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.
Vitality, the U.K.-based health and life insurance and investment business that sells its products through financial advisers and brokers, announced a new range of funds called EnVIRO. EnVIRO is a set of five index-tracking funds spanning different asset classes but with a focus on ESG.
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More Stories on ESG and Sustainability
Digital Assets: Tesla To Accept Bitcoin If Crypto Miners Use ~50% Clean Energy (Musk); Bitcoin Jumps
At 7:30 PM ET on Sunday, June 13, bitcoin had rallied nearly 9% to $38,911 after Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) would commence accepting bitcoin for its cars when there was evidence of the use of clean energy in crypto mining.
United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) announced its new corporate venture fund, United Airlines Ventures, on Thursday. The fund’s brief is to invest in emerging companies that could reinvent travel and aviation while engaging with startups that advance sustainability. These innovative companies and their technologies would help UAL meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 – without relying on traditional carbon offsets.
iClima Earth, a fintech with a mission to decarbonize the planet, will launch an ETF, the world’s first, focusing on companies promoting the decentralisation of energy generation. The term refers to industries that enable the creation and management of clean energy close to the point of use, for example at home.
Northvolt AB, the Swedish battery developer and manufacturer said Wednesday that it closed a $ 2.75 billion private placement co-led by new investors AP funds 1-4, via the co-owned company, 4 to 1 Investments, and OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, alongside existing investors Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Volkswagen Group (ETR: VOW3). Northvolt will use the funds to expand its battery capacity and boost its R&D efforts.
Three new ETFs from State Street Global Advisors offer investors exposure to equities with high dividend yields from across global, US and eurozone as well as a good ESG profile.
The SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats ESG UCITS ETF (GEDV), SPDR S&P US Dividend Aristocrats ESG UCITS ETF (UEDV) and SPDR S&P Euro Dividend Aristocrats ESG UCITS ETF (ZPD9) have listed on the Deutsche Boerse and Euronext Amsterdam on 8 June.
JP Morgan Asset Management (JPNAM) and Thailand’s Kasikorn Asset Management have jointly created a sustainable liquid alternative fund called K-SUSTAIN-UI. To be distributed by Kasikorn Private Banking, the new product will invest in the JP Morgan Multi-Manager Sustainable Long/Short Fund. It gives investors a liquid alternative product with an ESG focus.
Horizons ETF Management launched the Horizons S&P Green Bond Index ETF. It is Canada’s first ETF focused exclusively on providing exposure to a portfolio of global green bonds. Green bonds are instruments used to raise capital for environmental projects.
Venture Capital: New VC Funds – FM Capital ($150M); Darryl Finkton Jr ($200M); Base10 Partners ($250M)
FM Capital raised a new $150 million fund focusing on the automotive and transportation sectors. Darry Finkton Jr. closed on a $200 million fund that will back founders from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds. Base10 Partners will route half profits from late-stage investing of a $250 million fund to create student scholarships and support university endowments at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Justin Dawkins, Jewel Burks Solomon, and Barry Givens founded Collab Capital in 2018 to solve the problem of capital access for Black entrepreneurs. Collab began raising its first fund in 2019 and after 18 months, the firm announced Wednesday that it had closed its Collab Capital Fund I with $50 million in the bag to invest in Black-founded startups.
Putnam Investments has leveraged four of its leading equity strategies to launch its first ETF products. The actively managed ETFs are Putnam Sustainable Leaders ETF (PLDR), Putnam Sustainable Future ETF (PFUT), Putnam Focused Large-Cap Growth ETF (PGRO), and Putnam Focused Large-Cap Value ETF (PVAL). They all trade on the NYSE effective today.
Vanguard’s Fixed Income Group, which manages more than $1.7 trillion in assets under management (AUM) across the globe, now has an ESG corporate bond ETF under its wings. The Vanguard ESG Global Corporate Bond UCITS ETF (V3GD) is launched on the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse with an ongoing charges figure (OCF) of 0.15%.
