RI ESG Briefing, July 18: Chesapeake facing removal from Calvert Social Index

The round-up of environmental, social and governance news


The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), whose members represent €7.5trn of assets, has urged the European Union to promote greater energy efficiency in buildings. The body says the regulatory framework intended to promote greater energy efficiency in the property sector across the EU needs improving if finance is to be delivered at the speed and scale required. Link

Global clean technology venture investment in the second quarter of 2012 stood at $1.61bn – down 25% on the 2011 period, according to market intelligence firm Cleantech Group. The leading sector in the quarter by amount invested was solar at $253m, followed by transportation ($252m) and energy efficiency ($243m). Link

German development bank KfW has teamed up with Svenska Handelsbanken of Sweden to finance the building of a €250m energy-efficient waste incinerator in Plymouth, UK. The two banks are providing a loan totalling €200m to the builder of the facility, MVV Energie of Mannheim.


US natural gas company Chesapeake faces being removed from the Calvert Investments’ Social Index. Calvert says the controversial company “no longer meets the Index’s standards for Governance and Ethics and for Environment”. If approved, the deletion will take place in September. Link

A new report has found that US college and university endowments’ environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investments are “less prevalent than often believed”. The study – Environmental, Social and Governance Investing by College and University Endowments in the United States: Social Responsibility, Sustainability, and Stakeholder Relations – was commissioned and funded by the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCI) and conducted by Tellus Institute. Link. Governance

European Union International Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier says shareholders should decide executive remuneration, according to an interview with The Times newspaper. He was quoted saying he would prefer to give shareholders the power to determine remuneration and would work on a compromise with the European Council and Parliament.

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation, the Ontario-based energy company, has become the 99th Canadian incorporated company to agree to offer its shareholders a say on pay this quarter, according to SHARE, Canada’s Shareholder Association for Research and Education. The company’s decision came in response to a shareholder proposal filed by Meritas SRI Funds.

HSBC’s chief compliance officer David Bagley quit from his role during a hearing at the US Senate hearing yesterday. It follows a damning Senate report alleging that the banking giant may have allowed the laundering of Mexican drug cash.

French bank Crédit Agricole has entered into exclusive talks with financial services group Kepler Capital Markets over the sale of its equity brokerage arm CA Cheuvreux – one of the leading socially responsible investment (SRI) firms, which regularly tops the Thomson Reuters Extel survey for SRI.

Germany’s Oekom Research has released a study showing that a basket of large-cap stocks that meet its environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria outperformed the benchmark index MSCI World. The study, conducted by Frankfurt-based portfolio performance firm DPG, spanned the seven years between the end of 2004 and 2011. During that period, Oekom’s Prime Portfolio Large Caps returned 30.9% against 26.8% for the MSCI World.

Ohio’s public pension funds – the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio, and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio – have joined in litigation relating to J.P. Morgan’s recent $5.8bn trading loss, according to a report in the Columbus Dispatch. The motion has been filed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.