Daily ESG Briefing: Australian Ethical becomes ‘fastest growing Aussie super fund’

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Super fund manager Australian Ethical has announced an 11% increase in profits and a 10% increase in operating revenue in its half-year results. After a record net inflows of A$422m (€274m) in the second half of last year, the manager now runs more than A$5bn. Its customer base is up 22% on last year, and it claims it is the fastest growing super fund in Australia.

Danica, the pensions division of Danske Bank, tripled its green investments during 2020. The total figure now stands at €3.66bn, up from €1.39bn at the start of the year. In an interview with AMWATCH, Danica CEO Ole Krogh Petersen said that the firm aimed to have DKK100bn (€13bn) in green investments by 2030. 

UN Environment has recommended that financial organisations stop lending to fossil fuels and develop finance for “biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture”. In a report entitled Making Peace with Nature, the body lays out a series of climate-focused recommendations for governments, businesses and individuals. It comes as France’s green corporate network Entreprises pour l’Environnement issues advice on how companies can help tackle biodiversity loss by reducing pressure, creating biodiversity-friendly spaces and conditions and factoring nature into business decisions. 

Lloyd’s of London insurance syndicate Brit has said that it will not insure the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia, owned by Adani. A total of 31 insurance companies have now refused to cover the mine after sustained campaigning from climate activists. Campaigners have said that the mine would be responsible for an estimated 4.6bn tonnes of CO2 pollution over its lifetime.

The US banking sector should “extend time horizons and take a client-focused approach to managing climate risk”, according to analysis by Ceres, which says banks underestimate transition risk linked to short-term loans. Ceres claims that, instead of relying on the ability not to renew such loans if climate risk develops, banks should adopt 10-year horizons for climate risk management, create 10-year financing plans for each sector and take a 10-year approach to engagement with clients.