February 2021 Newsletter
News & Commentaries by Ron Robins
Latest Podcast: Analysts’ Top ESG Energy and Water Stocks “Analysts… top ESG energy and water stocks and funds include the following. Middlesex Water Co., Invesco Water Resources ETF, American States Water Co., California Water Service Group, Xylem, Fidelity Select Environment and Alternative Energy Portfolio, Calvert Global Energy Solutions Fund Class A, American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Hubbell, Consolidated Edison, Array Technologies, and TPI Composites.”
— By Ron Robins
Introducing the 2021 Carbon Clean200: Investing in a Clean Energy Future. “Corporate Knights and As You Sow have released the annual Clean200 list of publicly traded companies that are leading the way with solutions for the transition to a clean-energy future.”
[COMMENTARY] Always an eagerly sought-after list by a very competent team.
Introducing the 2021 Carbon Clean200: Investing in a Clean Energy Future, by Andy Behar and Toby A.A. Heaps, February 18, 2021, Corporate Knights and As You Sow, Canada.
Meta-study underlines ties between ESG and corporate success. “Researchers from the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business and Rockefeller Asset Management looked at 1,141 peer-reviewed papers and 27 meta-reviews — themselves based on roughly 1,400 studies — published between 2015 and 2020…
The meta-study finds a positive link between ESG and financial performance in 58 percent of the corporate studies, with 13 percent showing a neutral impact, 21 percent mixed results and only 8 percent showing a negative relationship. Among investment studies, 59 percent find similar or better performance relative to conventional investment approaches while only 14 percent show negative results.”
[COMMENTARY] More clear research on why companies adopt ESG and why ESG is gradually gaining dominance in the investment industry.
Meta-study underlines ties between ESG and corporate success, by Ben Maiden, February 19, 2021, Corporate Secretary, USA.
S&P Global makes over 9,000 ESG Scores publicly available to help increase transparency of corporate sustainability performance. “S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) launched a new public webpagehighlighting S&P Global’s full suite of environment, social and governance (ESG) solutions, and for the very first time, access to S&P Global ESG Scores on 9,200 companies. S&P Global ESG Scores are the key factor for selecting companies for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices(DJSI).”
[COMMENTARY] The range of research options for individual ethical and sustainable investors continues to expand. This is a welcome addition to those options.
S&P Global makes over 9,000 ESG Scores publicly available to help increase transparency of corporate sustainability performance, press release, February 16, 2021, S&P Global.
A Little-Known Green Fund Soared 114% in 2020. We Caught Up With Its Manager. “Thanks to its investments in disruptive technologies, the little-known Shelton Green Alpha Fund (ticker: NEXTX) soared 114% in 2020, winning a coveted five-star Morningstar rating.”
[COMMENTARY] Of course the real test is how the fund performs long-term! Now, was the fund into a few lucky segments and companies? Time will tell.
A Little-Known Green Fund Soared 114% in 2020. We Caught Up With Its Manager, by Leslie P. Norton, February 14, 2021, Barron’s, USA.
S&P Global annual report finds record ESG disclosure. “The yearbook, published since 2004, covers a record 7,032 companies, compared with 4,700 in 2020, across 40 countries and 61 industries, and is now publicly available.”
[COMMENTARY] These numbers confirm the rapid adoption of ESG and sustainability reporting by the world’s largest corporations. I’ve waited over forty years for these days!
S&P Global annual report finds record ESG disclosure, by Hazel Bradford, Pensions&Investments, USA.
$1 trillion in oil and gas pipelines worldwide could become stranded assets, new report warns. “The pipeline industry faces growing questions about whether it…s wise to build a massive network of pipelines that could become obsolete well within their projected 50-year-plus lifespans.”
[COMMENTARY] I suspect most of those connected with the development of new pipelines are concerned for the next 5-15 years. Beyond that is too far into the future to consider. They want their incomes and returns ‘now’.
$1 trillion in oil and gas pipelines worldwide could become stranded assets, new report warns, by Sharon Kelly, February 8, 2021, Nation of Change, USA.
What Happens When a Company Gets an A From One ESG Rater and an F From Another? “With the explosion of ESG data and ratings, there’s little agreement on what makes a company good or bad.”
[COMMENTARY] I agree that ESG reporting metrics and information should be standardized. However, what particular metrics and information are favored by raters should be up to them. Hence, there should still be lots of room for independent opinions concerning ESG ‘grading.’
What Happens When a Company Gets an A From One ESG Rater and an F From Another? By Judy Segal, February 2, 2021, Institutional Investor, USA.
Values at Work: Sustainable Investing and ESG Reporting, by Daniel C. Esty and Todd Cort, Palgrave Macmillan 2020.
“In an effort to better understand the current status and movement of this dynamic field and to provide a practical reference for the growing pool of investors, financial advisors, companies, and academics seeking information on sustainable investing and ESG reporting, this edited book covers the latest trends, tools, and thinking.”