ESGByte: Issue 2

January 19, 2021

COMPANIES IN NEWS >> #swedbankrobur, #starbucks, #pepsico, #nwd, #blackrock, #clarityai, #rbc, #samsung


In the second edition – More power to the fight against climate change courtesy PepsiCo, Starbucks and Swedbank Robur. Meanwhile, more bad news for Samsung courtesy its vice-chairman. Also, India too is increasingly rooting for ESG disclosures!


Swedbank Robur to stop investments in oil and gas companies that won’t be carbon neutral by 2050

Swedish asset manager, Swedbank Robur announced that they will only invest in oil and gas companies that are on the path to become carbon neutral by 2050, in lime with the Paris Agreement.

Starbucks earmarks $100 mn towards racial equity and climate change

Seattle based coffee chain, Starbucks, has announced the creation of a $100 million fund towards development of racial equity and “environmental resilience” by supporting small businesses and community development projects in BIPOC neighborhoods during the next five years. Twelve metropolitan areas in the U.S will be the focus for these investments.

Samsung’s Vice Chairman sentenced to a 30 months jail term

Jay Y. Lee, vice chairman of South Korean conglomerate, Samsung was sentenced to a thirty month jail term by a South Korean High Court on charges of bribery, embezzlement and concealment of criminal proceeds.

PepsiCo targets net-zero GHG emissions by 2040

Food and beverage giant, PepsiCo plans to become greenhouse gas emissions neutral by 2040. The company generated around 57 million metric tonnes of GHG emissions globally in 2019. It targets to reduce GHG emmissions by 75% from its operations and by 40% in its supply chain and areas that are outside its manufacturing processes by 2030.

NWD issues sustainability linked bonds

Hong Kong based real estate and infrastructure company, New World Development Company, raised $200 million through the issue of sustainability linked bonds. The issue was oversubscribed six times, witnessing strong interest from institutional ESG investors across Asia and Europe.

SEBI, India Chairman holds round table on greater ESG related disclosure guidelines

Mr. Ajay Tyagi., Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), recently held a roundtable attended by industrialists, industry bodies and fund management players to mull over the proposed ESG disclosure guidelines, which have been enhanced to bring about greater transparency on ESG related issues. SEBI had released a consultation paper in August, 2020 detailing improvements in the disclosures in the business responsibility and sustainability report of corporates.

Blackrock invests in ESG fintech firm, Clarity AI

Investment management company, Blackrock, bought a minority stake in Spanish ESG fintech form, Clarity AI to enhance ESG analytics capability of its portfolio management platform, Aladdin. Clarity AI, uses machine learning and big data to perform sustainability assessments for more than 30,000 companies across 198 countries, 187 local governments and over 200,000 funds.

RBC pledges $250,000 to the Sustainable Finance project at Rotman School of Management

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) continued its support of the Sustainability Finance Project for students of the MBA program at Rotman School of management with a funding of $250,000 over a period of three years. This comes in addition to the $75,000 that RBC invested in 2019 in the project. The funds will go towards helping students integrate sustainability education in their learning through sustainable finance linked courses, events and other activities.