Eurosif September 2015 Newsletter

04 September 2015

Eurosif September 2015 Newsletter

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In this issue:

Eurosif New Head of Policy & Research

Eurosif Green Bonds Policy Seminar Outcomes

Capital Markets Union Update

Eurosif Update

New Head of Policy & Research Eurosif welcomes on board Ines Gavrilut as head of policy and research. Ines has been involved in research projects related to bioenergy and forest policy, as part of her studies and her research role at the Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy from the University of Freiburg. Before joining Eurosif, she has completed a traineeship in the Capital Markets Department of the European Investment Bank and at the UNFCCC Secretariat, where she gained working knowledge of the international climate negotiation process. Ines will be in charge of coordinating Eurosif's 2016 SRI Study as well as monitoring developments at the EU institutions. GSIA Webinar on Global Trends of Responsible Investment On September 16th the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance hosted a webinar on global trends in responsible investment. Speakers of Sustainable Investment Forums  around the world outlined developments in their regions. The webinar discussed GSIA’s findings of the Global Sustainable Investment Review as well as present recent findings on the development of the implementation of ESG integration, impact investment and region specific issues. More information and webinar recording available here. Follow: @GlobalSIF

Eurosif Policy

Luxembourg Presidency  Establishing a Capital Markets Union (CMU) to enhance the role of capital markets in financing the real economy is a top priority of the Luxemburgish Presidency. In our view, delivering on this will greatly influence the success of the Presidency’s sustainability goals of accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy, financing energy transition and stimulating the emergence of an innovative, circular and competitive economy. The Presidency also intends to couple development policy with trade and sustainable development. It will prepare and coordinate the EU position at the UN Summit on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in New York and at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Paris (COP21).The Economic and Financial Affairs Council will discuss the CMU on October 6, and climate finance on November 10. Read more about the priorities of the Luxemburgish Presidency here . Eurosif Green Bonds Policy Seminar On Tuesday 15 September, Eurosif held a policy seminar on "How can the European Capital Markets Union harness the potential of green bonds". The seminar was a great success as we managed to have an interesting and thought provoking debate on the role of Green Bonds in the context of the Capital Markets Union. You can access key take-aways here. Capital Markets Union Update The EU Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (Rapporteur Burkhard Balz) recently put forward an own initative draft report on stocktaking and challenges of the EU Financial Services Regulation. A key rationale of the report is the fact that new Commission initiatives such as the CMU and the Investment Package are likely to deliver better results if they are built on a well functioning financial services regulation. One element of concern highlighted in the report is the lack of available and attractive risk-appropriate (long-term) investments and savings products for consumers. More on the topic. In parallel with the report, The European Commission is set to publish the CMU Action Plan on September 30. The plan will set out concrete legislative steps to be implemented by the Commission over the next four years. Key building blocks of the upcoming Action Plan will likely include:

  • Increasing investment flows to sustainable and infrastructure projects (e.g. by supporting investment in green technologies, and supporting infrastructure investment through the regulatory framework);
  • Helping companies, particularly SMEs, to access market-based funding sources (e.g. supporting venture capital, loan funds, securities-based and lending-based crowd-funding);
  • Assessing conditions for raising funds via capital markets (e.g. developing private placements as an access point to capital markets, facilitating entry into public markets);
  • Creating rewarding investment opportunities for retail and institutional investors;
  • Using capital markets to enhance the capacity of banks to lend;
  • Analysing horizontal barriers to cross-border investing.
The Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPs) Directive is currently being revised. This process entails both risks and opportunities for SRI. One concerning development is the removal of Commission proposed requirements for considering risks linked to ‘climate change, resource use and the environment’. In addition, the revision of the IORPs Directive represents a chance to reframe the concept of fiduciary duty, and shift its focus from maximising short term returns to achieving long-term, sustainable and responsible investment. Eurosif and ShareAction are monitoring the process currently with the ECON committe of the Parliament and are working on a plan to influence following steps. You can find a detailed analysis on ShareAction's briefing here.


SIF News

FFS - The Italian SRI Week 2015 becomes broader: 15 days of sustainable finance Only three years have passed from the first edition and the “SRI Week” has already become the most important event on sustainable finance in Italy. The 2015 edition is scheduled from 5th to 18th November. Hot topics are sustainable private equity, engagement, climate change, responsible investments by pension funds. More info and full calendar will be soon available here. FNG FNG label 2016 – application phase runs until 18 September The application phase for the FNG label 2016 is still running: until 18 September interested fund manager still have the possibility to apply. For the first time the FNG will award open public funds that have to be considered particular ESG criteria. Further information please find in FNG label rules of procedure or on the FNG website. French SIF Finance Minister Michel Sapin will launch French SRI Week on September 28 in Paris. Regulation and responsible investment will be discussed with high level speakers: Olivier Guersent DG FISMA European Commission, Pascal Canfin, former European MP and former minister and Yves Perrier, AFG chairman. For more information click here . SpainSIF - Disability in Sustainability Reporting Fundación ONCE Spainsif member,  together with GRI initiative, published in April a report of Disability in Sustainability reporting. The publication can be useful for further including disability in the context of Socially Responsible Investment. For more information click here. UKSIF - Government consults on ending their support for renewable electricity The UK Government has launched a review of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme, the Government’s subsidy scheme for generation of renewable electricity from small-scale installations. DECC say "This consultation sets out proposals for a fundamental review of the FITs, intended in the short term to control scheme costs effectively. This is within the context of our success so far in deploying renewables under FITs against our 2020 projections, the fact that we are on track to meet our renewable electricity targets, and our affordability concerns around the cost to bill payers”, “…At this point, support under the scheme could end to new participants…”. This is a concerning policy issue for UKSIF as we approach CoP21 but is one of many policy changes around renewables that over the past few weeks with members. This and other stories can be found in our September newsletter.

