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ESMA PUBLISH RESPONSES TO SURVEY ON SHORT-TERMISM IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) this month published the responses to its call for evidence on short-term pressures on corporations stemming from the financial sector. 

Considering the impact of short-termism forms part of ESMA’s work on sustainable finance and relates to the European Commission’s Action Plan on ‘Financing Sustainable Growth’.

Read more here.

Comprehensively promoting broad-impact sustainability

The aim of the EU Action Plan is to steer capital flows towards sustainability, to manage financial risks and to foster transparency and long-termism. It offers for the first time, a uniform framework for the evaluation of economic activities in relation to environmental objectives and thus helps to establish a common language for investors, issuers, politicians and supervisory bodies. However, the Action Plan, like the EU Commission’s taxonomy concept, had shortcomings right from the outset. Negotiations between the EU Commission, Council and Parliament on the proposed regulation are ongoing. Results are expected by the end of the year.

At this critical point of debate, Germany’s and Austria’s biggest sustainable finance associations CRIC, FNG, ÖGUT and ökofinanz-21 published a joint statement on the second Taxonomy Technical Report, which was presented on 18 June 2019 along with an initial guideline for subsequent application. The following eight points of the statement are particularly significant:
  1. Defining disclosure requirements for all financial products.
  2. Incorporating binding social and governance-related objectives.
  3. Developing a full taxonomy.
  4. Ensuring diversity and scientific expertise in the Platform on Sustainable Finance.
  5. Making reporting requirements and standards compatible with the taxonomy.
  6. Ensuring ease of use and not disadvantaging small actors.
  7. Not defining environmentally damaging electricity generation as sustainable.
  8. Convincing and empowering people for the transition. Through education and information.
For further information please contact fng-siegel@g-ng.eu or call +49 30-264 70 551. 
French SIF took part in PRI in Person 2019

The French SIF was a partner of PRI in Person 2019 which took place on September 10-12 in Paris. We organized a session on Duty of Vigilance and its stakes for responsible investors with Dominique Potier, French member of the parliament behind the related French law. Helena Charrier, French SIF’s Vice-Chair, took part in a session on strategic allocation to present the work of our ALM/ESG working group. And finally, the polar bear from the “Exigez l’ISR !“ campaign as well as the French SIF’s team were on site during the three days of the conference.
 
French Responsible Finance Week 2019

The Responsible Finance Week 2019 will take place between September 26 and October 4. Biodiversity is this year’s theme. Its launch will take place on September 19. The French SIF will also organize two other events: a morning dedicated to academic research with an event on SDGs and responsible investment, followed by the FIR-PRI Awards ceremony on October 8, and an event with the FAIRR Initiative on October 17.
Bank of Italy integrates sustainability criteria in its financial investments
 
The Bank of Italy has joined the ever-growing group of central banks who are committing to consider sustainability factors in their activities.

In mid-May the Central Bank announced it had updated its investment strategy in order to integrate ESG criteria. By doing so, it expects to give priority to companies that adopt the best business policies in terms of environmental, social and governance areas. The rational underpinning this choice is that sustainable companies generally prove to be less vulnerable to legal and reputational risks; furthermore, they tend to be better equipped to develop innovative solutions and a more efficient resource allocation.

In particular, the Bank of Italy adopted two SRI strategies:
  • exclusions, based on the compliance with the principles of the UN Global Compact;
  • best in class, based on the ESG scores provided by an external data provider.
This new investment policy applies to the allocation of the Bank's own funds (equity portfolios focused on euro-area based corporations), amounting to €8 billion.

Further information available here.

Right after this announcement, on May 21st the Governor of the Bank of Italy Ignazio Visco participated in the opening conference of the Italian Festival of Sustainable Development, delivering a speech on the financial relevance (materiality) of climate risks.

This initiative is a tangible sign that the Italian financial market is on way towards SRI, getting ready to adapt to the new measures coming from the Action Plan.

The topic will be discussed during the Italian SRI Week, which is taking place in November (12th – 21st) in Milan, Rome and Naples.

More info to come soon on www.settimanasri.it

New report: ISR FUNDS. 1ST SEMESTER 2019

This report was produced with the objective of summarising the evolution of sustainable and responsible investment funds marketed in Spain from information collected by our free to use web portal of platform of funds.

It is intended to make a comparison of the evolution in the last semester of the number of available funds and their growth. In this first edition we include the data that will serve as the basis for future reports.

It also includes a case study on a sustainable and responsible investment product, to give visibility to the good practices that are being carried out in the sector.

 

Find the report here.

Good Money Week 2019

This year, Good Money Week will run 5 - 11 October and focus on workplace pensions.

We will call on UK-based pension savers to 'mention the pension' to their employers and ask for a more sustainable, responsible or ethical fund.

The UK pensions industry is estimated at around £2.2 trillion with potentially more than £1 trillion not considering ESG or sustainability factors. We hope this campaign will raise awareness of the options available to savers and their employers and grow the responsible investment market.

Keep an eye on the website (to be updated soon) and see how you can take action on pensions and responsible investment more generally here.
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