Responsible Funds, October 19: UBP launches first impact fund

The latest responsible funds news

Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) has announced a Positive Impact Equity strategy, which will invest in companies that “address the world’s most pressing environmental and societal challenges”. The strategy will have a portfolio of 25-35 stocks and impact will be measured by a proprietary framework developed in conjunction with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership – part of Cambridge University. This will be UBP’s first impact fund.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Impact Management Project, is to develop a seal and certification for investments that support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG Impact Seal and Certification programme forms part of an initiative called SDG Impact, which aims to “empower investors and businesses with the clarity, insights, and tools required to support and authenticate their contributions to achieving the SDGs”.
NN Group has added four controversial pipelines companies, including Dakota Access developer Energy Transfer Partners, and 10 tar sands oil companies to its exclusion list.
Nasdaq has launched the “first exchange-listed and ESG compliant index future in the world” on its Stockholm exchange. The futures are based on the recently launched Nordic OMXS30 ESG Responsible Index (OMXS30ESG) developed with Nordic asset managers, including Swedbank Robur. There are plans for ESG indexes tracking two other Nordic benchmark indexes, Denmark’s OMXC25 and FInland’s OMXH25.SUSI Partners, a sustainable infrastructure investor, is aiming for first close on its second energy efficiency strategy by the end of this year, after announcing that the first SUSI Energy Efficiency Fund (EUR), launched in 2014,  is close to being fully invested. The first strategy financed “energy efficiency measures for existing infrastructure via an off-balance sheet contracting model” and has completed 32 projects. The follow-up strategy is aiming to raise €300-400m.
Foresight Solar Fund has announced an oversubscribed share placing, raising approximately £58m (€66m). It had initially targeted £34m (€39m). Proceeds will be used to fund the purchase of 11 solar assets in the UK, taking Foresight’s portfolio to a total of 54 solar assets with a total installed capacity of 869MW.
Alternative investment manager Triple Point has been appointed by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to deliver its Heat Network Investment Project. BEIS is offering £320m in loans and grants which will be managed by Triple Point in order to leverage £1bn of institutional money. The heat networks will reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to help it meet its national commitments.
Alternatives specialist RAM Active Investments has pledged to support the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. The $4.8bn asset manager said: “We support TCFD as we view new availability of data as key to enhance our research and better support our clients”. There are more than 500 ‘supporters’ of the TCFD now, with nearly $8trn AUM. RAM also said that, over the coming year, its main ESG focus would be on social issues – especially gender diversity.