Daily ESG Briefing: Impax sees 34% growth in assets under management

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Sustainability-focused manager Impax has increased its assets under management by 34.1% over 12 months and 11.4% in the last quarter. Its total assets under discretionary and advisory management now totals £20.2bn.

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group committed or arranged over £2.9bn of financing across 250 projects between September 2019 and August 2020, taking the cumulative capital invested or arranged by the investment firm over three years to £6.9bn, according to its annual Progress Report. 

Malaysia’s Top Glove, whose sales of disposable gloves have been restricted in the US over concerns of forced labour, will pay approximately $40m in reimbursements to migrant workers allegedly recruited unethically, according to company documents seen by the LA Times. The firm is set to pay workers from Nepal about $1,500 and workers from Bangladesh about $4,800 to cover fees they paid to recruitment agencies in their home countries. If the overall estimate is correct, this would represent an industry record and three-and-a-half times more than what the company initially stated.

Around 82% of asset manager respondents to a survey by Russell Investments said governance was still their dominant ESG focus. The investment manager’s ‘2020 ESG Manager Survey’ of 400 asset managers globally has shown increasing numbers of investment firms are incorporating additional ESG metrics into their investment processes, with 78% of managers surveyed now explicitly incorporating qualitative or quantitative ESG factors, while also expanding the amount of resources dedicated to responsible investment.

New Zealand Superannuation Fund has doubled its carbon reduction target after meeting its 2020 goals. The NZ$47bn sovereign wealth fund will now aim to reduce its emissions intensity by 40% and fossil fuel reserves by 80% by 2025. These new targets were set out in its ‘Climate Change Report’ – its first prepared in accordance with the TCFD framework – which details how it manages and assesses climate-related risk and opportunities in its portfolio.

JPMorgan Chase has pledged to adopt a financing commitment that is aligned to the goals of the Paris Agreement and work toward net-zero financed emissions by 2050. However, the announcement did not include targets for phasing out the bank’s funding of fossil fuels – currently Chase is the world’s biggest banker of fossil fuels, financing the industry to the tune of $268bn between 2016 and 2019.

European Parliament has voted in favour of increasing the EU’s climate target by reducing emissions by 60% by 2030. It also voted in favour of each Member State reaching climate neutrality individually by 2050. EU leaders are scheduled to discuss climate change issues on 15-16 October and finally decide on the new target in December. 

BHP has suspended its membership of the Queensland Resources Council, after it ran a series of ads on Facebook recommending voters “put the Greens last” ahead of the State election on 31 October, reports The Courier Mail. The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility has welcomed the move and is calling on Origin Energy and Santos to follow suit.