RI Briefing, June 29: Calvert Foundation’s new ImpactAssets

RI’s regular Wednesday round-up of responsible investing news

The Calvert Foundation, the US nonprofit organisation, has helped establish a new organization called ImpactAssets, a financial services company focusing on catalyzing investment capital for maximum environmental, social and financial impact. It is headed by Tim Freundlich, a long-time member of Calvert Foundation’s senior executive team. The new company is assisted by the Foundation’s $170m Community Investment Partners (CIP) subsidiary, which recently named Jesse Chancellor as its new president. Announcement

Energy management software supplier ENXSUITE has teamed up with researcher Trucost. The latter’s environmental data will be integrated into ENXSUITE’s system – enabling users to compare their own environmental performance against their peers.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on more businesses to join the Global Compact, the corporate responsibility initiative already has 6,000 companies in 135 countries as members. But this is a fraction of the estimated 70,000 multinationals and millions of small businesses worldwide. Ban has set a goal of reaching 20,000 companies by 2020.

A new report from Eurosif says the aerospace and defence industries are set to face increasing environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges. The report, the 13th in a series, used research from Sustainalytics. The project was supervised by a steering committee of representatives from CM-CIC Asset Management, ECPI and Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management.

Consulting firm Mercer has conducted a study looking at the differences between North American and European ESG research. According to its 4,000-manager Global Investment Manager Database, the 169 sustainability-themed investment products from Europe compares to the 88 from the US and Canada.The Global Reporting Initiative and consulting firm Deloitte say they have started work on a new classification system, or taxonomy, for XBRL – the eXtensible Business Reporting Language format for providing sustainability data aimed at helping investors, auditors and analysts use information in sustainability reports more quickly and easily.

CalPERS, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, has won an award for promoting diversity in the securities industry. At its recent Pension and Financial Services Conference in Los Angeles, the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP) presented CalPERS with the 2011 Pacesetter Award. Announcement

An opinion poll commissioned by the European Parliament has found that there is strong public support for a tax on financial transactions. The survey, by Eurobarometer, found that Europeans were “strongly in favour of the principle of a tax on financial transactions at global level, or failing that at EU level initially”.

Northwest & Ethical Investments, the C$5bn (€3.5bn) Canadian socially responsible investments specialist, has received unit holder approval to complete the mergers of the three of its Credential EnRich funds. The Credential EnRich Canadian Equity Pool, Credential EnRich US Equity Pool and Credential EnRich US Equity Pool will be merged into the Ethical Canadian Dividend Fund Ethical Canadian Dividend Fund and Ethical Canadian Dividend Fund respectively. Release

The International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) is to launch a three-year initiative on business and human rights, following the endorsement of Professor John Ruggie’s new set of Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. “This initiative aims to advance collaborative learning within the industry, strengthen our members’ organizational capabilities, and contribute to the evolution of [Ruggie’s] work,” IPIECA says.