February monthly news highlights
26 February 2018
SSE INITIATIVE NEWS & EVENTSEVENT: Ring the Bell for Gender Equality March, 2018 | Worldwide In celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March 2018), the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative is pleased to announce that more than 50 stock exchanges will host a bell ringing ceremony to raise awareness of the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5. EVENT: UN SSE 2018 Global Dialogue October 23, 2018 | Geneva, Switzerland The SSE flagship Global Dialogue is a unique global gathering designed to bring together market leaders to analyze, promote and foster communication on stock exchanges’ sustainability initiatives. Attracting speakers and audience members from around the world, the SSE Global Dialogue has become the main global platform for convening dialogue on sustainable capital markets. The 2018 Global Dialogue will take place as part of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.
WEBINARS AND EVENTSLaunch of the Global Green Finance Index March 14, 2018 | Brussels The GGFI will rank the world’s financial centers according to the depth and quality of their green finance offerings. Climate Bonds Annual Conference March 19-21, 2018 | London International market actors, leaders, policymakers will gather to discuss and debate how to scale the global green bond market from billions to trillions. View the full agenda here. Getting to grips with climate risk: What do the G20’s TCFD recommendations mean for company reporting in the UK? March 20, 2018 | London This workshop will provide an overview of how UK companies can report on climate-related risks and opportunities using the TCFD recommendations, with some practical suggestions for integrating climate and financial information into your annual report. Ceres Conference April 24-26, 2018 | Boston, MA Join more than 600 influential investors, company executives and capital market leaders to hear the business case for sustainability and learn how to build leadership and drive change within your firm or organization. At Ceres Conference 2018, you will hear from a wide-range of forward thinking investors, C-Suite company executives and capital market leaders on the most up-to-date sustainability trends, the biggest challenges and innovative breakthroughs on issues related to corporate board governance, clean energy investing, Sustainable Development Goals, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure, sustainable agriculture and food, and more. 5th International Reporting 3.0 Conference June 12-13, 2018 | Amsterdam This year’s Reporting 3.0 Conference will feature final findings from all four Reporting 3.0 Blueprints and will profile pilot projects of companies and others implementingBlueprint Recommendations under the Beta Testing Program. It will also feature the formal launch of the Global Thresholds & Allocations Council, a body of respected experts to vet and validate thresholds for the carrying capacities of the multiple capitals and methodologies for companies to set fair share allocations for access to those capital resources. PRI in Person 2018 September 12-14, 2018 | San Francisco, USA PRI in Person is the leading global conference on responsible investment, offering a platform for PRI signatories and other investment professionals to learn, network and collaborate in person over a three day period. The annual event allows attendees to discuss topical issues and share experiences from their own organisation and region with peers from around the world. UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2018 October 22-25, 2018 | Geneva, Switzerland Established in 2008, the UNCTAD World Investment Forum (WIF) is the pre-eminent global forum for investment policy-making. It is a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue on investment in sustainable development and strives to achieve actionable outcomes for the world’s investment related challenges. Pre-registration is now open here.
CONSULTATIONSWorld Benchmarking Alliance consultation February-April 2018 The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) founding partners have launched a series of global and regional consultations, as well as an online consultation aimed at gathering inputs and insights on the WBA’s objectives and governance structure, in addition to identifying and prioritizing critical intersections between industries and the SDGs. Upcoming in-person roundtables will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town, Nairobi, Mumbai, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, and Washington, DC from February through April 2018. There is also an ongoing open online consultation. Corporate Governance Council launches public consultation in Singapore to strengthen corporate governance Deadline: March 15, 2018 The Corporate Governance Council of Singapore has released a consultation paper on its recommendations to revise the Code of Corporate Governance. The recommendations aim to support sustained corporate performance and innovation and strengthen investor confidence in Singapore’s capital markets. PRI Call for Papers Deadline: April 2, 2018 Aligning with key themes at PRI in Person, the PRI invites submissions of papers that focus on the following topics: working to achieve a sustainable financial system, the role of responsible investment in meeting today’s investment challenges, ESG integration, ESG engagement. The PRI encourages both theoretical and empirical contributions from diverse business, finance, and social science disciplines. Selected papers and the PRI Award for Outstanding Research, for the best qualitative, quantitative and student papers, will be presented at the Academic Network Conference. British Columbia Securities Commission consultation on disclosure requirements for women on boards and executive roles Deadline: April 10, 2018 The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) is seeking input on gender diversity disclosure requirements in National Instrument 58-101 Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices (NI 58-101). NI 58-101 requires non-venture issuers to provide annual disclosure regarding certain gender diversity related matters, including policies regarding the representation and number of women on the board and in executive officer positions.
