ESG and Sustainability News

Welcome to VitalBriefing’s free Sustainability Highlights Monthly Briefing, covering key sustainability news and developments related to sustainable finance, ESG and investment opportunities in Europe and around the world. To receive the Briefing direct to your inbox every month, you can subscribe by clicking here.

Our media monitoring on all things Sustainability will help you identify the critical trends and major European and global developments in Legislation & Regulation, Sustainable Finance Trends and Investments & Products.

If you’d like a more in depth look at this space, you should know that this is just a selection of key stories from VitalBriefing’s Monthly Sustainable Finance News & Insights Briefing. Prepared by our top financial journalists, not only does it cover many more sources and articles, it also includes relevant market and sector analysis, and a complete listing of new sustainability-oriented funds with each edition.




Sustainability Highlights Monthly Briefing
September 2021

Legislation & Regulation
SFDR funds include significant investments in unsustainable industries

Funds marketed under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation may include a wide range of securities issued by companies that are not considered sustainable. For example, the Legal & General Equity ETF, which is labelled as having sustainable characteristics under Article 8 of the SFDR, excludes coal miners and weapons manufacturers but includes BP and Royal Dutch Shell, along with mining group Rio Tinto and British American Tobacco. Morningstar’s director of sustainability research, Hortense Bioy, says investors should not expect a great deal of environmental focus from Article 8 funds.

Best source: Reuters

BaFin revises sustainable investing rules after industry pushback

BaFin has published revised proposals on sustainable investment guidelines, addressing industry criticism in allowing three different approaches for asset managers to meet requirements. Funds being marketed as sustainable can choose to maintain a minimum ESG investment ratio, pursue a sustainable investment strategy, or track a sustainability index. The German regulator indicates that it will also take into account pending EU and international rules on requirements to curb greenwashing.

Best source: Börsen-Zeitung
(subscription required, in German)

Sustainable Finance Trends
Central banks brace for financial instability from climate change

Amid growing concern about the economic impact of climate change, the central banks of the world’s five largest economies – the US, China, the EU, Japan and the UK – are making new demands on the commercial banks they oversee. The People’s Bank of China has already conducted climate risk stress tests on Chinese banks, the Bank of England is undertaking its first comprehensive climate stress tests on Britain’s biggest banks and insurers, and the European Central Bank aims to launch stress tests in 2022. Other initiatives include the disclosure of climate risks by banks and the provision of loans for green projects.

Best source: Yale Environment

IPCC calls for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Unprecedented, transformational change offers the only hope of preventing the worst impact of climate change, according to the latest report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Compiled by 234 experts from 66 countries, the report says it is likely that the world’s average surface temperature will rise by more than 1.5ºC from pre-industrial levels within the next few decades – the upper limit of what scientists believe humanity can cope with. The report says there is no doubt that humans are responsible for the temperature rise, and that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a major contributor.

Best source: Reuters
See also: Inside Climate News
See also: Aljazeera

Investments & Products
UBS sustainable discretionary assets in Asia-Pacific surge to $4.5bn

The assets within fully sustainable discretionary portfolios in UBS’s Asia-Pacific private banking business surged to $4.5bn at the end of the first half, up from just $1bn at the start of 2020, driven by rising interest in socially responsible investment. Despite extensive scepticism about sustainable investing in Asia a few years ago, there is now a clear trend among clients seeking to align personal values with their investments, according to Adrian Zuercher, head of global asset allocation at UBS Wealth Management’s chief investment office. Worldwide, the Swiss bank now manages more than $30bn in fully sustainable discretionary assets.

Best source: Bloomberg
(subscription required)

Norwegian wealth fund sets new biodiversity and ecosystem targets

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has introduced new targets for preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems for the companies in which it invests. The fund says companies that depend upon or significantly influence ecosystems and biodiversity should integrate these factors into their governance, strategy, risk management, measurement and reporting.

Best source: Norges Bank Investment Management

VitalBriefing Sustainability Insights
Impact investing explained by an expert

What does impact investing actually mean, and who is it for? VitalBriefing interviews the Impact Investing Institute’s Jamie Broderick to obtain greater clarity and find out why he believes investors should pay more attention to this emerging investment sector.

Best source: VitalBriefing

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This free briefing is a selection of key stories from VitalBriefing’s Monthly Sustainable Finance News & Insights Briefing, prepared by our top financial journalists and identifying the critical trends and major European and global developments in Legislation & Regulation, Sustainable Finance Trends and Investments & Products.




VitalBriefing Insights

ESG and Sustainability News

A free media monitoring Briefing to help you identify critical ESG and sustainability news, trends and investment opportunities.