute them to schools and institutions. Furthermore, the project expects to make clean water available to around two million children and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 3 million tons of carbon dioxide over 5 years. Read more here.

Barclays scales down oil sands financing

Barclays commits to new restrictions on oil sands. From July 2023, Barclays will not finance new oil sands exploration, production, or processing and restricts finance to companies that generate more than 10 percent of their revenues from these activities. Read more here.

Robeco will manage multi-asset climate solution fund for Phoenix Group

Phoenix Group has assigned £338 million to a new multi asset climate solution which will be managed by Robeco. Phoenix will further diversify the sources of return while enabling investments in climate change leader and companies targeting net zero. The portfolio will consist of equities and credit investments. Read more here.

Regulations, Government and Law

EU Commission defines rules for Renewable Hydrogen

The EU Commission has adopted two Delegated Acts, as required under Article 27(3) of the Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001), defining what constitutes renewable hydrogen need to have for the EU. This is another important step for complementing an EU regulatory framework for hydrogen. Read more here.

French Regulator AMF calls for stricter standards

Main area of concern is linked to the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) which is effective from January 2023. Generally, key critics include i.e. that there are no minimum environmental impact requirements defined and the concept around sustainable investments is not specified in detail. This opens up the door for greenwashing according to the AMF.

UK´s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) announces release of new guidance

The new guidance will push for more transparency in regards to marketing claims around the terms “net zero” and “carbon neutral”. As more and more companies start advertising their contribution to ESG goals, ASA sees the need for a stricter ruleset. In 2022, HSBC was already requested to take down ads which created the impression that HSBC´s financing activities had a net benefit on the environment.

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launches consultation on Green and Transition Taxonomy

The Green Finance Industry Taskforce (GFIT), convened by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), launched its final public consultation on a green and transition taxonomy for Singapore-based financial institutions. As a consequence, the consultation seeks views on the detailed thresholds and criteria for the classification of green and transition activities in five sectors. The application date of the new rules is foreseen for 2024. Read more here.

ESG news about Green Bond and Sustainability-linked Bond Issuances

Jacobs issues $500m sustainability-linked bond

Jacobs announced this week the closing of its $500 million senior unsecured notes offering. All in all, the 10Y bond is closely tied to Jacob´s newly published Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework. As a result, the interest rates payable are tied to Jacobs’ commitment to increase gender diversity in leadership positions, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more here.

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