GENERAL NEWSGenerali to divest €2bn from coal and increase green investments by €3.5bn February 26, 2018 Italian insurance company Generali Group has announced that it will not only divest €2 billion worth of coal investments but will increase its green investments by €3.5 billion by 2020. Peru to present green bond guidelines in March 2018 February 16, 2018 Peru will present guidelines for the issuance of green bonds in March, which will give companies access to financing for sustainable projects. Peru will become the second country in the region after Mexico to have guidelines for the issuance of green bonds.The United Kingdom is providing their support in these efforts and on 1 March the British Ambassador Anwar Choudhury and the President of the Lima Stock Exchange (BVL) rang the trading bell in order to promote investment in Green Bonds. London Metal Exchange aims to ban metal sources with child labor February 13, 2018 The London Metal Exchange, a Hong Kong Exchange Company, could remove companies from its list of approved metal suppliers if they fall short of industry standards following an outcry about cobalt mined by children in Africa. BSX supports ‘Just Good Business’ campaign February 12, 2018 The Bermuda Stock Exchange is supporting Bermuda’s “Just Good Business” campaign. The campaign highlights efforts by the Bermuda Government, authorities and Bermudan-based international and local businesses to ensure the island meets the highest standards for anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing. China mandates ESG disclosures for listed companies and bond issuers February 6, 2018 The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), in collaboration with China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, has introduced new requirements that, by 2020, will mandate all listed companies and bond issuers to disclose ESG risks associated with their operations. Yahoo Finance expands offerings of free sustainability scores February 1, 2018 Current research shows that investors – particularly women and millennials – increasingly seek impact with their investments and believe they can achieve competitive returns with companies that reflect their values. Investors will be able to track the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) scores of more than 2,000 publicly traded companies as of 1 February on Yahoo Finance.
ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTSHong Kong outlines grant for first-time corporate bond issuers and plans for green bonds in budget March 1, 2018 The Hong Kong Government announced a HK$2.5mn pilot bond grant scheme to develop market, as well as green bond issuance program of up to HK$100bn. UBP launches of new emerging markets fixed income fund focused on ESG February 28, 2018 Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) has launched a new emerging market fixed income product, the UBAM – EM Sustainable High Grade Corporate Bond. The new fund combines UBP’s in-house ESG analysis with MSCI ESG Research and is comprised of approximately 50 issuers from some 20 countries. Belgium joins the ranks of green bond issuing countries February 26, 2018 Belgium has become the third European country to issue a green bond. The $4.5bn, 15-year bond is the second-largest sovereign green bond to come to the market to date and follows Indonesia’s $1.25bn debut green bond offering last week. Indonesia issues green bond February 23, 2018 The proceeds of the five-year, dollar-denominated sukuk bond must be used for environmentally-friendly projects and has been structured to comply with Islamic law. ANZ prices first sustainable development bond February 19, 2018 ANZ priced its first Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) bond in the European wholesale debt capital markets raising €750mn to fund loans and expenditures that directly promote nine of the UN’s 17 SDGs. The proceeds are intended to support projects offering broad social, economic and environmental benefits, including funding for hospitals, schools, green buildings, clean water, public transport system or renewable power plants. Application is expected to be made by ANZ for the bonds to be listed on ASX as an ASX wholesale dept listing on or about the issue date. AP2 creates ESG-led multifactor equity indices for €10bn portfolio February 12, 2018 AP2, one of Sweden’s national pensions funds, created a pair of multifactor indices to guide its internally-managed global equities investment to improve returns and address ESG issues. These indices include all the factors AP2 seeks exposure to as well as ESG factors and will replace the six indices the fund currently uses for this part of its portfolio. AGF announces launch of AGFiQ enhanced global ESG factors ETF and AGFiQ enhanced global infrastructure ETF February 12, 2018 AGF Investments Inc. announced the launch of two new ETFs. The AGFiQ Enhanced Global ESG Factors ETF and the AGFiQ Enhanced Global Infrastructure ETF. “Our new ETFs […provide] investors with differentiated access to two growing segments of the market often reserved for the largest institutions– ESG and Infrastructure – to build their global equity portfolios,” said Kevin McCreadie, President and Chief Investment Officer, AGF Investments Inc. VanEck launches international equities ETF February 11, 2018 VanEck announced the launch of its new Vectors MSCI International Sustainable Equity Exchanged Traded Fund (RTF) on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) which would provide investors with exposure to a portfolio of sustainable, international companies. Dutch pension scheme backs BlackRock ESG launch with €50m February 8, 2018 BlackRock launched an ESG focused version of a semi-active European equity fund, at the request of the Dutch pension fund SCA. The fund excludes companies that do not comply with the 10 UN Global Compact Principles.
About the SSE
The SSE initiative is a UN Partnership Programme organised by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, UNEP FI and the PRI. The SSE’s mission is to provide a global platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, companies (issuers), regulators, policymakers and relevant international organizations, can enhance performance on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues and encourage sustainable investment, including the financing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SSE seeks to achieve this mission through an integrated programme of conducting evidence-based policy analysis, facilitating a network and forum for multi-stakeholder consensus-building, and providing technical assistance and advisory services.