Daily ESG Briefing: Most investors that made noise over Amazon fires still don’t have deforestation policies, says NGO

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Despite calling for action to halt deforestation in the Amazon last year, Aberdeen Standard, Legal and General Investment Management and Baillie Gifford are among the 202 institutional investors that still don’t have zero-deforestation policies, according to an assessment by Global Canopy. The not-for-profit pointed out that, of the 235 investors – with over $16 trillion in assets under management – that signed the statement on deforestation, only 33 have adopted strategies. 

RBC Global Asset Management has formed a partnership with Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers to launch the Philanthropy California Investment Collaborative. The initiative uses impact investment to support homeownership, job creation, small business growth and increased access to affordable rental housing, healthcare and education, according to a statement. It has raised around $100m so far, from investors including the San Francisco Foundation, Fresno County Employees’ Retirement Association and Weingart Foundation.

Citi has announced a collaboration with Truvalue Labs to accelerate its ESG research initiatives and to analyse company ESG behaviour at scale. Citi’s Research & Global Insights group will be using Truvalue Labs’ AI-based ESG data to monitor public company performance against sustainability criteria developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and research analysts will be assessing the financial materiality of key issues.

HSBC Global Research has expanded its ESG framework for sovereign bonds to include emerging markets and has introduced two ESG indicators – one wealth-unadjusted and one wealth-adjusted – to combat the issue of great variation in GDP per capita between issuers, and avoid penalising poorer countries in its analysis. 

The Institute of International Finance and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, with the support of EY, have developed a TCFD Playbook to help firms fully align their reporting with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Although it is focused primarily on the banking sector, the document contains information that is relevant for all financial institutions, including asset managers and insurers.