E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul January 30, 2017
Top ethical investing news for January 2017
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
Twitter allows me to cover more--and breaking news--to help you do better!
Steps remain to fully integrate ESG. (Article also reviews
important new ESG study.)
Adding ESG to fundamental analysis is akin to presenting magnetic resonance imaging to medical practitioners used to X-rays. It is likely a game-changer in the way we operate in capital markets. But we have to be careful and creative in order to capture its full potential."
Terrific new research and great observations about the use and issues
around implementing ESG in portfolio construction. Download
study referred to in the article.
Why green bonds are reaching record highs. "According to a recent report by Moody’s Investors Service, the rise of green bonds issuances in 2016 is projected to carry over into 2017 as well. The report projects that green bond issuances will increase to over $200 billion in 2017 from $93.4 billion in 2016 if green bonds grow at their 2016 rate."
post mentions that corporations are far behind governments in issuing
green bonds as corporations presently see no financial upside in issuing
them. Hopefully, that’ll change soon.
RepRisk Releases the Most Controversial Companies 2016 Report. "RepRisk′s MCC 2016 Report spotlights ESG issues faced by globally-active companies, and was developed as part of RepRisk′s commitment to providing transparency into ESG risks and encouraging companies to systematically take into account such risks in their strategies and processes."
of the companies at greatest reputation risk are Asian. Volkswagen is the
only western company in the top ten.
Green Bond Giant Awakened by Countries Spending to Save Climate. "Sovereign debt pool of $44.5 trillion starts going green."
appears that sovereign debt issuance of green bonds is about to take-off!
Many responsible-ethical investors will be happy about this. Nonetheless,
it’ll be worthwhile to review the country’s ESG rankings before investing.
Helpful in this regard are RobeccoSam’s
Country Sustainability Ranking, and the EIRIS Country Sustainability
2017 Global 100 (Corporate Knights). "An index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world."
annual index is one of the best around in its sphere. To obtain a complete
download you need to register name and email address.
Major banks ’still not doing enough’ to embed climate risk in decisions. "Major banks are largely failing to align their business practices with international climate targets and are still not doing enough to effectively manage climate risk. That is the stark conclusion of a new survey [by Boston Common Assets Management] of 28 of the world’s largest banks, which found more than 80 per cent of those polled are not integrating the results of environmental stress testing into their business decisions."
This is probably a case where the banks announce their concerns about
climate change, sustainability, etc., but don’t quite believe it enough to
engage in it internally. It’s likely just a question of time before they
’Inflection point’ approaching for long-term investors, says MSCI. "In 2017, the MSCI researchers predicted the emergence of two approaches to long-termism: new benchmarks that ’explicitly incorporate views of the future’, and a shift towards high-conviction, low-turnover portfolios."
I welcome MSCI’s prediction for 2017 of asset managers taking a greater
long-term, low-turnover portfolio view! Short-termism and rapid turnover
of investments are detrimental to long-term economic health as they
discourage needed multi-year or even multi-decade corporate investments.
Church of England equips investors to monitor climate impact. (Tool useful for all ethical investors!) "The Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), created in partnership with the UK Environment Agency Pension Fund and the London School of Economics (LSE), was launched at the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday. It is supported by 13 international asset-owners, and five asset-managers, with more than £2 trillion under management collectively, including Aviva Investors, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Hermes Investment Management, PGGM, and Standard Life Investments.
TPI intends to offer accurate data, provided by FTSE Russell and processed by the LSE, to enable investors to scrutinise how companies are managing climate-related risks."
The new site created for this,
The Transition Pathway Initiative, will be a welcome new research site
to help ethical investors everywhere assess the progress of public
companies towards climate change.
The Risk And Opportunity For America’s Corporate Pension Plans. "Stated very simply, while more and more companies are proclaiming their commitment to ’sustainability,’ their pension funds are virtually ignoring the topic."
This is an important article for investors to read and portrays a real
conundrum. Pension funds are under tremendous pressure to perform and
cannot now legitimately ignore the potential better returns offered them
by incorporating ESG criteria into their analytical framework.
630 Companies And Investors Tell Washington: Continue Accelerating the Low-Carbon Economy. "The company signatories, which include DuPont, Gap Inc., General Mills, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hilton, HP Inc., IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, The Kellogg Company, Levi Strauss & Co., L′Oreal USA, NIKE, Mars Incorporated, Pacific Gas and Electric, Schneider Electric, Sealed Air, Starbucks, VF Corporation, Unilever, among others. These signatories collectively take in nearly $1.15 trillion in annual revenue, are headquartered across 44 states, and employ about 1.8 million people."
Most American CEOs know that a sustainability/ESG focus assists profits,
stock prices, and competitiveness. There is no turning back, especially as
renewable energy becomes cost competitive with fossil fuels -- even
without any subsidies!
Is Your Mutual Fund Company Taking Climate Change Seriously? "The vast majority of climate scientists (97 percent) believe climate change is real, but what about your mutual fund company? We examined how the nation′s (America’s) largest mutual fund companies voted on climate-related shareholder resolutions in 2015 and 2016. The results are revealing."
This is an interesting chart for investors in many countries as the same
companies often have fund management activities in numerous countries.
Also, it might affect your own investing activities. Thank you Ceres for
gathering this information.
The Responsible Investor Handbook: Mobilizing Workers’ Capital for a
Sustainable World, by Thomas Croft and Annie Malhotra, Greenleaf,
Note: Articles are linked to the original source. Some sites may require registration, and may, or may not, archive stories. All links were active at the time of publication.
Disclaimer: Neither The Soul Investor nor Ron Robins make investment recommendations. Nothing in this newsletter should be interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation to buy/sell any securities or investments. The Soul Investor is a source of general information and resources for spiritual investing, ethical investing, and socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their actions thoroughly and consult their professional advisers prior to taking any investment action. The Soul Investor does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in articles in its newsletter or offered on the web pages to which it might be linked. Such opinions are the responsibility of the writers themselves. Furthermore, The Soul Investor does not offer or provide any warranties, representations, guarantees, implied or otherwise, as to the accuracy, legality, copyright compliance, timeliness or usefulness of the information, materials or services in this e-newsletter, or other sites, to which it might be linked. Also, Mr. Ron Robins is not an investment advisor, nor is he licensed with any professional investment related body, and thus is not able to, nor does he make, any investment recommendations.
The Soul Investor is a publication of Investing for the Soul, a registered business name in Ontario, Canada. Copyright © 2017 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.