Investors seek accountability over corporate net-zero commitments
More than 50 global investors, managing more than $14trn in assets, are calling for new corporate governance structures and standards to be introduced to improve the accountability of net-zero carbon commitments.
Emma Howard Boyd confirmed as interim chair of Green Finance Institute
The Green Finance Institute (GFI) has announced that the Environment Agency's chair Emma Howard Boyd CBE has been appointed as interim chair at the institute, following the passing of Sir Roger Gifford in May.
Scottish Widows 'reboots' £250m environment fund to screen against fossil fuels
Scottish Widows has launched a 'rebooted' Environmental Fund that will give six million customers the chance to invest in "great green" British businesses, while screening against exposure to fossil fuels.
'An industry in transition': Sustainable investments now account for one-third of global market
Sustainable investment approaches that consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in portfolios have grown by 15% over the last two years and now account for more than a third of professionally managed assets across all major markets.
Circular economy attracting $1.3trn in annual investments, but dwarfed by linear spending models
Governments, investors and corporates collectively funnel more than $1.3trn annually into circular economy initiatives, but this is just a fraction of the money that is currently spent on linear methods of consumption and resource use.
Aviva's Steve Waygood: Now is the time for finance firms to become climate macro-stewards
With the world on track for 3.2C of warming by the end of the decade, by UN estimates, Aviva Investors' chief responsible investment officer Steve Waygood is urging professionals in his line of work to go beyond their four walls and influence international climate plans.
Business reiterate Brazil boycott as nation urged to set deforestation-linked bonds
Nando's, Ocado and the Woolworths Group are the latest businesses to have signed a letter urging Brazilian policymakers to reject a new land-use proposal that could further spur deforestation in the Amazonian region, with a new report urging the nation to link efforts to combat deforestation to sovereign bonds.
Could making ESG more 'financially relevant' combat greenwashing?
At the first day of edie's Sustainable Investment Conference, expert speakers from EY, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Citi debated how the definition of leadership in relation to ESG investing is evolving. Here, we round up their key talking points.
Insurance giants team up for net-zero alliance, but are urged to stop supporting fossil fuels
AXA, Allianz, Aviva, Generali, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance Group have launched a new 'Net-Zero Insurance Alliance', of which members will be required to deliver net-zero emissions by 2050 across their insurance and reinsurance portfolios.
BlackRock secures $250m for climate projects in developing countries
The world's largest investor BlackRock has secured more than $250m from global investors and governments to support clean energy uptake and climate infrastructure across countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
'World's largest' sustainability-linked bond issue from Enel three times oversubscribed
Italian energy major Enel has revealed that it received orders of some $12bn for its sustainability-linked bond - three times more than its $4bn price point.
Investors call on banking giants to step up on climate and biodiversity commitments
More than 100 investors, including the likes of Aviva and M&G Investments, representing $4.2trn in assets under management have written to some of the world's biggest banks, calling on them to strengthen climate and biodiversity targets this year.
#SustyTalk: Green Angel Syndicate CEO Nick Lyth on maximising the sustainable investment opportunity
edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive discussion with Green Angel Syndicate founder and chief executive Nick Lyth.
Analysis: Two-thirds of UK finance firms have climate targets, but most are failing to shift investments
While most of the UK's biggest banks and asset managers have updated their climate targets in light of net-zero, finance flows are still ultimately favouring high-carbon projects and businesses, according to new analysis of more than 1,200 financial institutions.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Spotlight on green finance, ESG and the TCFD
With edie's Sustainable Investment Conference less than two weeks away, episode 104 of the Sustainable Business Covered Podcast explores an array of green investment topics with UKSIF, ING and Inspired Energy.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak issues £15bn green gilt drive to assist net-zero ambition
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has today (1 July) outlined plans to transform the UK’s financial services industry through £15bn of green bonds that will support projects that decarbonise key parts of the UK economy while improving climate resiliency and adaptation.
