Daily ESG Briefing: Japan Exchange Group launches ESG platform

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The Japan Exchange Group (JPX) has launched an ESG Knowledge Hub to offer listed companies access to ESG information, including guidance on disclosures from institutional investors, regulators, the Japanese government and other listed companies. JPX is inviting listed companies to sign up as “Members” while investors and other related parties are encouraged to become “Supporters”.

EU central bankers reportedly clashed on Friday over the role of supervisors in combating climate change. German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann argued that central banks did not have a democratic mandate to act on climate change, and that doing so would undermine the ability of supervisors to maintain price stability. Separately, Bank of France governor François Villeroy de Galhau said that the European Central Bank needs to consider climate risks in its monetary policy.  

US investors have been banned from investing in Chinese surveillance company Hikvision after a recent executive order which blacklisted 31 Chinese companies owned or controlled by the Chinese military. The company, which is a constituent of several benchmark indices, has been criticised for its involvement in the state-led detention of an estimated million Uighur Muslims in Western China. 

Institutional investors representing $6.9trn in assets plan to almost double their allocations to renewables in the coming five years, bringing the level to $742.5bn, according to specialist investor Octopus Renewables. But while half of the investors surveyed said renewable energy has become more attractive during the current crisis, the research concludes that Covid-19 challenges will significantly slow the pace of divestment from fossil fuels. 

The Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB), which aims to foster innovation, tackle inequality, and help the country meet its 2045 net zero target, has officially opened and completed its first major investment, into Glasgow-based laser technology firm, M Squared. The SNIB is being capitalised by the Scottish Government with £2bn over the next 10 years.

Tritax Big Box Real Estate Investment Trust will issue the first sterling green bond by a UK Real Estate Investment Trust this week, managed by Barclays, BNP Paribas and Wells Fargo. The firm has priced £250m of unsecured green bonds, which will mature in November 2033, with a coupon of 1.5%.  

Pimco is being sued by two female employees over allegations of “discrimination in pay and promotion”, as well as unfair demotion. Sue Collazo, Vice President of Alternative Operations, and Lisa Anthony, Manager on the Client Management Support team, argue the investment house violated California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, and described it as having a “broken” and “toxic” culture. In their suit, filed last week with the Orange County Superior Court in California, they are asking to be reinstated to the roles from which they were demoted, and to be paid the money they claim to have missed out on.

CEOs of sovereign wealth funds and asset managers made Statements of Support for the TCFD, pledging to undertake technical exchanges over the coming year, and engage with companies and asset managers to encourage TCFD-aligned reporting.