RI Briefing, June 8: EVCA includes ESG factors in new handbook

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

The European Venture Capital Association (EVCA) is updating its handbook to include ESG factors. “A Manager should give due consideration to potentially material risks and opportunities associated with responsible investment matters such as environmental, social and governance factors (“ESG”) throughout the period of its investment,” it states. EVCA is seeking comments on the proposed code by September 1. Link
It’s been confirmed that Globalance, the new sustainable private bank headed by SAM founder Reto Ringger, has been selected to manage the assets of Zurich-listed Sustainable Performance Group (SPG). SPG’s assets will be transferred into a new fund called “Globalance Sokrates Fund”. Globalance was chosen over other bidders including incumbent SAM itself.

A group of 31 leading investors controlling $1trn (€683m) in assets have written to the CEOs of all the companies in the Russell 1000 Index asking them to integrate sustainability into their business models. “Environmental and social sustainability issues can no longer be considered off-balance sheet issues,” wrote the investors. “Rather they are material, financial issues posing both risks and opportunities to the long-term success of corporations.”

The European Investment Bank is reviewing its existing project social performance standards in light of the principles of the Human Rights “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework developed by UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights Professor John Ruggie. It said: “We now look forward to the adoption and implementation of the Ruggie framework which is expected to set guiding principles, both for states in their duty to protect human rights, and for businesses in their responsibility to respect these rights.”

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has posted a recorded webcast on its website. It looks at Canadian and US perspectives on fiduciary standards.Mission Markets, which operates an impact and sustainability investments marketplace, has signed a partnership with Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX). IIX launched Impact Partners in March. It showcases pre-screened Asian social enterprises working in a sustainable agriculture, clean energy, education, healthcare and inclusive finance.

Sustainability investment analytics provider CRD Analytics and consulting firm Brandlogic have released a quantitative analysis of actual vs. perceived ESG performance at 100 global companies. One of the key findings of “Sustainability Leadership Report: Measuring Perception vs. Reality” is that many firms’ perceived performance exceeds their actual performance.

South Africa’s Vantage Capital Group, a black-owned and managed private equity fund manager, says it has signed up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Vantage has ZAR1.5bn €151m) under management.

The Council of Institutional Investors is holding a teleconference on the European Union’s new consultation paper on corporate governance on June 15 from 12 – 1 pm (ET). The call will feature Matthias Schmidt-Gerdts of the European Commission’s Internal Market directorate.

The Stewardship Action Council (SAC), a Washington-based group including industry, academia, investors and governmental and non-governmental organisations, says 23 companies have joined. Newcomers include names like Michelin, Johnson & Johnson and BMW.

The Carbon Disclosure Project’s first global cities report has been launched. “This ground-breaking study provides critical data that will enable cities to make powerful decisions and track progress as they continue to address the impact climate change is having on their environment, their economy and their citizens,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.