Natixis launches “decarbonizing” index with input from Lucas-Leclin’s Grizzly RI and Sustainalytics

New offering is called NXS Climate Optimum Prospective

Natixis, the investment and financial services arm of France’s massive Groupe BPCE banking group, is launching its first dedicated climate index which it says will help to “decarbonize the economy”.

The new NXS Climate Optimum Prospective index is based on methodology developed by Natixis’ SRI Research team in collaboration with Grizzly Responsible Investment, the firm set up by Valéry Lucas-Leclin, one of Europe’s top rated ESG broker analysts who jointly ran Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BoAML) sustainability research in London.

The new offering (ticker: NXSHCOP) is based on carbon data and a selection of qualitative scores from ESG research house Sustainalytics. It selects the 50 European companies rated the highest for their carbon performance (at a given point in time, thus making the selection dynamic) and for their ability to offer “strategies, products and services” compatible with a low-carbon economy.

The index is constructed to diversify exposure across all economic sectors, including the most carbon-intensive where Natixis says the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms is the greatest.“In this way, it contributes to gradually decarbonizing the economy and to reallocating finance towards the cleanest companies,” the company said. The portfolio’s carbon footprint is currently 50% lower than that of an equity index like the STOXX Europe 600, it added said.

“It contributes to gradually decarbonizing the economy”

Just yesterday, Responsible Investor reported that the development of investment products that enable investors to cut the carbon in their portfolios without compromising performance was a priority area, according to the $600bn investor group the Portfolio Decarbonisation Coalition (PDC).

In addition to the new index, Natixis, parent of responsible investment specialist Mirova, and Swiss Life in France have signed an infrastructure debt cooperation agreement, under which Swiss Life will invest €300m; an initial deal to co-finance an offshore wind project has already been set up. Swiss Life Asset Managers, which has €33.4bn under management for external clients, will input into the deal, the pair said in a joint statement.