Investors worth €3.6trn collaborate to promote just transition to net-zero
AXA, Aviva France and Eiffel are among the members of a new coalition of investors convened to promote a just low-carbon transition across Europe. Collectively, members represent €3.6trn of assets under management.
#SustyTalk: Seizing the green finance opportunities of 2021
edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive panel discussion on scaling green finance in the run-up to COP26, featuring experts from Clim8, E3G and FIA EPTA.
edie launches new business guide on TCFD recommendations
edie has launched an updated Explains guide answering important questions for businesses looking to align their reporting with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Net-zero, Brexit and Covid-19: Businesses say now is perfect time to 'green' UK's financial system
The UK government is being urged to ensure that its ongoing review of financial services regulations properly accounts for the scale of the twin climate and nature crises by influential business coalition the Aldersgate Group.
Aviva and WWF push UK to mandate climate transition plans for financial sector
British financial institutions should be mandated to outline their plans for decarbonising investments in line with the national net-zero target by the end of 2023, Aviva Investors is recommending.
How to be a net-zero winner
As part of edie's Net-Zero Carbon Playbook, Centrica Business Solution's net-zero product manager Alex Lowe explains the steps that organisations can take to thrive during the net-zero transition.
'Votes have jumped dramatically': Why investors are pressing companies to accelerate climate action
The 2021 AGM season saw a flurry of climate-related shareholder resolutions being filed - and passed - at the world's biggest banks and fossil fuel majors. Here, edie interviews the architects of these resolutions to get an inside look at their development and growing success.
Airlines accused of lobbying against stronger EU climate policy
Aviation giants including British Airways' parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) and Ryanair have been accused of opposing proposals for stronger climate policy in the European Union (EU), as the bloc works towards a 2050 net-zero target.
Be bolder with climate policies, 70 CEOs and investors worth $41trn tell world leaders
An alliance of more than 70 chief executives has written to world leaders in support of "bold and courageous commitments, policies and actions" on tackling the climate crisis, on the same day that a similar call to action has been made by investors representing trillions of dollars of assets.
G7 nations failing to align major stock indexes with climate commitments, report reveals
None of the largest stock indexes operating in G7 nations are aligned with either of the Paris Agreement on climate change's two pathways, according to new research out today (10 June).
HP and JBS issue sustainability-linked bonds to drive towards net-zero
The world's largest protein producer, JBS, has announced the issuance of a $1bn sustainability-linked bond tied to net-zero targets, while technology firm HP has unveiled its sustainable bonds framework.
IEA: To reach net-zero, renewable energy investment in developing nations must increase sevenfold
Some $150bn was invested in clean energy in developing economies last year, according to new International Energy Agency (IEA) analysis. But the Agency believes this figure must hit $1trn by 2030 to deliver a net-zero world.
UK Government launches new taskforce to tackle greenwashing in finance sector
The UK Government is set to launch a new advisory group tasked with creating a 'green taxonomy' for finance, in a bid to crack down on greenwashing in the investment space.
ABP and National Trust sign up to net-zero investment initiative
Europe's largest pension fund, the Church of Sweden and the National Trust are among six new signatories to a global net-zero asset owner commitment to decarbonise financial portfolios in line with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
G7 agree on 'historic steps' to make climate reporting mandatory
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak met with finance ministers in London this weekend, with discussions leading to a historic agreement that G7 nations will mandate climate reporting in line with the recommendations of the global Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
JP Morgan, Citi and BlackRock all confirmed for edie's Sustainable Investment Conference 2021
Financial and environmental experts from some of the world's largest investors and banks will discuss the prominent rise in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and what that means for business at edie's Sustainable Investment Conference next month.
Give us sector-specific guidance on net-zero transition, investment giants tell G7 nations
A group of investors with £8.5trn of assets under management has called on G7 nations to introduce new climate disclosure and action mandates for big businesses - and to provide more detail on how their long-term climate goals will be delivered.
Amazon could be forced to disclose its plastic footprint
E-commerce giant Amazon's shareholders will vote this week on whether the firm should adopt a resolution requiring it to disclose how much plastic packaging it produces - and how much of this is likely to end up polluting the environment.