VBDO The 8th of September 2015 marked the 20-year anniversary of VBDO’s founding with the aim to develop a voice for sustainable and responsible investment. The support of our members has been crucial to VBDO’s growth and outreach over the past 20 years. In that timeframe VBDO has grown to become the key association in the Netherlands for sustainable and responsible investments.

Member Affiliate News

Arabesque Partners Arabesque is pleased to announce two new valuable additions to  its managing structure. The Anglo-German asset manager welcomes a new Chairman, Professor Robert Eccles,  Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School. Robert is an award-winning author and global leader in integrated reporting and sustainable value creation through ESG factors. Last year , he was named as one of the 100 most influential people in business ethics. Secondly, Georg Kell has been appointed to Vice Chairman-designate, subject to regulatory approval. ​Mr. Kell’s arrival at Arabesque follows the end of a 15-year tenure as the founding Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. For more information, click here .
Aviva Investors

The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) invites investors to join Aviva Investors, BNP Paribas, NEI, Schroders and others to participate in a collaborative engagement to encourage companies to improve their management of farm animal welfare. For further information, contact:

Nicky Amos, Executive Director, BBFAW, or Abigail Herron at Aviva Investors, Eiris
Alongside EIRIS announcing expansion of its global network to include Brazil-based SITAWI, EIRIS has launched an enhanced Country Sustainability Ratings service that now covers 90+ countries, including Brazil. Available through the online EIRIS Global Platform, the enhanced service offers extensive flexibility for ranking countries, and customising weightings and filters.
Etica Sgr Etica Sgr signed the Montréal Carbon Pledge, a UN-PRI supported initiative where investors commit to measure and publicily disclose the carbon footprint of their portfolio. Etica Sgr is the first italian asset manager to sign the pledge. This commitment will increase the transparency towards stakeholders and will allow the implementation of focused emission cutting strategies. For more information click here. Oekom research
South Pole Group and oekom research are entering a partnership to enhance depth and scope of climate impact assessment of investments. The partnership will enable the companies to offer solutions based on data and analysis that will satisfy the growing demand for individual high-quality climate change or carbon-related investment strategies. More information here
Sustainalytics Sustainalytics has launched a suite of Carbon Solutions, including Carbon Portfolio Analytics, Carbon Intensity Data, and Stranded Carbon Assets and High-Impact Fossil Fuel Research. The suite of Carbon Solutions can help investors assess their carbon footprint and pursue carbon-related investment strategies. To learn more, click here.

Member Affiliate Research

Novethic  Over the whole year 2015, the Research Centre is monitoring and communicating how investors are taking action on climate change. The second report update for which more than 800 entities were screened reveals a growing number of approaches becoming more and more sophisticated. Download the report / Robeco Sam - Data privacy: who is watching Big Brother? An increasing amount of scandals in the news have revealed the risks involved with data privacy. The topic of data privacy is however under-researched in the investment industry. As the risks can impact companies’ earnings, it is important to create more transparency. Robeco had the issue researched. For more information, click here.

SRI Research

THE IRRI SURVEY 2015 - Consultation phase now open! The Independent Research in Responsible Investment Survey (IRRI 2015) is the most authoritative global survey of trends in independent SRI & CG research.  In 2014 it was completed by >1,000 industry professionals from over 500 different firms. (See here for 2014 Results).  It combines a deep understanding of SRI & CG research markets, analytical rigour and direct feedback from clients and counterparties.  It recognises and rewards best practice in independent research for Responsible Investment. Consultation To ensure that the 2015 Survey is fair, accurate and delivers constructive information to all parts of the value chain, we are conducting a brief consultation and invite you to share your thoughts on the questions that we plan to ask:


Dutch SRI week - 16th-20th November 2015

  • More information here
Environmental Finance - Green Bonds Americas 2015
  • More information here 
French SIF SRI week  - 5th-11th October 2015
  • More information here
Global Compact +15 Europe  
Conference on the Future of Corporate Sustainability and the UN Global Compact in Europe 13 & 14 October | Café Moskau, Berlin
  • More Information here
Italian SIF SRI week - 5th-18th November 2015
  • More information here
UKSIF 'Good Money' week - 18th-24th October 2015
  • More Information here
Spansif anual event - October 15
This edition will be hosted by Spanish Economic and Social Council and this year will be sponsored by Cecabank. In the event Spainsif present study focused on impact investing and a divulgative video of SRI. We wait for you!
  • Full programme here

COP 21 - Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015 

The Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF15) is the largest business focused event held during the annual Conference of Parties (COP), taking place this year on the 7th-8th December at COP21 in Paris.

  • More Information here

SRI Jobs

For details of current SRI jobs, please see the jobs section of the Eurosif website here.

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