The Solar Energy UCITS ETF (LON: TANN) will be launched on the HANetf platform and list on the LSE in June. Solar is now the cheapest source of energy in many large economies and is, therefore, the fastest-growing source of new energy capacity. Investments in capacity could aggregate $4.2 trillion by 2050. This ETF will provide “pure-play” exposure to this huge opportunity.
Back Market, a French startup that exhorts customers to “Screw New,” sells used but fully functional consumer electronic devices on its platform. Buyers get lower prices and help save the environment from electronic waste. The startup raised $335 million in a Series D round that valued it at $3.2 billion.
Loyalty Preference Index, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, Inc., announced Tuesday the launch of the LGBTQ + ESG100 ETF (NASDAQ: LGBT). The ETF provides investors with exposure to equity securities of companies that have demonstrated a commitment to LGBTQ diversity and inclusion, along with ESG compliance, as part of their corporate social responsibility fundamental mandate.
Credit Suisse Asset Management has launched the which tracks the DAX 50 ESG Index. The ETF offers exposure to the 50 largest German equities that are high on ESG performance. Trading on the Deutsche Boerse and SIX Swiss Exchange, the new ETF charges a total expense ratio of 0.12%.
Venture Capital: Amazon And Fidelity Among Investors Backing BETA’s Electric Vertical Aircraft With $368M
BETA Technologies, which has secured multiple partnerships and order commitments for its EVAs, announced today its close of a Series A round of $368 million led by Fidelity. Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund also participated, as did other new and existing investors. The round valued BETA at $1.4 billion, classifying it in the rarefied class of “unicorn” startups that boast of a valuation of $1 billion or more. Our brother
The first ETF from Wealthsimple has launched on the Neo Exchange, Canada. The Wealthsimple Shariah World Equity Index ETF (NEO: WSHR) commenced trading on the exchange on May 12, 2021. The ETF provides investors exposure to a diversified index of Shariah-compliant stocks. Shariah-compliant funds are a type of socially responsible investment which conforms to the requirements of Shariah law and the principles of the Islamic religion.
The pan-European savings marketplace Raisin launched its Raisin Invest ETF platform in Germany in 2018. Raisin Invest has since become one of the market’s biggest robo advisers and now boasts of AUM of €950 million. On Wednesday, Raisin announced the launch of a new hybrid-robo “ETF Configurator” for Raisin Invest, and simultaneously, a new ESG pre-set portfolio within the Configurator that offers more than 30 sustainable equity and bond ETFs to choose from.
Jeremiah Gordon is General Counsel at CapitalG, Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) independent growth fund which has $3 billion under management. He also leads an Alphabet-wide team focused on investing in Black-led VC funds, startups, and organizations supporting Black entrepreneurs. In a blog published Thursday, Gordon revealed that Google will invest an additional $40 million in Black-led startups and investment firms by the end of the year.
Elon Musk has suddenly got religion on bitcoin. He announced in a tweet on Wednesday that Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) will no longer sell its cars for bitcoin due to the leading cryptocurrency’s carbon footprint and consequently adverse effect on the environment.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems account for 45% of all energy consumed in commercial buildings. Tragically, as much as 30% of this is usually wasted. BrainBox AI, which is based in Montreal, Canada, uses artificial intelligence to learn a building’s energy “equations” and then to control them for maximizing energy savings without compromising on residents’ comfort.
Alternative Investments/ESG: In A World First, Evolve Offers Investments In Major Indices Sans Carbon Footprints
Evolve Funds Group has filed the final prospectus for its launch of the world’s first ETFs that bring carbon neutrality to traditional indices. The Evolve CleanBeta series of ETFs will flag off with the Evolve S&P/TSX 60 CleanBeta Fund (SIXT) and the Evolve S&P 500 CleanBeta Fund (FIVE).
The Legal & General Global Thematic Fund, a new launch from Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), addresses UK investors and their demand for access to multiple themes. The innovation-focused fund is a bouquet of eight themes in the areas of technology, energy and resources, and changing demographics.