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.
An investigation in 2016 by Imazon showed that the actual length of roads in the Brazilian Amazon biome was nearly 13 times higher than what was shown in official maps. These unofficial roads, most of them illegal, threaten the existence of the Amazon ecosystems. The researchers spotted these unreported roads by tracing lines on satellite images.
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More Stories on ESG and Sustainability
Alternative Investments/ESG: Invesco Launches Five Global Fund-of-Funds As Its Summit Responsible Range
Invesco’s new Summit Responsible range of five global multi-asset funds aims to provide investors a cost-effective exposure to ESG considerations with specific risk levels. The funds’ assets will 100% be invested in line with certain ESG criteria.
Data from the global ETF analysis platform TrackInsight shows that ESG ETF assets across the world grew 223% year-on-year to scale a new record of US$189 billion in 2020. Nearly 200 new ESG ETFs were launched during the year, and total inflows into ESG ETFs were US$97 billion.
Alternative Investments/ESG: The SP Funds S&P Global REIT Sharia ETF For Exposure To Shariah-Compliant Real Estate
This is a new faith-based ETF from SP Funds, home of North America’s largest family of Shariah-compliant ETFs. SP Funds has a solution for investors looking for Shariah-compliant exposure to real estate using the ETF vehicle. The asset manager has launched North America’s first Shariah-compliant REIT ETF. The SP Funds S&P Global REIT Sharia ETF (NYSEARCA: SPRE) launched on the New York Stock Exchange on December 30.
With bitcoin having scaled an all-time high of US$ 34,000, it is becoming increasingly lucrative to mine the cryptocurrency, especially if energy costs are low, or free. Gazprom Neft, a direct subsidiary of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom (MCX: GAZP), is converting gas from its oil fields, that would otherwise have been flared, into usable energy for bitcoin mining.
Octopus Energy has a mission: to disrupt the energy industry in Britain which “is ruled by a handful of complacent dinosaurs peddling fossil fuels, pricing trickery, and poor customer service.” Supplying green energy sourced from renewable sources, the startup is already adding 30,000 customers a month and supplies energy to 1.5 million homes in the UK. Expanding its international footprint, Octopus will soon enter Japan in collaboration with Tokyo Gas, the largest gas utility in Japan.
Alternative Investments/ESG: Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater And Lyxor Tie Up For All-Weather ESG UCITS Fund
Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, which is led by billionaire Ray Dalio, will launch in Europe a sustainability/ESG fund using a UCITS structure. For this purpose, it is partnering with Lyxor Asset Management, a subsidiary of French bank Societe Generale (PAR: GLE).
Investors get the opportunity to avail of Invesco’s investment expertise in their first suite of active, non-transparent ETFs. Other features of the ETFs that investors will find attractive are tax efficiency, intraday tradability and an arbitrage mechanism. Besides, the four ETFs also offer a very cost-effective structure.
Southern resident Orca whales, also known as killer whales, are an endangered species. Researchers at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Canada, propose to use AI to identify them by their sounds, and then warn approaching ships of their presence.
California-based ZeroAvia, a startup developing hydrogen-electric aviation solutions, announced Wednesday its raise of $21.4 million. The company will use the money to advance its program for the development of zero-emission commercial aircraft. The aviation industry is a major user of fossil fuels and the source of emissions. ZeroAvia’s powertrain uses hydrogen, which produces water when burned.
The Morgan Stanley UK Sustainable Fixed Income Opportunities fund will primarily invest in global fixed income securities issued by corporates and governments while integrating ESG considerations into the investing process.
Its portfolio will feature an assortment of investment grade, high yield, emerging market, convertible, securitized, and government bonds.
The Inspire Faithward Large Cap Momentum ETF (NYSE: FEVR) and the Inspire Faithward Mid Cap Momentum ETF (NYSE: GLRY) are two new, actively managed biblically responsible ETFs from the house of Inspire Investing.
The JPMorgan Carbon Transition U.S. Equity exchange-traded fund (JCTR) will track the JPMorgan Asset Management Carbon Transition U.S. Equity Index. The new fund will give investors exposure to U.S. equities represented by the Russell 1000 subject to their performance on the criteria of emissions, resource management, and risk management.
The new Amundi DAX 50 ESG UCITS ETF (DECD) is a DAX 50 ETF with a preference for companies that have strong sustainable profiles. It tracks the DAX 50 ESG index which bars companies in activities such as weapons, tobacco and thermal coal, or do not meet international standards.
UK-based Ada Ventures is a VC with a difference. It looks out for founders and markets missed by the mainstream of venture finance. (Read: Bold ideas and courageous founders that see something from an entirely different perspective – whoever and wherever they may be.) Ada just announced that it had closed a $50 million fund.
Joyce Chang, chair of global research at JPMorgan, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday that stocks in emerging markets “were very under-owned” considering the overall rally in the equity markets. She added that there was scope for “catch-up in 2021 for emerging markets,” and that they could rise as much as 20% in 2021.
iClima Earth is a London-based research firm that identifies which companies offer solutions that reduce greenhouse gases by avoiding emissions or by sequestering carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. iClima has partnered with white-label ETF issuer HANetf to launch an ETF that would invest in such “enablers” of decarbonization.
TD Asset Management announced Tuesday the launch of three new ESG Equity ETFs to cater to investors looking for exposure to equity market indexes and companies with an ESG edge. The ETFs have a regional focus and track Canadian, U.S. and International equity indices respectively.
Curio Wellness, a cGMP certified medical cannabis and wellness company, announced today the formation of a $30 million investment fund to provide start-up capital for upto 50 minority entrepreneurs.
The Life + Liberty Freedom 100 Emerging Markets index and ETF (BATS: FRDM) is an ETF with a conscience. It’s investing proposition is based upon humanitarian factors such as freedom of speech, the battle against human trafficking, and international trade access. The ETF allows investors exposure to the emerging markets with the exclusion of China and Russia.
Based in Luxembourg, Astanor Ventures combines capital, technology, and sector expertise to invest in businesses that build regenerative, scalable, and nourishing food solutions. Using this philosophy, Astanor has invested in more than 20 startups. It is now raising $325 million to invest in food and agriculture technology companies across Europe and North America.
The new JPM Carbon Transition Global Equity UCITS ETF – USD (acc) from JP Morgan Asset Management provides investors exposure to companies that contribute to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. These are large or medium-sized companies drawn from industrialized countries globally and are constituents of the MSCI World Index.
The new SPDR Bloomberg SASB Corporate Bond ESG Select ETF (NYSEARCA: RBND) from State Street Global Advisors expense the asset manager’s ESG lineup. The ETF suits investors seeking exposure to US dollar-denominated investment-grade corporate bonds with accompanying ESG attributes.
NotCo is a Latin American foodtech startup that uses artificial intelligence in the formulation of its plant-based milk NotMilk. Backed by VCs such as Bezos Expeditions, Maya Capital, Indie Bio, Humboldt, and L Catterton, the company has launched NotMilk at Whole Foods Markets across the U.S.
Clarity AI is a fintech whose proprietary technology platform enables investors to understand the social and environmental impact of their portfolios. It is, therefore, a useful tool in the current times when ESG is front-of-mind for both retail and institutional investors.