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Daily ESG Briefing: Invesco launches in-house ESG ratings

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Invesco has launched in-house ESG ratings. The investment house has paired its ESG team with its Technology, Strategy Innovation and Planning team to come up with ESGintel, covering 8,000 companies. As well as looking at ESG data points and KPIs, it will assess firms’ “direction of change”, it said. 

SASB’s 55-member Investor Advisory Group, which includes representatives from huge names including BlackRock, Allianz GI, APG, Axa, Fidelity and Legal & General Investment Management, has written to companies urging them to use SASB Standards when disclosing to investors. Representing $41trn in assets under management, the Group said: “other reporting standards and frameworks may complement SASB Standards, but are not replacements for them”.

Morningstar has begun formally integrating ESG factors into its analysis of stocks, funds and asset managers using Sustainalytics' ESG Risk Ratings. Morningstar upped its stake in Sustainalytics in July and plans to make its ESG Commitment Level evaluation available next year. 

Storebrand has signed the UN-backed Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles, which aims to develop practical actions, frameworks and outputs for insurers, lenders and investors to enable a transition to sustainable ocean management. "As investors we have a crucial role to play in financing the transition to a sustainable blue economy and to rebuild ocean prosperity,” said Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO Storebrand Asset Management. “Major industries such as shipping, fishing, aquaculture, and coastal tourism all depend on healthy oceans.” 

The UN Global Compact had come out in support of mandatory human rights due diligence in the latest sign that the concept is gathering momentum. During a speech at the 9th Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, Global Compact’s CEO Sanda Ojiambo said: “Protecting the well-being and dignity of every person means preventing human rights abuses in business operations and value chains worldwide”. 

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has reportedly pulled out of financing the Lamu Coal Plant in Kenya due to environmental and social concerns. The African Development Bank and General Electric have already cut ties with the controversial proposed thermal coal project. 

ESG data science firm RepRisk has collaborated with financial service provider Apex to expand access to material ESG risk data for private markets participants. The partnership means Apex’s ESG Rating and Advisory Portal now includes RepRisk Analytics Reports and Cases Data on private companies.