RI ESG Briefing, July 4: Danish pension fund finances Belgian wind farm

The round-up of environmental, social and governance news


PensionDanmark, Denmark’s DKK122bn (€16.4bn) labour-market fund is lending DKK250m in export financing to a Belgian offshore wind farm project. It’s part of a plan to invest DKK10bn in financing to support Danish exports. The fund is providing funding for an export order of 72 Vestas wind turbines for the Northwind wind farm. Link (Danish)

Large corporate investment and government price supports are critical to the growth of the marine and hydrokinetic (tidal etc.) power sector, according to a new report from market analysis firm Pike Research. It found marine energy will need large corporations that have the “experience in project development, the tax appetite, and the sophistication” to pull off large-scale projects in the 100-500MW range.

Agricultural Development Bank of China has made its final loan instalment to Canada-listed China Wind Power for a 49.5MW wind farm project. “The company confirms that it has received the final CNY70m under the original CNY330m loan approved by the Bank,” the company said.


Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) selected environmental, social and governance firm Sustainalytics to provide ESG research to support the analysis of the seventh edition of its “CEO Value” report. The report analyzes 25 stocks selected based on a set of corporate governance criteria as well as their financial recovery potential. This year’s report shows that good corporate governance could be the catalyst to achieving solid financial performance.

German UN Principles for Responsible for Investment signatory Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) has become the latest German bank to stop trading in basic foodstuffs amid pressure from the NGO Foodwatch. Foodwatch claims that such trading drives up food prices and, hence, promotes world hunger. LBBW said that by the end of the year, its commodities funds would limit its investments to metals and oil. Due in part to Foodwatch’s campaigning, German asset manager Deka imposed a similar trading ban last April, and Deutsche Bank has stopped creating exchange-traded products linked to basic foodstuffs.h6. Governance

The second meeting of the Taskforce of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Stock Exchanges for Corporate Governance has taken place in Turkey – assembling the heads of stock exchanges and securities regulators from the Arab World. The meeting saw a release of the regional publication on the Role of MENA Stock Exchanges in Corporate Governance. This is the result of a two-year joint project with regional exchanges and securities regulators and highlights the role that exchanges have played in improving governance practices of listed companies. Link

The Financial Reporting Council, the UK watchdog, has published a report on ‘A single figure for remuneration’ – a result of a project conducted by its Financial Reporting Lab at the request of the government. The proposals describe the components of remuneration that the investors involved in the project believe should be contained within total remuneration, as well as how these components should be measured and the related disclosure. The FRC has also announced that it will consult on whether to amend the UK Corporate Governance Code to address a number of issues relating to executive remuneration. Link

Moxy Vote, the US proxy voting platform, has issued a recap of the environmental resolutions that were supported by Moxy Vote Advocates in the 2012 voting season. “In total, 42 environmental resolutions, supported by 21 Advocates, at 31 companies appeared on Moxy Vote this year,” it says. On average, these resolutions received approximately 22% shareholder support.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved a rule that applies stock exchange listing standards to public company boards of directors and remuneration advisors. The listings must address the independence of the members on a remuneration committee as well as the committee’s authority to retain remuneration advisers, its consideration of the independence of any remuneration advisers, and its responsibility for the appointment, remuneration and oversight of the work of any remuneration adviser. Companies must now also disclose their use of remuneration consultants and conflicts of interest.