ESG Daily Briefing: UK pension pool issues tender for £660m credit strategy with ri embedded

The latest developments in sustainable finance

LGPS Central, the UK local authority pension “pool”, is seeking a manager for a global credit fund with around £660 (€736m) in assets. The mandate targets returns of 3-5% above benchmark and candidates will be required to demonstrate responsible investment as part of their investment process.

Ceres has announced the upcoming launch of a framework for investors to assess portfolio exposure to deforestation and climate risk following last year’s devastating fire in the Amazon. The Investor Guide to Deforestation and Climate Change will be released on July 29. Interested parties may register for the launch webinar here.

As You Sow, the advocacy non-profit, have found that 50 of the largest US consumer goods companies are significantly lagging on plastic waste management. According to a report published yesterday, the companies were found to be “far too slow in adopting responsive actions and promoting reusability, recyclability, or compostability in their packaging, and failing to shift away from wasteful packaging, toward circular models that prioritise absolute reduction.” Walmart, PepsiCo, Tyson Foods and Kraft Heinz were ranked among the worst performing companies.

The New Development Bank, informally known as BRICS Bank, launched a $1.5bn, three-year COVID Response Bond this week, to finance “sustainable development activities” in the banks member countries, including emergency assistance loans to finance the fight against the pandemic and provide support for governmental measures to help with the economic recovery. 75% of the notes were allocated to central banks and official institutions, with 56% of buyers in Asia, 29% in EMEA and 15% in the Americas. Demand allowed the issuer to tighten pricing by 7 basis points against the highest initial price thoughts, and the final coupon was 0.625%.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited has launched a Sustainable and Green Exchange, known as STAGE, to “act as a central hub for data and information on sustainable and green finance investments in the region”. Initially, the exchange will focus on bonds and exchange-traded products listed on the main Hong Kong exchange, but may broaden over time to cover other asset classes, including derivative products. 

Truvalue Labs, a provider of AI-driven ESG data, has announced two products which “automate ESG data delivery”. The new AI Insights service identifies significant positive and negative ESG events from more than 100,000 sources in 13 languages, while the Spotlight Events data service delivers information in the form of a data feed directly to internal research platforms and trading strategies.

New York Life Investments has launched the Candriam Academy in the US, billed as the first accredited and free-to-air sustainable investing training platform for financial advisors and intermediaries. The course was developed by the sustainability-focused asset manager Candriam, an affiliate of New York Life. The Academy was first launched in Europe in 2017, and currently has over 4,000 members across 15 countries.