RI ESG Briefing, January 14: EIB says new €350m tap takes climate bond to record €1.5bn

The round-up of environmental, social and governance news


The European Investment Bank has made a €350m ‘tap’ of its Climate Awareness Bond (CAB) – taking its total size to a record €1.5bn. The EIB said the issue, due November 15 2019, is “now the largest green bond outstanding in any currency”. It follows a CHF350m CAB issued on January 8 and was timed to coincide with a set of Green Bond Principles published by investment banks. Eila Kreivi, the EIB’s Head of Capital Markets said: “This issue is part of a wider progression and momentum, which seems to have created appropriate conditions for further development of socially responsible investment.” Announcement

Morgan Stanley affiliates are providing financing for Nasdaq-listed Pattern Energy Group’s 182MW Panhandle 2 wind project in Texas, according to the company. The project features 79 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines. Pattern is buying the project – and the 149MW Grand Renewable facility in Ontario – from its majority shareholder, Pattern Energy Group LP, for a total of $202.4m. Link

Campaign groups Rainforest Action Network and BankTrack have welcomed news that Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners has exited its remaining equity investment in Carrix, the parent company of Pacific International Terminals and SSA Marine that are behind a major coal export terminal proposal near Bellingham, Washington. They said: “Goldman Sachs is taking a welcome step forward when it comes to walking their sustainability talk, offering more evidence that the financial sector is moving toward abandoning risky investments in the U.S. coal industry.”


Investment Solutions, the South African multi-management specialist with R250bn (€16.9bn) under management, says it is “not convinced” that asset managers are truly integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their investment processes. This is based on the findings of the second annual Responsible Investing survey that was recently conducted by its Responsible Investing Committee. This year, 50 asset managers completed the survey (up from 45), with 65% being South African asset managers and the remainder representing global asset managers.h6. Governance

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the manager of the giant Government Pension Fund, has called for the mining industry to make available information at mine level with “key risks identified and assessed”. The comments come in a letter to the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) following a meeting with the body to discuss the potential implementation of a conflict-free mining standard. The letter went on: “NBIM is of the opinion that the ICMM could effectively and efficiently lead such an initiative to develop a conflict-free standard for mining of materials and metals.” One of the goals of a conflict-free standard for materials and metals initiative should be to enable “independent and auditable certification”.

It’s been reported that Japan-based Mitsubishi Materials is cutting the pay of its chairman and president by 30% in response to a fatal explosion at one of its plants last week. The Financial Times cited the company as saying the move would affect president Hiroshi Yao and chairman Akihiko Ide.

South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation is being taken to court by a former employee over fees he earned as a director at PIC portfolio companies, according to a report in Business Day. It said Kagiso Bodigelo is taking the investment manager to the Constitutional Court to claim R2.3m relating to fees for directorships at a series of companies where he was nominated by PIC.

Fund management firm Trillium Asset Management says it has withdrawn a shareholder proposal at New York-listed household products firm Church & Dwight following commitments from the company that it will set quantitative goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in its products and operations. In addition, Church & Dwight will issue a report on how it plans to implement and achieve these goals by autumn of 2014.

ECGS, the alliance of European independent corporate governance specialists, has appointed Manifest Information Services to provide customised research and vote guidance on listed companies in the UK and Ireland. Starting in proxy season 2014, Manifest will provide ECGS with fully tailored governance and say on pay analysis and policy screening.