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.
The BlackRock US Carbon Transition Readiness ETF (LCTU), which began trading on Thursday, won the crown for being the largest ETF launch ever, drawing investments of $1.25 billion from institutional investors. BlackRock also launched the BlackRock World ex U.S. Carbon Transition Readiness ETF (LCTD) alongside the US ETF. This ETF attracted $475 million in investments.
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More Stories on ESG and Sustainability
As investors accord increasing importance to ESG and clean energy in their portfolios, hydrogen is now making its way onto the center-stage of fuels that are renewable, zero-emission, and a store of energy. The Direxion Hydrogen ETF (HJEN) will give investors exposure to companies powering the clean hydrogen economy.
BlackRock has launched two new ETFs as an extension of its sustainability-focused fixed income ETFs range. The iShares € Green Bond Ucits ETF offers exposure to investment-grade green bonds, while the iShares Global Govt Bond Climate Ucits ETF offers investors exposure to government bonds while incorporating climate risk.
LIVEKINDLY Collective, which is a portfolio of plant-based food brands plus a media platform, and is run by senior executives from the global food industry, announced on Monday its raise of $335 million led by The Rise Fund, the global impact investing platform managed by TPG.
According to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who was speaking on the Unconfirmed podcast on March 26, bitcoin mined outside the U.S. primarily uses “dirty energy.” “A part of the problem with Bitcoin is 90% of it is not done in the United States.” He said. “90% of it is done in countries that have dirty energy. So that’s the reason why it’s considered to be a dirty activity.”
Fidelity International has launched its first fixed income ETFs, and the two new funds come with the added benefit of a sustainable skew. The Fidelity Sustainable Global Corporate Bond Multifactor and Fidelity Sustainable USD EM Bond UCITS ETFs offer a “systematic active strategy” to investors while utilizing the firm’s proprietary analyst research.
Stance Capital announced last week the launch of its Stance Equity ESG Large Cap Core ETF (NYSE: STNC). Stance previously offered ESG exposure via an active, semi-concentrated strategy, with a proprietary machine learning model and risk optimization overlay in separately-managed-accounts (SMA) for institutions and high net worth individuals, and through model delivery across a range of platforms.
SaaS banking software provider Mambu announced Monday the launch of the cloud-native, Shariah-compliant version of its banking platform. The solution enables Islamic banks and lenders across the world to offer banking that is fully compliant with all the tenets of Islamic banking and was made available from the end of 2020.
The UBS Climate Aware Global Developed Equity CTB UCITS ETF provides investors with access to large- and mid-cap global stocks that have a strong climate-positive profile, are compliant with UBS’ Climate Aware framework, and tilt towards the global transition to a low carbon economy.
Spanish infrastructure and renewable energy giant Acciona won the contract for the design, construction, and O&M of the Umm Al Houl SWRO desalination plant in Qatar in 2015. The plant will produce 564,000 m3 of desalinated water per day, enough to serve 1.1 million people, after the start-up of operations in April. Acciona will fund an AI project at the facility from its dedicated decarbonization fund.
Defiance ETFs announced Wednesday their launch of the Next Gen H2 Fund (NYSE: HDRO), the first of its kind in the U.S., that will focus on hydrogen as a cleaner source of energy. The fund will invest in companies engaged in the development of hydrogen-based energy sources and fuel technologies.
An investment from OesterreichischeEntwicklungsbank AG (OeEB), the Austrian government’s development bank, has helped SunFunder close its oversubscribed $70 million Solar Energy Transformation Fund. Other participants in the fund included Swedfund, the IKEA Foundation, Bank of America, Mercy Investment Services, the Schmidt Family Foundation, and members from the Toniic impact investor network.
Invesco has launched its Global Clean Energy UCITS ETF on the London Stock Exchange denominated in US dollars (GCLE LN) and pound sterling (GCLX LN). The new thematic ETF is linked to the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index from WilderShares, LLC. The expense ratio of the ETF is 0.60%.
Tata Power DDL, a power distribution utility in Delhi, India, Australian technology company Power Ledger and the India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) are collaborating on a project to enable the peer-to-peer (P2P) trading of solar energy using the blockchain.
Northern Trust Asset Management’s (NASDAQ: NTRS) FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds announced today its maiden ETFs in Europe. The FlexShares Developed Markets Low Volatility Climate ESG UCITS ETF (QVFD) and the FlexShares Developed Market High Dividend Climate ESG UCITS ETF (QDFD) launched on both the London Stock Exchange and EuroNext.
VanEck is in the final stages of prepping the Vectors Global Clean Energy ETF (ASX: CLNE) for launch on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in the ensuing weeks. The ETF will focus on the clean energy sector, which is expected to benefit from President Biden’s commitment to the climate agreement.
UBS launches the UBS SPI ESG ETF (SPISI SW). The new ETF from UBS Asset Management provides broad exposure to the Swiss equity market with an additional focus on ESG factors. The ETF has listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
Margaret Mitchell, an AI researcher and a leader of Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Ethical AI team, was terminated by the company after a suspension that commenced last month. Dr Mitchell said in a tweet on Friday afternoon: “I’m fired.”
How do you estimate and account for how much fishing – recreational or commercial – is actually going on in your friendly neighborhood ocean? That information is central to measuring catch and ultimately, the sustainability of the fish and marine life in the water body. The EDF launched today its SmartPass fishery monitoring system that combines the use of shore-based cameras, AI, and automated image analysis to monitor fishing effort.
BetaShares, the Australian asset manager, has launched the BetaShares Climate Change Innovation ETF (ERTH). Many global companies will reap the benefits from the massive transition to a sustainable planet, given that climate change is recognized as the defining challenge of this age.
Sea turtles are an endangered species, not only from mankind’s activities. Their nests on Queensland’s western Cape York are a favorite prey for feral pigs. The pigs have wiped out sea turtles from great swathes of beaches south of Aurukun, in the Far North Queensland, Australia. Scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science research agency, and rangers have tried for the past six years to protect the nests from the marauding pigs using drones and helicopters. They are now harnessing AI for the purpose.
Adjuvant Capital, which finances cures for “high-burden and neglected diseases,” announced today its raise of an oversubscribed $300 million fund from big names in pharma and philanthropy. Diseases such as malaria, shigella, hookworm, tuberculosis, and Lassa fever affect millions of people in the poorer countries.
Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has introduced a new ETF to complement its existing range of sustainable thematic ETFs, namely the L&G Clean Energy UCITS ETF and the L&G Battery Value-Chain UCITS ETF. LGIM has launched its L&G Hydrogen Economy UCITS ETF, a vehicle for investors looking to benefit from the global transition to a low-carbon, hydrogen economy.
Eavor Technologies leverages deep drilling expertise from the oil industry to construct a looped well that harvests geothermal energy from deep below the earth. The technology has drawn a $40 million investment, including from Big Oil companies such as the venture arms of BP (LON: BP) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX).
An SEC filing on Tuesday revealed that Mission Advancement Corp., an ESG-focused SPAC founded by Colin Kaepernick and Jahm Najafi, will raise $250 million via an IPO. The company will offer 25 million units at $10. Each unit will consist of one share of common stock and one-third of a warrant, exercisable at $11.50.
The SPAC, or “blank check company,” intends to acquire a so-far unidentified target, approximately sized $1 billion, and having a positive ESG impact.