Daily ESG Briefing: Arabesque enters into ‘strategic partnership’ with influential proxy advisor Glass Lewis 

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Arabesque has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Glass Lewis that will see its data and advisory arm  Arabesque S-Ray provide ESG profiles of companies to the influential proxy advisor.  A spokesperson for Arabesque told RI that the partnership with Glass Lewis is a commercial one and that it is the first time the firm has worked with a proxy advisor. He would not be drawn on details of the deal.  Glass Lewis already has a long-standing relationship rival ESG data firm Sustainalytics, and a spokesperson for the advisory told RI that the “data both companies provide is complementary and we hope the additional insights will help clients as they make important ESG related decisions”. “By including Arabesque’s technology-driven ESG data and insights alongside Glass Lewis’ market-leading Proxy Paper research reports, this new strategic partnership will enable the world’s largest investors to accelerate smarter analysis of corporate sustainability performance,” said Daniel Klier, President of Arabesque.

HSBC has published a ‘practitioner’s guide’ with considerations for banks in setting a Net Zero strategy. The guide outlines the steps needed to implement a Net Zero strategy for financed emissions and provides recommendations around key choices banks will face as they develop these strategies, alongside an overview of the potential trade-offs involved. It also looks at how banks can engage with policymakers and clients on the low-carbon transition and disclose their progress.

EU financial services commissioner Mairead McGuinness has said it is “still the objective” to propose rules for how the EU Taxonomy will cover nuclear energy and natural gas by the end of the year. “But who’s to know what the twists and turns will be,” she added in an interview with the Financial Times. The complementary delegated act on nuclear and gas was expected shortly after the Summer, and it is believed the uncertainty around how gas and nuclear is going to be treated in the EU Taxonomy contributed to member states wanting more time to scrutinise the Taxonomy’s climate rules. As RI recently reported, an early leaked draft seen by RI of the European Commission’s recent energy policy guidance document for member states had said the complementary taxonomy proposal would be tabled before the end of the year, but there was no reference to timing in the final document.  

US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Allison Herren Lee has said “data and greater market transparency alone will not enable capital markets to fully ‘solve’ the problem of climate change. That’s because markets are only as reliable as the incentive structure on which they are based.” She made the remarks at a PRI webinar, adding that “because of varying estimates around the timeline for some of these risks to materialise […] market forces and incentives may not operate optimally to shift capital today to get us where we need to be tomorrow”.

Moody’s ESG Solutions has launched an EU Taxonomy Alignment Screening product to help companies and investors meet the Taxonomy disclosure requirements. Moody’s said the underlying data is closely aligned to the technical screening criteria of the Taxonomy, and will be expanded as the regulation evolves to cover more environmental and social objectives.  

In addition, Moody's today published a report on G20 banks and decarbonisation, saying manufacturing accounts for the biggest share of G20 banks' lending exposure to sectors most subject to carbon transition risk, followed by transportation and power & utilities. The three sectors account for more than 75% of banks' carbon transition risk exposure, Moody's said.