Daily ESG Briefing: Actiam invites investors to join new deforestation engagement programme

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Dutch investor Actiam has launched an engagement programme on deforestation in supply chains, using satellite imagery, and is inviting other investors to “join efforts in discussions with companies towards halting and mitigating deforestation”. Timelines and targets will be defined by the investor group, it said in a statement. Meanwhile, the UK Sustainable Investment Forum is asking members to take part in a survey about due diligence on forest risk commodities, being run by the UK Government. Ratings agency Fitch has this week released a report on the topic, too.

Swiss Re has raised its internal carbon levy from $8 per tonne to $100 from next year, with plans to raise it to $200 over the next decade. “The levy will fund compensation of residual operational emissions through high-quality carbon removal projects,” the firm said in a statement, adding that it would cut emissions from employee flights by 30% in 2021 compared with 2018, meaning “business travel activity will not go back to the pre-COVID-19 levels”. 

ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services, has added data on the racial and ethnic characteristics of senior leaders at more than 6,000 US corporations to its platform. ISS ESG analysis of the data shows modest progress in the prevalence of minority directors across the S&P 500.

Members of the European Parliament have voted to allow fossil gas to receive funding under the new EU Just Transition fund, in a move WWF says has “rendered their ‘climate emergency’ declaration null and void in one fell swoop”. The Just Transition funds aims to help Member States achieve Net Zero in a socially fair way. The vote is at odds with the views of the European Commission and EU Member Statements, which both opposed the inclusion of gas in the fund.

FTSE Russell has updated its Green Revenues Data Model, which now measures the green revenue exposure of more than 16,000 listed companies across 48 developed and emerging markets. This represents 98.5% of the total global market value of listed companies. The data model can be used for regulatory reporting, including climate performance against TCFD requirements and EU Taxonomy regulation, it said in a statement. 

Moody’s has formed a new ESG Solutions Group focused on data and expertise across ESG, climate risk, and sustainable finance. It will be led by Andrea Blackman, who previously managed Moody’s CreditView platform.