News & Commentaries by Ron Robins
Latest Podcast: Cleantech Stocks, Carbon ETF to Buy Now “Covering Brookfield Renewable, Vestas Wind Systems, Amyris Inc., Plug Power, ChargePoint, Tesla, NextEra Energy, Enphase Energy, Ford Motor Company, KraneShares Global Carbon ETF, California Carbon Allowance ETF, and Series B Carbon ETF. Carbon ETFs represent a potentially profitable and exciting new investment category for ethical and sustainable investors.”
— By Ron Robins
CFA Institute Publishes First Global ESG Disclosure Standards. “The Standards are intended to address current issues with ESG investing, such as inaccurate disclosure practices, and aim to support investors with complete, reliable, consistent, clear and accessible information. The Standards have been designed to accommodate the full range of investment vehicles, asset classes and ESG approaches offered in markets around the world.”
[COMMENTARY]Frankly, the CFA Institute should’ve been out with these years ago. But, better late than never. We’ll have to see how they work in practice.
CFA Institute Publishes First Global ESG Disclosure Standards, by Bennett Jones LLP, December 17, 2021, USA.
An ESG analysis on the Covid-19 crisis. “Our framework highlights how Social and Governance performance have a close correlation with the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic in the various economies of our selected universe.
Additionally, this study should serve as a driving force for continuous investment in a sustainable and responsible array of public policies. Economies that suffered the most from the COVID-19 pandemic were also those whose sovereign spreads widened during the pandemic, putting further financial pressure on their economies.”
[COMMENTARY]This is a fascinating study on which countries — and why certain countries — outperformed economically during one phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
An ESG analysis on the Covid-19 crisis, by FTSE Russell, November 23, 2021, UK.
2021 RIA (Canada) Investor Opinion Survey. “While 77% of respondents said they want their financial services provider to inform them about responsible investments that are aligned with their values, only 27% said they had ever been asked if they were interested. About one-third of respondents said they currently own responsible investments, similar to last year.”
[COMMENTARY]This is a problem I’ve been concerned with since I began in the investment industry over 50 years ago. It goes back to how the ‘know-your-client’ rule is legally interpreted.
I believe it’s the major financial institutions that have never wanted to include the understanding of a client’s personal values applied in this rule. Canada’s RIA is lobbying to get this changed. They now have the backing of many Canadian financial heavyweights, so perhaps it’ll finally be changed!
2021 RIA (Canada) Investor Opinion Survey, December 8, 2021, RIA (Canada).
Why sustainable business needs better ESG ratings. “Environmental, social, and governance data is noisy — and may not help firms protect the planet. Here’s what to keep in mind as you measure and invest.”
[COMMENTARY]Beth Stackpole provides good insight into the state of ESG corporate reporting and how ESG rating agencies rate companies on ESG measures. Also, the writer asks tough questions about the relevance of what’s being reported and potential outcomes concerning sustainability.
Why sustainable business needs better ESG ratings, by Beth Stackpole, December 5, 2021, MIT, USA.
Rating Muni Bonds on ESG and Impact. “Across muni-bond sectors, there are more than 200 data-driven metrics and 5 million annual data points to measure performance. VanEck and HIP Investor have partnered to track the overall impact and sustainability of 122,000 entities that could benefit from muni bonds.”
[COMMENTARY]This article presents a good analysis of how US muni bonds can be ESG rated. This will be of interest to many investors.
Rating Muni Bonds on ESG and Impact, by Paul Herman, December 5, 2021, ETF Trends, USA.
Investor Guide To Natural Capital by HSBC Asset Management. November 2021
[COMMENTARY]Though for institutions, this guide is also incredibly useful and informative reading for all ethical and sustainable investors.
Values: Building a Better World for All, by Mark Carney, Signal 2021.
“Writing with the benefit of almost two decades at the heart of global financial policymaking higher circles, Mark Carney’s indispensable new book asks how we can go from knowing the price of everything to understanding its true value. From the Great Financial Crisis to climate change and the coronavirus pandemic, this is the essential handbook for 21st century leaders, policymakers and everyone who wants to build a fair and sustainable world.”…Christine Lagarde, former chair and managing director of the IMF and president of the European Central Bank.