Responsible Investment News

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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.

Ethical investments are outperforming traditional funds

The Guardian - 13 June 2020 Evidence suggests that environmentally focused investing is becoming mainstream
Environmentalists cheered by huge improvements in air quality during the lockdown – and the collapse in coal power generation – have another reason to celebrate. Even the stock market has gone in their favour.

A detailed number-crunching of environmentally sustainable funds has revealed that they have outperformed traditional funds across the board – beating them during the pandemic as well as during the 10 years up to and including the coronavirus sell-off.

The data, from the global research agency Morningstar, comes amid growing evidence that environmentally focused investing – once pigeonholed by City traditionalists as only for a vegan/hippy minority – is becoming mainstream. This week, Vanguard, one of the world’s biggest fund managers, launched two ethical index funds aimed at UK investors, while Aviva, Britain’s biggest insurer, unveiled a “climate transition” fund.

Providing true-to-label exposure

Money Management 15 May 2020
Recent years have seen a surge in interest in socially responsible or ethical investing, both in Australia and globally, coinciding with widespread concern around environmental and societal and governance (ESG) issues. Advisers are likely to find an increasing number of clients want to invest in a way that reflects their ethical and environmental stance.

Climate change is a problem that requires global solidarity – just like coronavirus

Women's Agenda
We hosted the second instalment of the Women Leading Climate Action series on Tuesday, a virtual discussion in partnership with ActionAid Australia that aims to lift the voices of women who are leading on solutions and action on climate change.

Climate change and investment

Good Returns 11 Feb 2020 By Mint Asset Management
It was around this time last year that I went to the movies and saw Vice, starring one of my favourite actors Christian Bale portraying Dick Cheney’s rise to Vice President under the George W Bush administration.

There was a short scene in the film that just blew me away. It was when a public focus group was asked the question: “‘Global warming’ sounds bad doesn’t it, how do you feel about the term ‘climate change’?” Everyone agreed it sounded much less scary and the next day it was adopted all over the world through a brilliant PR marketing campaign.

Ethical KiwiSaver funds prove more resilient

Newsroom - 9 April
KiwiSaver funds invested solely in ethical companies are outperforming other funds amidst market volatility.

An analysis of returns for the first quarter of 2020 shows growth funds were on average down more than 12 percent, but growth funds that were ethically invested lost on under 8 percent.

Conservative and balanced funds also performed better.

Coronavirus: Economic stimulus is climate’s ‘Last Chance Saloon’

Marc Daalder of Newsroom (via Stuff)
As governments around the world prepare to spend billions of dollars to stimulate their economies, climate activists see these investments as the last chance for big spending on climate change, Marc Daalder reports

"We're out of time."

That's the alarm that Climate Change Minister James Shaw has been raising for anyone who will listen.