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.
Weekly Sustainable Finance Newsletter 19/2023
ESG News of the last week in detail
Products and Service
State Street launches global Carbon Asset-Servicing Solution
State Street Corporation announced this week the launch of the State Street Carbon Asset Servicing Solution and depositary services. The new solution allows asset manag-ers, asset owners and other financial services institutions world-wide the ability to integrate carbon-related assets into their portfolios as the demand for the asset class continues to grow. Read more here.
Actis Launches $500m re-newables business in Japan and makes first acquisition
Actis launched its new US$500 million Japan-focused renewables platform “Nozomi Energy” this week. Nozomi will target 1.1GW of onshore wind and solar power generation by 2027. The investment is made from Actis’ fifth and latest energy infrastructure fund, which represents $6 billion of investable capital. Over the upcoming months and years, Actis will follow a buy and build strategy to grow the portfolio. Read more here.
Schroders Capital exceeds €320mn for first close of European sub-investment grade infrastructure debt fund
Schroders Capital announced that the asset manager has raised over €320 million following an initial round of closes of its Schroders Capital Junior Infrastructure Debt Europe III fund. The fund focuses on sub-investment grade infrastructure debt opportunities across Europe. Furthermore, the fund was classified under Art. 8 of SFDR. Read more here.
Folium Capital launches regenerative Natural Resources Fund combining for-est and agriculture assets
Folium Capital announced this week the launch of its Regenerative Natural Resources Fund. The fund will focus on investments in agriculture and forestry across selected geographies. It aims to maximize return by optimizing land use across both asset classes, while positioning the Fund to provide a positive contribution toward climate change and mitigation. The Fund seeks to raise USD 500mn in capital. Read more here.
Regulations, Government and Law
Biden administration announced plans for green-house gas emissions from power plants
The administration of president Biden proposed new regulations last Thursday that could (if enacted) significantly limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. As power plants are the second most harmful source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., the proposal will lead most likely to intense discussions with the energy industry.
Consultation to enhance the international applica-bility of the SASB Standards are now open
The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) is seeking feedback on its proposed methodology for enhancing the international applicability of the SASB Standards. Additionally, in line with the planned SASB Standards adjustments, updates to the SASB Standards Taxonomy are envisaged. The consultation phase will end on August, 09 2023. Read more here.
Australia to invest $1.4bn to scale up renewable hydrogen industry
Australia will invest A$2 billion ($1.4 billion) to scale up development of its renewable hydrogen industry according to a government announcement last week. The investment intends to speed up the development of clean energy projects in the country. The funds will be allocated under a “Hydrogen Headstart” programme.
ESG Data and Analytics
ClarityAI and GIST Impact Team announced a partnership to launch biodiversity assessment and reporting capabilities
Clarity AI and the impact data and intelligence provider “GIST Impact” have announced this week a partnership in the development of a biodiversity impact assessment solution. GIST Impact has over 15 years of experience in biodiversity and impact metrics which will support the creation of a market-leading product. Combined with Clarity AI´s ecosystem and comprehensive coverage, the two companies will tackle the biodiversity-themed asset management market which gained almost USD 1bn this year. Read more here.
CBRE Property Management forms partnership with Deepki
CBRE Group announced this week a global strategic partnership of its property group with Deepki. CBRE intends to bring Deepki´s landlord-focused real estate sustainability data-intelligence platforms to the commercial properties CBRE manages for investors around the world. Furthermore, CBRE Group will make a strategic investment in the growing software-as-a-service solution provider. Read more here.
EY launched “EY OpsChain ESG”
EY announced this week the beta version of “EY OpsChain ESG” on its EY Blockchain SaaS platform. The new tool will provide a single and verifiable view of CO2 emissions to address the needs of companies that face challenges to accurately measure and track their carbon footprint. In addition, the solution will provide a trusted alternative for emissions and carbon credit traceability. The platform is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Read more here.
S&P Global Sustainable1 launched its new Nature & Biodiversity Risk Dataset
S&P Global Sustainable1 has launched this week “Nature & Biodiversity Risk”. The new dataset assesses nature-related impacts and dependencies across a company’s direct operations that can be applied at the asset, company and portfolio level. This new dataset will support companies and investors in establishing a better understanding, management and mitigating strategy of exposure of nature related risks and impacts. Nature & Biodiversity Risk can be accessed through S&P Capital IQ Pro and covers over 17,000 companies and over 1.6 million assets. Read more here.
Sustainable Finance Leadership Announcements
Allison Herren Lee joined Persefoni´s Sustainability Advisory Board
Persefoni announced this week that former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Acting Chair and Commissioner Allison Herren Lee has joined its Sustainability Advisory Board. Allison Herren Lee focused on bringing climate disclosures forward and also launched a comprehensive investor education program during her time at the SEC.
BNP Paribas Asset Management announced two new members of its Sustainability Centre
Nogoye Dieng joined as a Senior Steward-ship Analyst. She will focus on voting activ-ities, analyzing AGM agendas and ensuring the application of BNPP AM’s detailed voting policy. She will also be involved in company engagement on a range of ESG issues. Additionally, Sindhu Janakiram joined the research team as an ESG Analyst, Equality Lead and focuses mainly on the social component of ESG. Read more here.
BNP Paribas details and strengthens its energy transition am-bitions and updates its policies
BNP Paribas provided more details on its plans to withdraw from oil and gas exploration and production activities, following the an-nouncement to strengthen its commitments on January 24th, 2023. The bank will no longer provide any financing dedicated to the development of new oil and gas fields regardless of the financing methods. This has been reflected in an updated version of its Oil and Gas sector policy as well. Furthermore, additional details were provided on how BNP Paribas intends to reach a reduction of its financing of oil exploration and production by 80% by 2030. Read more here.
Amundi, HSBC and ACCR filed a shareholder resolution with Japan´s J-Power
Institutional investors including HSBC Asset Management and Amundi have been working with Electric Power Development Co. Ltd on its decarbonization strategy. They announced this week a new climate shareholder resolution which also signaled the intention to vote against the director in charge. Main points of the resolution, co-filed as well by Amundi, HSBC, ACCR and supported by Man Group, pushes for setting and disclosing credible short and medium-term emissions reduction targets. Another point addresses the disclosure of remuneration policies that incentivize achieving the emissions reduction targets. Read more here.
ESG News about Green Bonds and Sustainability-linked Bond Issuances
Verizon issued its fifth $1 billion green bond
Verizon Communications Inc. announced this week the set-tlement of its fifth green bond offering of $1 billion. The net proceeds are expected to be allocated toward renewable energy investments in order to accelerate the transition to greener electrical grids across the U.S. Overall, Verizon has now issued five green bonds for a total of $5 billion since 2019. Read more here.