Banking giants team up to accelerate net-zero transition for steel industry
Six leading lenders to the steel industry - ING, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered and UniCredit - have created a new working group focusing on decarbonisation.
Shareholders pass vote for HSBC to phase-out global coal financing by 2040
Shareholders of HSBC have today passed a proposed management resolution that commits the bank to phase-out financing for the coal industry by 2040 worldwide, following successful campaigning from investors.
$8trn funding gap: UN report calls for four-fold increase in nature-based solutions investment
The world is facing an $8.1trn financing gap into nature to help combat the climate crisis and ecological breakdown, according to a new UN report that warns that annual investments into nature-based solutions (NbS) need to increase fourfold by 2050.
Climate activists appointed to ExxonMobil board as Chevron shareholders back stronger emissions goals
Shareholder motions filed by climate activists have passed at US fossil fuel giants ExxonMobil and Chevron, with disgruntled investors clearly keen to see more ambitious emissions reduction targets.
Countdown to COP26 Festival: Flagship July events to focus on crucial themes of climate talks
edie has today (26 May) officially unveiled the content programmes and initial speaker line-ups for the next two events to be delivered under the Countdown to COP26 Festival programme - covering the key COP themes of net-zero carbon energy, clean transport and climate finance.
ENCORE: UN-backed biodiversity module to help investors factor nature into spending decisions
A new UN-back module has been launched today to enable financial institutions to map their exposure to biodiversity risks based on sectoral activities, in a bid to push the economy towards a nature-positive future.
Report: Investing in digital and sustainability could create 5.7 million jobs across Europe by 2030
European firms could create up to 5.7 million new green jobs by 2030 by investing in digital and sustainability transformations, according to a new report.
'Concerning for shareholders': World's biggest insurers failing to tackle ESG risks
A new ranking of the world's 70 largest insurance firms has found that none exclude companies driving biodiversity loss and just 13% exclude firms knowingly in breach of human and labour rights requirements.
Lessons from Yozma for UK conservation
In February of 2021 Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta released the final report of a multi-year review of the economics of biodiversity. This report emphasised that biodiversity is an integral component of global economies and that the continued loss of biodiversity would have devastating impacts on human society.
Survey: 9 in 10 investors do not trust corporate ESG claims
While investors increasingly want companies to disclose more information on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets and progress, most find it difficult to trust business's claims at face value, and to compare different firms.
WWF: UK banks and investors financing projects with double nation's climate impact
UK banks and asset managers collectively financed projects emitting 805 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2019 - around twice the UK's annual national carbon footprint.
Investors and businesses urged to address $700bn nature-based solutions finance gap
A new report has warned that a $700bn investment gap into "Nature-based Solutions" needs to be addressed in order to meet wider net-zero goals and combat the climate crisis.
UK climbs energy investment rankings, but concerns persist over green finance availability
The UK has climbed one position to fourth in the rankings for EY's national attractiveness of renewable energy investment, but the organisation has warned that global green finance efforts need to improve considerably to meet clean energy demand for existing climate commitments.
Shell shareholders vote against climate activists' net-zero plans
Royal Dutch Shell received overwhelming backing for its own energy transition strategy at its AGM today (18 May), but a shareholder resolution that would have forced accelerated climate action did not pass.
Beyond retail: Banks and fossil fuel giants urged to face role in plastic pollution crisis
Just 20 businesses are responsible for half of the world's single-use plastic waste, with fossil fuel majors including ExxonMobil and Total among the worst offenders, a new study has revealed.
'Care for creation': Fossil fuel divestment promised by dozens of major faith institutions
The Church in Wales, Diocese of Bristol and Diocese of Oxford are among a group of 36 faith institutions to have jointly committed to divesting from fossil fuels, stating that they have a moral imperative to help combat the climate crisis.
