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.
Loanpal, the fintech that is a market leader in financing of residential solar installations, announced Thursday that Blackstone (NYSE: BX) had committed to invest $300 million in solar loans originating on its platform. The amount committed will enable 10,000 homeowners to finance their solar systems, thereby reducing their homes’ carbon footprint.
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More Stories on ESG and Sustainability
ESG Investments to Gain Popularity in Real Estate As the environment becomes more of a priority among the public, environmental responsibility has become a priority for businesses and organizations as well. The looming effects of climate change are pressuring businesses and corporations to take action. Oil and gas companies in particular are facing increasing pressure…
A rush of inflows of $71.1 billion into ESG and sustainable funds globally between April and June this year pushed the AUM of such funds to a record $1 trillion, according to Morningstar. Investors have been drawn to such funds after the coronavirus outbreak.
Alternative Investments/ESG: DWS Launches Xtrackers II ESG EUR Corporate Bond Short Duration UCITS ETF
DWS addressed the rising demand for corporate debt laced with sustainable and socially conscious strategies with a new ESG-focused short-duration corporate bonds ETF.
The Euro-denominated Xtrackers II ESG EUR Corporate Bond Short Duration Ucits ETF tracks the Bloomberg Barclays MSCI Euro Corporate Sustainable & SRI 0-5 Year index.
Krane Funds Advisors LLC, which is the investment manager for KFA Funds and KraneShares ETFs, announced the launch of KFA Global Carbon ETF (NYSE: KRBN). The new KRBN ETF tracks carbon credit futures contracts through the IHS Markit’s Global Carbon Index.
State Street Global Advisors launched an ESG version of its blockbuster SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA: SPY) that has AUM of $287.61 billion. The ETF has the best of both worlds from environment-social-governance (ESG) and the S&P500 stocks universe.
Watch for ETFs focused on ESG, climate change, and water resource stocks. Recent research from the BlackRock Investment Institute (BII) warns that investors have not factored in the potential risk from a growing global “water risk,” when demand for H2O exceeds its supply. Such a situation would be a fallout from the increasing evidence of…
The Impact Investing community is buzzing over Nuveen’s continued build out of its impact investing focus. Rekha Unnithan, who joined the firm in 2012 with the intention of investing in solving societal issues, says “Impact investing is now all of a sudden having its moment…It’s cool now and is getting a lot more attention. We…
Abu Dhabi-based Chimera launches the UAE’s first ETF tracking a Shariah-compliant index. The Chimera S&P UAE Shariah ETF is a sub-fund of the Chimera Umbrella Fund, the first SCA umbrella fund to be launched in the UAE. The ETF’s shares will trade on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange with gains reinvested into the fund while class B shares will be listed on the Dubai Financial Market with dividends distributed to investors.
ETFGI, the consulting and analytics firm that provides services around global exchange-traded products, released data on global trends for ESG in ETFs/ETPs during the first half of 2020. Inflows into these funds were US$3.49 billion during June 2020, bringing year-to-date net inflows to US$32.02 billion. These were more than three times the inflow of US$9.86 billion into ESG ETFs/ETPs seen in 2019.
The latest product from Inspire Investing in their series of faith-based ETFs further enhances their reputation for offering morally-inclined investors avenues for biblically responsible investing. Previous faith-based ETFs in the market have all been passive ETFs that track specified indices.
Listed on the Stuttgart and Xetra exchanges, the new ETFs from Deka Investment give investors the opportunity to invest in large and medium-sized companies from Germany, the Eurozone, Europe, USA, and industrialized nations from across the world, considering sustainability criteria such as climate change.
Lyxor Asset Management said in June that ESG ETF inflows were strong over the month of May, with EUR2.4 billion flowing in. That has set up a record for ESG ETFs for the year to date. It showed investors’ rising preference for sustainable investments, amidst global easing of lockdown restrictions and stimulus measures in Europe.
Perhaps addressing the trend, Lyxor announced this week a suite of equity ETFs for investors seeking opportunities in companies that align with climate-related carbon-reduction goals.
Some fun facts about fund flow to ETFs in the half-year ended in June 2020.
Waratah Capital Advisors Ltd, a Canadian alternative investment manager, announced Monday its launch of the Waratah Alternative ESG Fund. The mutual fund is Waratah’s second liquid alternative offering, and is powered by the firm’s alternative ESG strategy.
Coral reefs, one of the most precious of Earth’s ecosystems are in grave danger. Globally, half have already died. The other half could vanish by the end of this century, according to Tom Moore, coral reef restoration program manager for the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Efforts by human divers are inadequate to restore coral reefs. We need AI and robotics to reverse coral damage, says the NOAA.
Northern Trust (NASDAQ: NTRS) will now provide institutional investors with added insights, analysis, and transparency into their ESG exposures. Northern Trust will combine its substantial database of global custody asset information with data from information services provider IdealRatings and issue the ESG Analytics Summary.
Morningstar, (Nasdaq: MORN) announced an agreement to acquire Sustainalytics, a globally recognized leader in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings and research.
Morningstar currently owns an approximate 40% ownership stake in Sustainalytics, first acquired in 2017. Under the terms of the deal, Morningstar will buy the remaining approximate 60% of Sustainalytics.
BlackRock will place greater emphasis on climate issues moving forward. The alternative assets manager worries that firms will stop prioritizing climate and sustainability issues in the face of COVID-19. A new stewardship document expands on the firm’s push on companies to disclose reports on their impact on water pollution and emissions.
A new report by MSCI said that bonds with higher ESG ratings outperformed the full bond market in Q1. The report suggests that highly rated ESG bonds can weather difficult economic challenges like the one we face today.
Rating agency Moody’s is stepping up its assessment of companies’ performance on ESG counts. An analysis of Moody’s (NYSE: MCO) private sector rating actions last year revealed that ESG risks were cited as material in a third of the cases.
The coronavirus pandemic throws up ESG in a new light.
Far from spelling doom for ESG investing, the pandemic may have given it fresh, positive potential. An article by Marlene Satter in benefitsPRO outlines nine ways the pandemic could affect ESG, yet launch it as the new normal in investing. And ESG ETFs could benefit from a fresh tailwind.
French asset manager Lyxor is the first ETF manager to launch a suite of ETFs that focus on the objectives of the European Union’s Climate Transition Benchmarks. These benchmarks target an immediate 30% reduction in carbon intensity and a 7% annual emission reduction trajectory.
The usage of solar batteries varies widely from home to home. That’s because each home is different – from the roof’s orientation and pitch to nearby trees that cast a shadow on the panels, even weather conditions. Optimizing solar battery usage to adjust for such variables, amidst real-time and in changing weather conditions, is a challenge. IBM (NYSE: IBM) is combining weather data and AI to solve this.
ESG investment funds with long track records are beating new competitors as the markets continue to unravel. Roughly 400 of the 2,800 ESG funds were in positive territory for the year as of last Thursday evening. Just 45 of the funds had gains of 10% since January 1.
The data, compiled by Bloomberg, says that 70% of those ESG funds opened before 2015.