ESG and Sustainability
The rise of ESG factors in investment decision making will have a dramatic impact on returns and opportunities in the 21st century. A recent survey by LGT Capital Partners and Mercer showed that 57% of respondents believe that incorporating ESG standards into investment decisions will raise returns. Just 9% argued they reduce returns on investment.
Menlo Park, California-based SE Ventures, which is the VC arm of Schneider Electric (EPA: SU), announced today a 500-million-euro fund-II to accelerate climate and industrial technology start-ups within the firm’s overall target sectors of electrification, digitization, and decarbonisation.
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More Stories on ESG and Sustainability
A new ETP (Exchange Traded Product) launched by Wahed, a registered investment advisor focused on Halal investments, will invest in US stocks that have passed through a screening process to determine their Shariah status. The ETP, named the Wahed FTSE USA Shariah ETF, has listed on the LSE.
Vanguard, the fund manager with assets of over $8 trillion under management, has launched two ESG-tilted, corporate bond ETFs denominated in EUR and USD respectively, for European investors. The funds are listed on the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Boerse, Borsa Italiana, SIX Swiss and Euronext Amsterdam bourses.
iShares, the ETF unit of BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), launched last week the iShares Environmentally Aware Real Estate ETF (NASDAQ: ERET). The ETF will invest in REIT and real estate holding and development companies that have a sustainability focus and are environment-friendly – specifically, companies with an increased exposure to green certification and energy efficiency. According to the Fund, buildings are the source of 37% of global carbon emissions.
London-based Carbon Re uses AI to cut emissions at the most energy-intensive industries, for example, glass, cement, and steel. Its technology can develop a ‘digital twin’ of an individual plant by analysing the sensor data gathered on a minute-by-minute basis by Distributed Control Systems. In a cement plant, this creates a high-resolution digital model that captures the properties of a given kiln (the thermodynamics, and the physical processes of clinker production). AI agents can therefore learn these processes in a simulation, so to speak, and then act in real time to maximize the plant efficiency.
AMP Robotics Corp has announced a $91 million Series C round led by Congruent Ventures and Wellington Management as well as new and existing investors including Blue Earth Capital, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), Tao Capital Partners, XN, Sequoia Capital, GV, Range Ventures, and Valor Equity Partners. The funds will be used for AMP’s international expansion as well as to scale up its operations. The company intends to enhance manufacturing capacity to support a fleet of approximately 275 robots around the world and advance its ongoing development of AI-enabled automation applications for recycling.
Hypatia Capital Management boasts of a network of CEO-Level women, asset managers, and public board members that form its collaborative platform. The firm has formulated the Hypatia Women CEO Index (HWCEO), which is designed to measure the performance of female leadership in publicly traded companies. Hypatia has filed with the SEC for the launch of the Hypatia Women CEO ETF (ticker WCEO).
Dimensional Fund Advisors launched three new ETFs offering broadly diversified exposure to U.S., developed international, and emerging markets equities while applying climate-focused sustainability considerations – in particular, a reduction in carbon emissions exposure. The ETFs were listed on the NYSE on Wednesday and have net expense ratios varying from 0.18% to 0.41%.
Artificial Intelligence: Israeli Research Institute MIGAL Applies AI To Quadruple Cucumbers’ Postharvest Life
The MIGAL Galilee Research Institute (MIGAL), a regional mega-R&D center supported by Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology, has extended the postharvest life of cucumbers from two to nine weeks. The cucumber is a sensitive fruit with a high wastage rate due to its average postharvest storage lifespan of less than two weeks.
Collide Capital, a VC firm founded in 2016 by Brian Hollins and Aaron Samuels, seeks to back founders best positioned to solve the next generation of global challenges. The firm announced Thursday its debut VC fund of $ 66 million backed by nameplate investors. These include the University of California endowment as anchor, Citi, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR).
VanEck Asset Management has launched the VanEck Circular Economy UCITS ETF (REUS), a thematic ETF focusing on the circular economy that keeps materials, products, and services in circulation for as long possible. The ETF is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Venture Capital: Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Temasek And Others To Launch Agritech For Rice Cultivation Decarbonization
Wavemaker Impact, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, GenZero, and Singapore’s Temasek have come together to create an innovative agritech that will promote rice decarbonization in Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia. The agritech will identify strategies to cut rice field emissions using a combination of climate-tech, agri-food, and venture-building capabilities.
Saudi Aramco (TADAWUL: 2222) announced Wednesday a $1.5 billion Sustainability Fund to be managed by Aramco Ventures, its venture capital arm. The Fund would support Aramco’s ambitions to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions across its wholly-owned operated assets by 2050, development of new lower-carbon fuels businesses, and furthering Aramco’s broader environmental objectives.
IndexIQ has launched the IQ MacKay ESG High Income ETF (IQHI) and the IQ Candriam ESG U.S. Mid Cap Equity ETF (IQSM). The funds expand further the firm’s existing lineup of ESG investment solutions.
Climate-tech fund Propeller announced its raise of a $100 million fund to support startups aiming to solve the climate crisis by innovating planet-saving, ocean-based science and technology solutions. The fund is launched in partnership with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a private, non-profit organization established in 1930, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education.
Privacy advocates across the globe have cause to celebrate. Clearview AI, a facial recognition firm that scraped an estimated 20 billion photographs from the internet and social media without permission, has been slapped with a 20 million euro fine by French regulator CNIL for not cooperating with its previous order.
An AI model built by NASA confirmed that an IMO move to slash sulfur content in shipping fuel paid off in spades, because it led to the lowest air pollution levels at sea in 2020. However, part of the credit must also go to the reduced shipping traffic volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
VanEck, an asset manager with $60.8 billion under management, announced the launch of of VanEck Green Infrastructure ETF (NASDAQ: RNEW), an equity ETF offering exposure to companies that would address the huge opportunity in making U.S. infrastructure more “green” and sustainable.
HSBC Asset Management has launched in London four ESG focused ETFs. Two of these are equity value-oriented and span World and Emerging Markets respectively. The other two are equity small-cap oriented and similarly invest across World and Emerging Markets.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management has launched the Goldman Sachs Paris-Aligned Climate World Equity UCITS ETF (WRLD) on the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse. WRLD is labelled ‘light green’ Article 8 under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
Harbor Capital Advisors, Inc. has launched the Harbor Corporate Culture ETF (NYSEARCA: HAPI) to give investors the ability to access the power of a company’s most important asset – its people, based on the premise that “doing the right thing pays and is strongly linked to future investment performance.”
VanEck Australia has launched the VanEck Global Carbon Credits ETF (ASX:XCO2), a new global carbon credits based ETF that will allow retail investors in Australia exposure to international carbon credit markets. The ETF is a valuable diversification for these investors because the local bourse is heavily dominated by climate-sensitive sectors and companies in mining, energy and other resources.
Digital Assets: Using The Metaverse To Restore Chinook Salmon To A Native American Watershed In California
Pom, a Native American tribe leader in Northern California, will use blockchain to revive the native species of Chinook salmon his community once relied on. Pom and his team have created Salmon Journeys, a video game on Decentraland. A user who snags a Chinook salmon in the game wins an exclusive non-fungible token (NFT) by Sawalmen, a Web3 entity that represents Indigenous spiritual values and raises funds for restoration efforts and the landback movement.