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ESG Daily Briefing: Amundi bags €2.6bn climate mandate from Pensam

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Danish labour pension scheme Pensam has awarded a €2.6bn mandate to Amundi, to run an equities fund tracking the MSCI All Countries World Index Climate Change Index. Earlier this year, Pensam announced that it would adopt the index as the benchmark for its entire €4.8bn equities allocation as part of its efforts to decarbonise its portfolio. 

George Washington University has agreed to full divest its endowment from companies that focus on fossil fuel extraction after a vote by the board of trustees. The vote came on the back of recommendations from the university's ESG Responsibility Taskforce, set up in February in response to protests by students. According to reports, the endowment has $53m invested in the fossil fuel industry.  

European chemical companies top a sustainability ranking called ChemScore, followed by a mix of US and Asian companies. The top scorer of the corporate benchmark tool, created by non-profit ChemSec, was Dutch chemical company DSM. However, over 70% of chemicals used and manufactured in Europe are hazardous to human health and/or the environment, according to Eurostat. None of the 35 companies fully disclosed what kind of chemicals they produce in regions outside of the EU and US (where they are required to disclose under regulation).

California’s Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has launched an Invest in Our Diverse Communities programme, which serves to identify investments run or owned by diverse woman-, veteran-, LGBTQ+-, Latinx-, Asian Pacific Islander-, black-, and Native American- leaders. The focus is on socially responsible affordable housing and environmental projects in California that can be invested in by insurance companies. 

In its current board elections, the Principles for Responsible Investment is proactively encouraging potential candidates from emerging markets organisations to apply as asset owner representatives. The election will also include an asset manager position on the board. The deadline for nominations is 17th July. If no eligible candidates  are nominated as asset owner representatives by this date, the PRI will remove the additional emerging-markets eligibility requirement. Elections will start in October.

BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, in collaboration with Microsoft, has launched an ESG Data & Analytics tool, designed to help investment firms use Artificial Intelligence to rank the quality of ESG data and address ESG factors in portfolios.