- May 2019 -
In this issue - Global Sustainable Investment Review 2018 launched
We welcome you to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance newsletter, which will provide you with the latest news from the seven of the largest sustainable organisations around the world: Eurosif, JSIF, RIAA, RIA Canada, UKSIF, US SIF, VBDO. We hope this newsletter will keep you informed of state-of-the-art developments in the field of sustainable investment. To subscribe to the GSIA Newsletter please click here. To learn more about GSIA visit our website: www.gsia-alliance-org. GSIA NewsThis newsletter coincides with the launch of GSIR 2018 that took place on 1st April. The report highlights in graphical form are below and in the press release. Selected press coverage can be read here. Sustainable investing is advancing in leaps and bounds.At a regional level please see news from our members below.
Global Member News
Responsible investment markets have been continuing to grow substantially but also to be stepping up in active ownership and influence on corporations in our region, with much stronger and effective engagement and voting in support of ESG issues.The last year has seen an elevated focus on the materiality of ESG issues, particularly through examples of companies underpaying employees, as failings in internal ethics and governance in financial services companies, both of which have resulted in direct share price impacts for large locally listed companies. This has been combined with growing consumer demand for a more sustainable and ethical approach to pensions, banking and investments.Bot notably, the third significant driver for responsible investment is only just emerging – that of strengthening policy in support of sustainable finance. RIAA has been leading work on this area, with the recent launch of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (www.sustainablefinance.org.au) and the NZ Sustainable Finance Initiative (https://www.theaotearoacircle.nz/the-articles/2019/3/31/new-zealands-sustainable-finance-forum-takes-shape-1)We expect this will add significant momentum to the industry over the coming year.
RIA Canada recently held its 2019 annual conference on April 24-25 in Montréal. It was RIA Canada’s largest conference ever with 570 attendees, up from 440 in 2018. Speakers included thought leaders from Harvard, Unilever, Google, Suncor, Aurora, and others joining dialogues with investors about diversity, sustainability, human rights and other ESG issues. RIA Canada’s next annual conference will take place in Toronto on June 8-9, 2020. A growing wave of Canadian financial advisors are earning financial designations from RIA Canada to recognize expertise in responsible investing. More than 850 financial professionals have either earned an RI designation or are in line to earn one from RIA Canada. View the press release here.Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance is expected to release its final report to the federal government in spring 2019. RIA Canada and market participants are watching the Expert Panel’s work closely, as its recommendations could mark a major milestone in the development of sustainable finance in Canada.
UKSIF’s has published the second survey of fund manager products and engagement strategies linked to climate change- related financial risk. 39 fund managers with $10.2 trillion of assets under management took part. The report reveals that fund managers are putting increasing pressure on oil companies to shift from focussing on fossil fuels:
- 86% are calling on them to align their businesses with the Paris goals.
- Nearly half want them to adopt policies consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C while 43% are calling for a 2°C target.
- Two thirds (67%) want oil companies to switch their investment to support a low-carbon transition consistent with these targets, but a quarter (24%) want them to wind down their businesses and return cash to shareholders.
Whilst the overwhelming majority of fund managers are engaging oil companies on climate change, a lack of coherence in strategies is undermining efforts to shift the oil companies and mitigate financial risks.
US SIF’s 2019 Annual Conference, New Challenges/New Opportunities, takes place June 10-12 in downtown Minneapolis. The event offers a unique opportunity to network with leaders of the sustainable investing community and to learn about new approaches, trends and policy developments.The first sustainable investing designation recently became available from the College for Financial Planning (CFFP) in partnership with US SIF. The Chartered SRI Counselor™ (CSRIC™) provides financial advisors and other investment professionals with knowledge of the history, definitions, trends, portfolio construction principles, fiduciary responsibilities and best practices for sustainable investments.In March we briefed staff of the US Senate and House of Representatives on the Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends 2018. This is a key part of our ongoing strategy to raise knowledge of and interest in sustainable investment in the US Congress.