ESG round-up: Brazilian ESG manager launches LatAm targeted stewardship fund

EFRAG announces tie-up with CDP on ESRS disclosures; Fidelity International launches nature road map, threatens to vote against bank directors.

Fama, an ESG-focused asset manager based in Brazil, has announced the formal launch of its LatAm Climate Turnaround fund. The “targeted stewardship” fund will invest in a concentrated portfolio of high emitters in the region, aiming to reduce their emissions through a combination of engagement and climate advisory services, but also escalating to litigation if necessary. It will pay a performance fee based on both financial and decarbonisation performance. The fund has registered with the Brazilian securities regulator and expects to hold a first close in Brazil at the end of November. It will open to international investors in early 2024.

EU sustainability corporate standards setter EFRAG has announced a tie-up with CDP that will see the environmental data NGO “explore and implement alignment of its disclosure system” with EFRAG’s European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). CDP, supported by EFRAG, will host webinars and release technical guidance to support companies reporting on ESRS data points through CDP, which is currently used by more than 23,000 companies, representing two-thirds of global stock market capitalisation.

Fidelity International has announced further steps to combat deforestation in  its Nature Roadmap. The asset manager will vote against members of the board at global systemically important banks and banks in high deforestation risk markets that do not “adequately meet” its minimum deforestation related expectations from 2024. The Nature Roadmap outlined the firm’s approach to further integrating nature in its sustainable investments and stewardship processes.

Fidelity also said it is evolving its engagement strategy on water with the aim of formalising its approach and “identifying priority sectors and issuers and clear investor expectations against which we can monitor engagement progress and management of water-related impacts and dependencies across our engaged investments”.

Pensions consultancy LCP and Pensions for Purpose have written to the UK’s pensions minister calling for investment in environmental and social sustainability and intergenerational inequality to be at the heart of planned reforms to the pensions system. The letter calls for a rethink on the interpretation of trustee fiduciary duty to allow them to take a longer-term perspective and contribute to broader societal and climate goals, as well as removing structural barriers that prevent de-risked pension schemes from putting their money into sustainable investments.

Impact-focused global standard setter GRI has announced the launch of a Singapore-based sustainability innovation lab with the IFRS Foundation, which houses the ISSB, the body seeking to create a global baseline for corporate sustainability reporting based on financial materiality. ISSB chair Emmanuel Faber said: “The IFRS Foundation continues to work closely with GRI on two tracks – firstly, to make it straightforward for companies using both the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards and the GRI Standards, and secondly to support innovation and knowledge building in the disclosure landscape.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has given its blessing for Visa to exclude an anti-ESG shareholder proposal asking the US payment giant to report on risks – including reputational and legal – linked to the company’s health benefits for transgender employees. The financial watchdog agreed that the National Legal and Policy Centre failed to correct a procedural error with the filing despite being notified of it by the company.