ESG News

ESG News 01/2024 (01.01. – 07.01.)

Weekly ESG News: Financial Services and Insurance Industry (01/2024)

News in the spotlight: EdenTree appoints Carlota Esquevillas as new Head of Responsible Investment

Products and Services

Weyerhaeuser completes launch of carbon credit offering

Weyerhaeuser has successfully completed its inaugural transaction in the voluntary carbon market, selling approximately 32,000 forest carbon credits at $29 per credit. These credits, issued for the first year of the Kibby Skinner Improved Forest Management (IFM) Project in Maine, will be promptly retired by Weyerhaeuser on behalf of the buyer. Weyerhaeuser ensures the integrity of its projects and plans to scale its credit offerings in response to the growing demand for emissions reduction and offset solutions.

American Express commits $12.75m to support small businesses in disaster recovery

American Express is committing $12.75 million in grants to support small businesses in climate resilience and disaster recovery. The initiative, spanning 11 global cities, involves partnerships with non-profits, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Resilient Cities Catalyst, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and many more. Focus areas include launching a natural disaster recovery fund, establishing climate-resilient infrastructure, and providing technical assistance for sustainability projects.

BBVA Mexico and Nestlé form partnership to promote the transition to sustainability

BBVA Mexico and Nestlé have expanded their “Crediproveedores” partnership, offering credit to 1,500 Nestlé suppliers in agribusiness. It’s a unique collaboration where a signatory refers its suppliers for potential borrowing. BBVA Mexico may grant up to 300 million pesos in credit, supporting sustainable development in small enterprises. The initiative aligns with both companies’ commitment to environmental and social goals. BBVA’s specialized credit solutions aim to assist the agribusiness sector’s transition to sustainable practices. The initial agreement, signed in July the previous year, mobilized 3,000 million pesos through a factoring line. BBVA’s broader sustainability commitment involves mobilizing €300 billion by 2025, with €185 billion achieved by September 2023, primarily for climate change and inclusive growth.

Leadership Announcements

EdenTree appoints Carlota Esquevillas as new Head of Responsible Investment

EdenTree has undergone a reshuffle in its Responsible Investment (RI) team, with Neville White retiring and Carlota Esguevillas taking over as the new head of responsible investment. Esguevillas, previously a senior responsible investment analyst within the team, has been with EdenTree for about three years. The transition was planned, and White will stay on in a strategic advisory role. Esguevillas expressed her commitment to leading responsible investment at the heart of the firm’s activities. Additionally, fund manager Ketan Patel is leaving the firm, and his role will be taken over by Greg Herbert, the head of UK equities at EdenTree. The focus for the year ahead includes compliance with the UK regulator’s Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR).

Green Bond & ESG Bond Issuances

World Bank issued AUD 2bn bond to support green and social projects

The World Bank successfully launched its first benchmark of 2024 – a 5-year Australian dollar bond totaling AUD 2 billion due on January 10, 2029. The transaction received substantial interest, with over 50 orders exceeding AUD 2.4 billion from investors, reflecting confidence in the IBRD’s high credit quality. The 4.30% p.a. fixed-rate bond, managed by Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, Nomura International plc, and RBC Capital Markets, carries a spread of +60.4 basis points over the Australian government bond due November 2028. The issuance supports the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Bonds, financing green and social projects across member countries, and marks a significant start to their funding program for the new year. (Source: World Bank)

World Bank issues CAD 1.4bn Sustainable Development Bond

The World Bank has successfully priced a new 5-year CAD $1.4 billion Sustainable Development Bond, maturing in January 2029, with a semi-annual coupon of 3.50% and an issue yield of 3.571%. The issuance, managed by joint lead managers including CIBC, RBC Capital Markets, National Bank Financial, and TD Securities, attracted diverse global investor support. Central Banks/Official institutions represented 55% of the investor distribution, with strong interest from the Americas (48%) and Asia (34%). The World Bank’s commitment to sustainable development projects and its leadership in the Canadian Maple market were emphasized, contributing to a highly successful transaction. The bonds are set to be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. (Source: World Bank)

Download our Weekly ESG Newsletter 01/2024 (01.01. – 07.01.) incl. updates from EdenTree, Amex, BBVA and many more here or explore all of our Weekly News.