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Clean Investor, October 18: Munich Re named world greenest major company in Newsweek rankings

RI’s regular Tuesday round-up of clean investing news

Munich Re, the German re-insurance giant, has been named as the world’s greenest major corporation in the third annual Newsweek Green Rankings. Newsweek partners, research firms Sustainalytics and Trucost, evaluated each company’s performance on a number of criteria related to environmental impact, management and disclosure. Munich Re was awarded an overall score of 83.6. Computer giant IBM was second in the ranking; National Australia Bank was third. Link

A new global solar thermal power body has been set up. The International Solar Thermal Electricity Association (STELAWorld) comprises the European, Australian and South African industry associations, while trade bodies in the rest of the world will be approached. STELAWorld says it will work with international agencies such as the IEA, the UNFCCC, UN Development Program, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and development banks to assist policy-makers and energy investors.

Researcher the Cleantech Group has released its third annual Global Cleantech 100 list, recognizing the 100 best private companies in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, water and waste, and low carbon transportation. It is collated by combining Cleantech data, with over 6,000 nominations and specific input from an expert panel.

Wind farm and solar park financing rose to a new high of $41.8bn (€30.5bn) in the third quarter, according to a report from research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance. But it found asset financing of utility-scale renewable energy projects was 27% down on the year-ago quarter at $33bn.

The US military will invest $10bn a year in renewable energy by 2030, according to analysis from Pike Research. “The Department of Defense is positioned to become the single most important driver of the cleantech revolution in the United States,” says Pike Research president Clint Wheelock.German finance powerhouse Allianz is acquiring a 10% equity share in Wildlife Works Carbon, a developer of “REDD” (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) projects. It said WWC’s projects meet strict sustainability criteria, and are the first of their kind to generate CO2 certificates. The aim is to show that REDD projects are an “attractive investment option” Allianz said.

The Carbon Disclosure Project, the investor-led initiative representing 551 investors with some $71trn (€51.8trn) in assets, is continuing its series of country and region-specific report launch events through November and into December. A highlight is the Global Water report on November 16 at Bloomberg in London.
The UK government will announce next month whether it will become mandatory for companies to report their carbon emissions. “If we do regulate, we will set a minimum standard and then only for smaller companies,” said Environment Minister Lord Taylor at the launch of the Carbon Disclosure Project’s FTSE 350 report.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank, has led a $50m financing for solar cell start-up company Sunpreme. Other investors include Silicon-Valley-based Capricorn Investment Group and Beijing-based China Environment Fund III. Announcement
Cambridge Cleantech – a new UK organisation supporting the growth of environmental goods and services – is being launched at Anglia Ruskin University on October 21. “We are delighted to be a founding member, and to host the launch event, of Cambridge Cleantech,” said Dr Aled Jones, Director of the Global Sustainability Institute at the university.

US development finance institution the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has approved $250m in financing to develop 51 solar power plants in Thailand. The cash will go to SunEdison Thailand, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, a US-based technology and solar power development company.