Responsible Funds, November 4: the round-up of ESG funds news

RI fund launches, closes and asset data.

Calvert Investment Management, the US sustainable and responsible funds house, has launched the Calvert Equity Income Fund. Focused on large-cap equities, it will be co-managed by portfolio managers James McGlynn and Yvonne M. Bishop. The fund will have thresholds for tobacco, weapons and human rights and employ Calvert’s enhanced engagement to advance environmental, social and governance performance in companies. Announcement
A $1bn energy efficiency financing initiative has been launched by US universities. The ‘Billion Dollar Green Challenge’ invites colleges, universities and other non-profits to invest a total of $1bn in self-managed green revolving funds that finance energy efficiency upgrades. The project, which has already attracted $65m of funding from major institutions, is being coordinated by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US development finance institution, has launched a call for proposals to manage new private equity investment funds in emerging markets worldwide. The initiative is intended to result in at least $400m in OPIC financing for sustainable development globally, catalyzing hundreds of millions more in private sector investment.

BlackRock New Energy Investment Trust, the London-listed cleantech investor, has disclosed an unspecified holding in carbon trading firm Trading Emissions Plc.

Terra Global Investment Management, the recently launched arm of Terra Global Capital, has announced that it has secured approval for up to $40m of financing for the world’s first globally diverse community-based REDD and land-use carbon fund, the Terra Bella Fund. The fund’s strategy is to provide project finance capital to community-based forest and land-use carbon projects in developing countries. The financing comes from US development finance institution OPIC.Craigmore Sustainables, the New Zealand-focused funds firm, says it expects the fundraising round for its first Farming Fund to close at NZ$30m (€17m). “We expect Craigmore Funds Group should manage NZ$70m of funds by end of year,” it says. Home page
FLAVEO S.A., SICAVFIS, the Luxembourg-registered institutional investment fund managed by German renewables investor LUXCARA, has acquired a 60MW solar park located at the former Brandenburg-Briest military airbase.
Energy Investors Funds, the energy-focused private equity fund manager, has closed its new EIF United States Power Fund IV, L.P. with $1.7bn in commitments. The fund invests in both traditional energy assets and renewable energy facilities; investors included public and corporate pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, family offices, and foundations, EIF said in a statement.

Brookfield Asset Management, the Toronto-based fund firm, says shareholders have approved the merger of its Brookfield Renewable Power and the Brookfield Renewable Power Fund. The new Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P. is set to launch in the fourth quarter, it added.
Bahrain’s Finance Ministry has set up a BHD100m (€192m) agriculture fund, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News. The Gedha Fund will invest in agriculture, dairy farming, fisheries, livestock processing and poultry to boost Bahrain’s food self-sufficiency. It will focus on medium- to long-term investment in projects within and outside Bahrain.
Ingenious Clean Energy says it will keep its new solar investment fund open despite proposed changes to the UK’s Feed-in-Tariff system. “The Ingenious Solar UK EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) investment opportunity will remain open as originally envisaged until our planned closing date of 23 March 2012,” it says.