Daily ESG Briefing: Major investors launch tool to identify SDG-aligned investments

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The UN Development Programme has teamed up with the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance, to launch a tool to identify investments that support the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDG Investor Platform highlights more than 200 investment opportunities in 14 countries covering sectors such as food and beverage, healthcare and infrastructure. The Alliance includes CEOs and representatives from Investec, Pimco, CalPERS, Nuveen, UBS, GPIF and Allianz, among others.

Amundi, DWS, KBI, Legal & General, Northern Trust, M&G and Nordea are among 35 investors, managing $11tn, calling on major banks to adopt Net Zero targets. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is coordinating the appeal, which targets 27 banks including BMO, Bank of America, Bank of China, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Crédit Agricole, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Wells Fargo, Mizuho, MUFG and JP Morgan. IIGCC will work with the Transition Pathway Initiative and investors to develop “a bespoke Paris alignment assessment benchmark” for each of the target banks, it said.

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong is updating its listing rules and Corporate Governance code to introduce new diversity requirements aimed at ending all-male boards among issuers. The move also seeks to address the need for improvements in corporate culture, board independence and ESG disclosure. The updated requirements will help to “enhance Hong Kong’s position as a leading ESG hub in Asia”, the Exchange said in a statement. Stakeholders are invited to submit feedback on the proposed rule change before June 18.

Carmaker Toyota has become the latest company to bow to investor pressure over its climate lobbying practices, saying it “will review public policy engagement activities through our company and industry associations to confirm they are consistent with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement”. Lobbying has become a key pillar of engagement for shareholder network Climate Action 100+. 

MSCI has pledged to become Net Zero by 2040 by reducing in-house emissions such as those from business travel and electricity consumption, and emissions in its supply chain. The data and research titan had previously promised to cut its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by half by 2035, and its Scope 3 emissions by 20%. It will release interim targets based on the TCFD, it said.