ESGByte: Issue 1

January 12, 2021

COMPANIES IN NEWS >> #hsbc, #mangroup, #folksam, #deutschebank, #boeing, #exxon, #apple, #ivanhoecapital, #google, #alphabet


Well, this is new(s)..Welcome to the first ever edition of ESGByte. While we were busy thinking about this HSBC ran into shareholder activism, Deutsche Bank owed money for bribery charges, Boeing owed much more for fraud and Google employees found strength in numbers.


Shareholders urge HSBC to do more towards reaching its climate change goals 

A group of shareholders want HSBC to do more towards reaching its climate change goals by reducing fossil fuel related lending. British hedge fund Man Group, Swedish insurance company Folksam and British pension scheme investor Brunel Pension Partnership, alongside 117 individual shareholders are a part of the shareholder group supporting this resolution.

Deutsche Bank to pay almost $125 million on charges of bribery and manipulation of metals markets

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, has agreed to pay almost $125 million on charges of foreign bribery and manipulation of precious metals markets. Majority of the payout relates to charges that Deutsche Bank violated the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) over its dealings in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, China and Italy between 2008 to 2017.

ESG bond sales gaining momentum

As ESG issues take on increased importance, green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked bond issuances in the US grew from USD 30 Bn in 2019 to USD 55 bn in 2020, a rise of ~83%. Also, there is growing interest in sustainability linked bonds (where the money raised can used for any purpose as long as the issuer meets certain pre-set environmental or social target) in addition to the traditional green bonds (where the money raised is for a particular project)

Aircraft manufacturer, Boeing to pay $2.5 billion in penalties on charges of fraud

The penalty includes $1.8 billion compensation to be paid to airlines and the establishment of a 500 million fund to compensate the beneficiaries of the 346 passengers who died in the two crashes involving Boeing 737 Max jets. Boeing was charged with misleading the U.S. aviation authorities on matters related to their 737 Max aircraft.

Apple executive bonuses will be tied to the achievement of company’s ESG goals

In its annual proxy filing, Apple Inc. has stated that from 2021 onwards, achievement of the company’s ESG goals will become a metric to calculate its executives’ annual cash incentive program.

Exxon discloses emission data on customer’s use of its fuels

Exxon Mobil Corp released a report, “Energy and Carbon Summary” disclosing fuel emission data. As per the report, Scope 1 and 2 emissions were at 120 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent while Scope 3 emissions from the sales of petroleum products were equivalent to 730 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2019. 

Ivanhoe Capital SPAC to raise $200 million towards investment in clean energy and sustainable mining

The Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC) targets to raise $200 million and invest it in a range of ventures including metal mining and refining companies, battery and electric vehicle producers. 

Google employees form a union

200+ employees at Google in the United States have formed a union – Alphabet Workers Union to ensure fair wages, and safety from abuse, retaliation and discrimination for employees. The union is open to all US and Canadian workers at Alphabet and will form a ‘minority union’. As a minority union, it will be able to include a wide range of workers, but may not have many legally protected rights. It will not apply for a ratification from the National Labor Relations Board.