ESGByte: Issue 9

March 16, 2021

COMPANIES IN NEWS >> #Shopify #HSBC #EDFRenewables #Temasek #LeapFrog #NestCorp


In this issue, we see some positive policy action as the EU Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) comes onto effect and the US DoL chooses not to enforce ‘un- ESG friendly’ rules. We also see progress towards sustainability as HSBC plans on stronger emission goals, Shopify takes measures reduces its carbon footprint, and more investments flow in renewables and social impact


The EU SFDR comes into effect

The Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation came into effect in the EU. The SFDR will require financial market participants in the EU to make disclosures on ESG related issues with enhanced disclosures on ESG related products. The regulation aims at shifting capital towards more sustainable and especially environment friendly businesses.

Shopify to reduce its carbon footprint

Canadian e-commerce multinational company, Shopify has bought 10,000 units or one metric tonne of carbon dioxide from Carbon Engineering to reduce its carbon footprint. Carbon Engineering is a direct air capture company that captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converts it into fuels.

HSBC to implement more climate friendly measures under pressure from investors

HSBC Holdings has proposed enhanced measures to achieve net zero emissions in its own operations and supply chain by 2030 and in its client portfolio by 2050. These extra measures come as a group of investors continue to push the bank to reduce its fossil fuel financing.

U.K.’s Nest Corp to invest in renewable power

Next Corp, United Kingdom’s largest pension fund by number of members has earmarked 250 million pounds for investments in renewable power. The fund will make these investments in partnership with investment manager, Octopus Renewables.

U.K. government to invest in two ports for offshore wind industry

The British government plans to invest upto 95 million pounds to construct off shore ports where wind projects will come up. The expected capacity of these wind projects is around 9 GW per year and will contribute towards the country’s target of reaching 40 GW of energy from offshore wind farms by 2030.

EDF Renewables to set up a 49.9 MW solar farm

EDF Renewables plans to develop a 49.9 MW solar farm in the U.K. and has secured permissions for the project. The energy generated from the project will be sufficient to power more than 16,000 homes and will save more than 21,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

The US Department of Labor decides against enforcing ESG unfriendly rules

The US Department of Labor will not be enforcing the “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments” and the “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights” rules. These rules were widely seen as discouraging fiduciaries from considering ESG factors when evaluating plan investments.

Temasek takes a stake in impact investment firm, LeapFrog

Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign backed investment arm, has taken a stake in LeapFrog Investments worth USD 500 million. LeapFrog is an impact investment firm that focuses providing private equity investments in companies that deepen access to financial and healthcare services.