ESG round-up: Fidelity International partners with Tumelo on Stewardship Hub

The latest developments in sustainable finance: IGCC study raises economic challenges of Aussie gas projects under 1.5C, Bucharest Stock Exchange publishes its first ESG reporting guidelines.

Fidelity International has partnered with impact-focused fintech Tumelo to launch a stewardship hub, which will enable pension scheme clients and trustees to look through the underlying fund holdings of a scheme’s portfolios and receive details of the stewardship activities of their fund managers. The new tool also claims to assist trustees in meeting their obligation to produce an implementation statement as part of their annual report, through its inclusion of Pension and Lifetime Savings Association statistics and copies of fund manager policies. Moving forward, the hub will be rolled out in phases to Fidelity Master Trust clients, who will be able to provide feedback.

Under two 1.5C Paris-aligned climate scenarios, new or recently sanctioned Australian gas projects may be economically challenged, according to a study commissioned by the Investor Group on Climate Change. In particular the report, conducted by Wood Mackenzie, found that when assessed against the scenarios the selected projects recorded lower cashflow, particularly from the 2030s onwards. “As an industry, gas companies need to develop and implement business strategies that will enable them to thrive in a zero-carbon world, and they need to do that now,” said Rebecca Mikula Wright, CEO of the IGCC.  

On Monday, the Bucharest Stock Exchange published its first ESG reporting guidelines for listed companies. Developed with the technical assistance from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the guidelines are intended to be a crucial tool for companies that want to contribute to Romania’s low-carbon transition. In addition, they are designed to ensure investors are well-placed to comply with forthcoming EU reporting requirements under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and the Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive. 

Policymakers’ continued lack of action on climate change indicates that they discount future lives by an estimated 1.7 percent annually, research by 2° Investing Initiative (2DII) has claimed. The study, which is part of a series of “thought experiments” by 2DII, uses the covid pandemic as a case study, applying lessons from government responses to the pandemic to the climate crisis and related potential policy measures.  

Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler reinforced the need for and importance of its proposal to mandate climate-risk disclosures by public companies in a speech on Tuesday. “Companies and investors alike would benefit from the clear rules of the road in the release, particularly as those rules reflect what is becoming widely accepted across the globe. It makes sense to build on what so many companies are already doing to enhance the consistency, comparability, and decision-usefulness of these disclosures for investors,” he said.