Responsible Investment News

ESG managed funds outperform

FS Sustainability RACHEL ALEMBAKIS - 23/10/2020
The top wholesale ESG managed funds have turned in strong returns over the past one and three years to August 2020, according to research from Rainmaker Information.

Tax dodgers and predatory lenders oust fossil fuels and tobacco from KiwiSavers' top 10 hate list

Stuff Rob Stock 29/10/2020
Fossil fuels, and tobacco have been squeezed out of KiwiSavers’ top 10 ethical concerns by abusive social media companies, corporations that don't pay their fair share of taxes, factory farming and predatory lending.

Research paid for by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) and New Zealand’s Mindful Money places tobacco eleventh and fossil fuels 12th in the list of things most people did not want their KiwiSaver money invested in.

Exclusions now the exception not the rule for NZ investors

Investment News 13 Sept, 2020
Engagement has supplanted exclusion as the most popular NZ responsible investment (RI) strategy for the first time, according to the latest annual review of the sector.

The Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIIA) 2020 ‘Benchmark report’ for NZ found than environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration topped negative screening as the most influential factor in creating RI portfolios.

Sorry Shane Jones, 'woke' banking is the future

Stuff Daniel Dunkley Aug 06 2020
OPINION: The word “woke” originated in African-American communities in the 1960s to describe a person’s enlightened awareness of social and racial issues in the civil rights era.

Strange then, that the slang term has been used to bash New Zealand’s state-owned lender Kiwibank in recent weeks.

New Zealand First MP and associate minister for state-owned enterprises Shane Jones has lashed out at
Kiwibank’s plans to withhold banking services from the fossil fuel, military-grade weapons, synthetic drugs, palm oil, predatory lending, casino, and tobacco industries under its Responsible Business Banking strategy.

“The bank that goes woke may end up broke, so hop down out of your sermonising and join the rest of the world,” Jones told RNZ last month.

Election 2020: Financial sector will have to report on climate change risk in world-first move

Stuff Henry Cooke and Thomas Coughlan 15 Sep 2020
Roughly 200 of New Zealand’s biggest companies and financial organisations will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced.

The policy will force large financial organisations in New Zealand to disclose how exposed their business and investments are to climate change-related risk. Some entities, such as the NZ Super Fund, are already proactively disclosing such risks, ahead of the mandatory regime.

How ‘Degrowth’ Pushes Climate and Well-Being Over GDP

Bloomberg Green By Akshat Rathi September 18, 2020
In recent years, a group of economists, ecologists, and anthropologists has gained attention for trying to overturn a core tenet of economic policy — that growth is good for everyone. Known as the “degrowth” movement, these scholars suggest a reframing of humanity’s goals along ecological lines to address the climate crisis, along with a reconsideration of using gross domestic product as a metric for progress. The upheaval of the coronavirus crisis has added fuel to the debate.

Sustainable times: why advisers need to speak ESG

Simon O’Connor, CEO Responsible Investment Association Australasia 9 August, 2020
Amongst the uncertain times we find ourselves in, it’s no wonder the Commission For Financial Capability is telling us they are witnessing a flood of questions about money, and have aptly themed this year’s Sorted Money Week ‘Just Wondering’. In times like these, clients want to avoid risk, are inclined to rush to ‘safe’ assets, and want to be sure their money is being managed well.

So which investment approach can provide this for clients?

We cannot rest on the platitudes of ‘not being racist’

Responsible Investor By Nithya Iyer, 6 July 2020
Investors must be discerning as to their actions if they are to contribute to meaningful structural change, says Nithya Iyer.

News headlines are tiring of reporting on the Black Lives Matter protests. The solidarity uprisings across the world are waning and #GeorgeFloyd is trending less. As company logos revert to their usual branding, careful amendments are made to ensure they were seen - and will continue to be seen - on the ‘right side’ of history. The investment community is no exception, with investor groups and financial services institutions touting their Diversity & Inclusion quotients, ESG investments and Corporate Social Responsibility activities as a means of demonstrating their alliance against racial prejudice.

Pandemics result from destruction of nature, say UN and WHO

The Guardian Damian Carrington, 17 June 2020
Pandemics such as coronavirus are the result of humanity’s destruction of nature, according to leaders at the UN, WHO and WWF International, and the world has been ignoring this stark reality for decades.

The illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade as well as the devastation of forests and other wild places were still the driving forces behind the increasing number of diseases leaping from wildlife to humans, the leaders told the Guardian.

They are calling for a green and healthy recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular by reforming destructive farming and unsustainable diets.

Is Facebook ESG?

MONEY MANAGEMENT By Chris Dastoor, 5 June 2020
Investment in Facebook by environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds shows the importance for investors to analyse what is contained in that fund.