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Daily ESG Briefing: RobecoSAM founder launches ‘Google Earth for investors’

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Globalance Bank, the Swiss bank developed by RobecoSAM founder Reto Ringger, is launching the Globalance World platform, which it has dubbed “a type of Google Earth for investors”. Investors will be able to use the tool, which covers some 6,000 listed companies, to analyse the future sustainability of their investment portfolios, according to Globalance World’s website. Another tool, known as Sugi, has also launched in a bid to enable retail investors to check the carbon impact of their investments. Sugi was created by green investment specialist Josh Gregory and uses the Open Finance platform.

Nordea, Federated Hermes, Aegon Asset Manager and the Church of England Pension Funds are among the 36 investors to have written to 36 of Europe’s largest companies calling on them to integrate their climate commitments into their financial statements. The companies include Anglo American, BASF, Equinor, EDF, Airbus and Renault Group. 

Donald Trump has signed an executive order that seeks to ban Americans from investing in companies that "enable the development and modernization" of China's military and "directly threaten" US security. The 31 Chinese firms on the blacklist include smartphone maker Huawei and video surveillance firm Hikvision. Investors will have until November 2021 to divest from the companies, according to the order. 

Climate campaign group Follow This has criticised Shell and ExxonMobil for allegedly seeking billions in subsidies for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the North Sea. In response to the claims, published by Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad, Follow This said: “CO2 capture and storage should be the last stone of climate policy, not the cornerstone. Let’s first see Shell and ExxonMobil investing billions in the energy transition from fossil to renewable. Otherwise CCS is no more than an excuse for business as usual.”

EOS, the proxy advisory arm of Federated Hermes, has joined the Best Practice Principles Group for shareholder voting research – a group formed in 2013 to promote greater understanding of shareholder voting research and stewardship services. 

Ceres and Trillium Asset Management have opened nominations for their Joan Bavaria Award, which aims to recognise an investor or NGO figure who is working to transform the capital markets to better account for environmental and social consideration. Nominations are open until January 15th 2021. The award, first launched in 2008, is dedicated to the late Joan Bavaria, a pioneer of social investing who founded both Ceres and Trillium Asset Management.

The UN Global Compact has published Practical Guidance to Issue a Blue Bond in a bid to foster the fledgling market – a subset of the booming green bond market. The guidance points out the need for adequate liquidity, which could be helped by government support, including  policy frameworks and blue sovereign bonds.