Daily ESG Briefing: Vigeo Eiris and Trucost launch services for EU Taxonomy screening

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Vigeo Eiris has opened a consultation on its Taxonomy Alignment Screening tool, just days after Trucost launched a product to screen companies against the EU Taxonomy. Vigeo, which is owned by Moody’s, says its product allows investors to see how companies contribute to the taxonomy’s environmental objectives, as well as how they comply with the other two pillars of the framework: Do No Significant Harm and Minimum Social Safeguards. A beta version is available to view upon request, it said, and comments are welcomed until November 1. Trucost, which is now owned by S&P, has officially launched its taxonomy-related dataset, covering 15,000 companies. Its data claims to measure the proportion of each firms’ revenues that come from business activities under the current Taxonomy. FTSE Russell issued details last month of how its Green Revenues Classification System aligned with the EU Taxonomy. 

The Principles for Responsible Banking is inviting NGOs and others to apply to join a new Civil Society Advisory Body to advise its signatories on implementing the Principles. Applications are open until mid-December. 

Trust in how companies communicate their sustainability performance has increased to a record 51% this year, but there are significant variations between countries, according to a public opinion poll by the Global Reporting Initiative. The research covered 27 markets, with the highest level of trust being in Asia; European and North American countries generally indicated lower levels.

Large asset owners, typically government-owned pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and insurers, are still leading the way in incorporating ESG investing in Asia, according to Cerulli’s research. In, The Cerulli Edge―Asia-Pacific Edition, 4Q 2020 Issue, the research and consulting firm found that 48% of asset owners have built ESG teams, while almost three-quarters of them look for external managers’ expertise to acquire knowledge. 

Procter & Gamble is facing mounting pressure from shareholders to provide information on diversity, including goals, metrics and trends, following a 37% vote supporting a resolution on the topic by US advocacy group As You Sow. As You Sow said the consumer goods giant contrasted with other target firms such as Gilead, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, MetLife, Morgan Stanley and Oracle, which all agreed to meaningful increases in their diversity reporting.

Heitman will reduce its private equity portfolio’s operational carbon emissions under its control to net zero by the year 2030. The real estate investment management firm’s commitment aligns with Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance goal to reduce operational carbon emissions to net zero by the year 2050.