RI ESG Briefing, Sept. 27: Rabobank backs innovative wind technology company

The round-up of environmental, social and governance news


Dutch banking group Rabobank has emerged as an investor in Dutch airborne wind energy firm Ampyx Power alongside environmental campaign group the WWF, Dutch airline KLM, airport operator Schiphol and the Delft University of Technology. They have invested via the Mainport Innovation Fund and Dutch Greentech Fund. Ampyx is developing a technology called PowerPlane. Link

The Walney offshore wind project part-owned by Dutch pension giant PGGM and the Triodos-run Ampère Equity Fund has completed the sale of transmission assets at the Walney 2 site. The buyer is the Blue Transmission Walney 2 Ltd. consortium of Macquarie Capital and Barclays Infrastructure Funds Management Ltd., which paid around £110m (€138.6m).

Western Wind Energy, the Canadian renewables firm under pressure from activist investor Savitr, has said its shareholders voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of its director nominees at its annual meeting this week. Announcement


French national pension fund the Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR) has tendered for up to three transition management providers, which handle portfolio transfers. Organization, financial strength, and CSR policy (“social and environmental responsibility”) of the applicants will have a 40% weighting in the eventual decision. The deadline for submissions is November 5. Link

US sustainable funds firm Pax World Management has selected MSCI ESG Research to provide environmental, social, and governance (ESG) research, ratings and screening tools to help it integrate the factors into its investment process. Pax World has subscribed to a range of MSCI products including MSCI ESG IVA and MSCI ESG Impact Monitor.

The Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, has published the first of a series of articles about the impact investing industry. “Priming the Pump for Impact Investing” has been launched in partnership with Stanford Social Innovation Review. Link. Governance

The Asian Corporate Governance Association and CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets have published their sixth survey on corporate governance in 11 Asian markets. The main findings are that rising markets are mostly in Southeast and South Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and the Philippines. Conversely, falling markets are mostly in North Asia, including: Japan, Taiwan and China. “We continue to see a mixed picture in corporate governance rules and practices—while many new regulations have been introduced around the region over the past decade, there remain some significant differences among countries in their basic rules on disclosure, board independence and shareholder rights,” the report states.

US exchange operators the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have both filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission regulator proposed changes to rules covering the independence of listed companies’ compensation committees. Link

The Bank for International Settlements, the Switzerland-based central banking organisation, has published a new set of principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates. It supersedes earlier principles dating from 1999. They focus on supervisory responsibility and guidance for supervisors on the governance, capital, liquidity and risk management frameworks of financial conglomerates.

Controversial US energy firm Chesapeake Energy Corp. has been deleted from the Calvert Social Index following a decision by Calvert’s Social Index Committee. The Calvert Social Index of US stocks, a benchmark which is not open to investors, has returned 19.5% in the year to date and 30.52% over 12 months. Over the three-year view the index, launched in 2000, has returned 13.48%. Its biggest holdings are Apple, Microsoft and IBM.

The International Integrated Reporting Council, which advocates company reports including both financial and non-financial elements, has marked the first anniversary of its Pilot Programme with a yearbook which showcases how businesses and investors are moving towards < IR >.