ESGByte, Headline Content

ESGByte: Issue 3

January 26, 2021

COMPANIES IN NEWS >> #fifththirdbank, #glennmontpartners, #nuveen, #volkswagen, #northerntrust, #boeing, #otpp, #bankoffrance

IN SHORT

The third edition welcomes President Joe Biden to the White House and his actions on climate change.  We see financial institutions like Northern Trust and Bank of France adopting sustainable finance practices and committing towards a better environment. In the transport sector, while Volkswagen disappoints with Co2 emissions, Boeing gives hopes of cleaner air travel.

THE SO CALLED BYTE…

President Biden moves to return US to the Paris climate agreement, blocks the Keystone XL project

On his first day, US President Biden signed an executive order for the US to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, boosting the international accord to limit global warming to two degree Celsius above pre-industrial temperature levels. In another major order, he cancelled the permission granted to the Keystone XL pipeline to cross Canada’s border into the US, mainly due to climate impact related reasons. The Keystone XL pipeline project, with a capacity to carry 500,000 barrels of crude across 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada into the US, is an expansion of the existing Keystone pipeline. The project announced in 2008, has faced opposition from environmental groups, farmers and Native American groups right from the start.

Regional US Bank, Fifth Third achieved carbon neutrality for 2020

The Fifth Third bank achieved carbon neutrality (greenhouse gas emissions and business travel) for its operations through 2020. The bank uses renewable power, has reduced water usage and used carbon offsets form a project in its retail footprint.

European renewable energy manager, Glennmont Partners acquired by Nuveen

Asset management company, Nuveen acquired London based Glennmont Partners, a renewable energy manager and plans to integrate it into its private infrastructure platform. Glennmont raises and invests funds in wind farms, biomass power stations, solar parks, and small-scale hydro power plants.

Volkswagen misses EU targets on carbon emissions for 2020, to face fines

Volkswagen missed European Union set targets on carbon emissions from its passenger car fleet for 2020 in the European Union. Consequently, it is expected to face fines to the tune of 100+ million Euros. The carmaker cut average carbon dioxide emission by 20 per cent to around 99.8g/km, which was still higher by around 0.5g/km than the targets.

Northern Trust launched sustainable emerging market green transition index

Asset Manager, Northern Trust has announced the launch of climate change based sustainable emerging market green transition index strategy, adding to the World Green Transition Index Strategy that was launched in 2019. The strategies use the MSCI World Index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index as their parent indices.

Boeing to transition to fully biofuel run commercial planes by end of decade

In a bid to reduce carbon emissions due to fossil fuels, Boeing has said that it will complete development of and start delivering commercial planes that run on biofuel completely by 2030. Commercial flying, contributes around two per cent of global carbon emissions and about twelve per cent of transport emissions, targets to halve carbon emissions by 2050.

The Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan targets to reach net zero emissions across its investment portfolio by 2050

The Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan has committed to increase investments in climate friendly projects and work to ensure that companies in its portfolio report and manage emissions, and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The fund manages CAD 205 billion of retirement corpus of Ontario’s education professionals.

Bank of France moves towards more environmentally friendly assets

The central bank of France has announced its plans to exit from coal assets completely and to cap its exposure to gas and oil assets as it shifts towards greener assets. The bank, which manages 22 billion Euros of its own portfolio investments apart from asset purchases from monetary policy operations, plans to stop investments in companies that earn more than two per cent of their revenues from coal by the end of 2021. Currently they don’t invest in companies that earn more than ten per cent of their revenues from coal.