Responsible Funds, Oct. 11: Impax, Greencoat, BlackRock, Standard Chartered, Lyxor, Nasdaq, Solactive, Big Society Capital

The latest responsible funds developments

ESG investment specialist Impax Asset Management has been selected to manage Danish boutique Formuepleje’s €107m Better World Global Opportunities fund. Formuepleje, the largest non-bank owned asset manager in Denmark, launched the fund in August, listing it on the Nasdaq Copenhagen.

Renewable infrastructure fund Greencoat has announced it is to acquire the Glen Kyllachy wind farm from Innogy Renewables UK Limited for £57m upon its completion. The 48.5MW wind project located in the Scottish Highlands is expected to become fully operational by October 2021.

Standard Chartered Bank will offer the first sustainable SDG deposit accounts for its corporate and individual clients in Singapore, the UK bank has announced. Liquidity raised will be used to help finance activities that support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the bank claims.

Lyxor Asset Management, part of Societe Generale Group, is using a new green bond index from Germany’s Solactive for a new green UCITS exchange traded fund. Lyxor has tapped the Solactive Green ESG Bond EUR USD IG TR Index as the underlying for its new Lyxor Green Bonds ESG Screened UCITS ETF (XCO2), which started trading on Deutsche Börse Xetra on October 1.

Solactive has also launched a new ESG big data index tracking the performance of European stocks. The Solactive ARC ESG Big Data Europe Index was developed with ESG house ARC Responsible Investment. It uses ESG data provided by OWL Analytics and Investment Research.

Trading of Nasdaq’s pioneering ESG index future has reached one million contracts since it was launched a year ago on the firm’s Stockholm exchange. It revealed that more than 80% of the contracts came from institutional clients. The futures are based on the Nordic OMXS30 ESG Responsible Index (OMXS30ESG) developed with Nordic asset managers, including Swedbank Robur.

UK social investor Big Society Capital is a cornerstone investor in City Funds, the “place-based” impact fund tackling the causes and effects of inequality in the UK city Bristol.BlackRock has launched a circular economy fund in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The fund, BGF Circular Economy Fund, launched with $20m in seed capital from BlackRock. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, providing insight and guidance on the circular economy, gets a small fee from the fund, amounting to 2% of its overall funding. The fund focuses on stocks that benefit from the circular economy and/or contribute to its advancement. It excludes coal, and oil and gas producer stocks.

The London Stock Exchange has launched two initiatives supporting sustainable finance on its markets. The Green Economy Mark recognises listed companies with 50% or more of revenues from environmental solutions, while the Sustainable Bond Market (SBM) incorporates new Sustainability, Social and Issuer-Level Segments.

The $26.5bn San Francisco City & County Employees’ Retirement System has added 17 companies to its list of excluded thermal coal companies, according to a Pensions & Investments report citing Board Secretary Darlene Armanino.

Enel Finance International, the Dutch-registered finance subsidiary of Italy’s Enel SpA, has launched a multi-tranche “sustainable” bond for institutional investors on the European market totalling €2.5bn. The bond is linked to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is Enel’s first “General Purpose SDG Linked Bond” issued on the European market. It was almost four times oversubscribed, with total orders of about €10bn and “significant participation” by what Enel termed Socially Responsible Investors

California: The Teachers’ Retirement Board initiated the implementation of a ‘Low-Carbon Transition Work Plan’ at its October meeting for the $238.3bn California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). The plan will guide CalSTRS in managing climate-related risk and identifying opportunities to invest in climate-related solutions across asset classes.

CPR Asset Management, part of Amundi, has expanded its thematic equities range with the launch of a new sustainable urbanisation fund. The new actively managed, non-benchmarked global equity fund, managed by Arnaud du Plessis and Alexandre Blein, will focus on “construction, mobility, connectivity, resources and services” and will exclude companies that score poorly on ESG criteria.