From Barclays to Unilever: 14 major firms commit to purpose-led businesses
More than a dozen large firms have pledged to put social sustainability higher on the boardroom agenda, by joining a scheme aimed to help businesses become more purpose-driven.
Unilever's net-zero transition plan backed by more than 99% of shareholders
More than 99% of Unilever's shareholders have voted in favour of its plans to become a net-zero business by 2039, the FMCG giant has said.
Barclays shareholders reject resolution on fossil fuel phase-out
Despite continued campaigning from non-profits, activists and investors, Barclays' shareholders have rejected a proposal that would require the bank to reduce fossil fuel finance on climate grounds.
Fast-food giants beef up climate commitments following investor pressure
The likes of McDonald's, Domino's and Yum! Brands, which owns KFC, have all improved their climate commitments this year following pressure from an $11trn coalition of investors.
Investors worth £10trn outline policy vision for sustainable finance in net-zero transition
UKSIF, which represents more than 260 members with more than £10trn of assets under management, has called on the Government to better support a 'just' transition to net-zero.
BlackRock launches temperature-aligned investments funds
The world's largest investor BlackRock has unveiled two new temperature-based exchange funds aimed at helping investors align portfolios with the pathways of the Paris Agreement.
Mark Carney to chair 'Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero' ahead of COP26
A new initiative from the US and UK Governments, designed to unite the global financial sector on the net-zero transition, has launched, confirming Mark Carney as chair.
MSCI commits to net-zero emissions before 2040
American finance firm MSCI has announced its intention to reach net-zero emissions before 2040, pledging to revamp its current decarbonisation goals and align with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Ditch fossil fuel finance, $11trn investor coalition tells big banks
A coalition of 35 major investors with $11trn of assets under management collectively are calling on banks to "enhance" their climate targets, backing up long-term visions with action in the short-term.
CISL calls for standardised climate disclosure framework for investors
While most investors are measuring and disclosing their climate performance, it is hard to compare progress between companies because there is not a universal framework. This makes it more challenging for investors to be held to account or to accelerate progress.
Report: Net-zero targets from corporates becoming more 'genuine'
An analysis of the climate commitments of 401 companies has found that the uptake of "genuine" net-zero targets - those regarded as ambitious and not greenwashing - has more than doubled in the past year.
Additional $600m for low-carbon solutions as BlackRock forms new investment partnership
The world's largest investor, BlackRock, has forged a new partnership with Singapore-based Temasek to scale up investment in low-carbon technologies.
The coronavirus 'white swan': Companies and investors ramping up sustainability commitments
The coronavirus pandemic is acting as a "white swan" moment that is accelerating corporate focus on long-term sustainability strategies, but better disclosure and communication is needed for investors to unlock new finance to spur the green transition.
Three ESG lessons from Covid-19 for the climate crisis
None of us coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic unchanged. The crisis has forced everybody to respond to new challenges and, largely, we have adapted well - parish council and cat filtered lawyer zoom calls notwithstanding.
Report: 6 in 10 plastic packaging companies have no environmental policies
An analysis of 83 of the world's biggest publicly traded plastic packaging firms has found that almost two-thirds report no policies on sustainability-related topics like waste or carbon.
Report: Investors ditching fossil fuel stocks as value drops by billions of dollars
The value of share offerings in fossil fuel firms has plummeted by $123bn since 2012, a new report has revealed.
Dozens of big-name investors including BlackRock join Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative
The Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative now covers more than one-third of assets under management globally, after 43 big names, including BlackRock and the Vanguard Group, signed up.
What does the UK's sustainable office of the future look like?
Many of the UK's biggest businesses are planning to downsize their office estates this year, while outlining plans to continue remote working post-lockdown. But are environmental considerations a driver, as well as Covid-19? And will the office of the future be truly sustainable?
Northern Gas Networks launches green bond to support hydrogen transition
Northern Gas Networks has launched its first green bond, in a bid to raise capital to prepare for hydrogen heating. The move comes as Hitachi Capital UK prices its own debut green bond at $40m.
One-fifth of world's largest corporates have set net-zero targets
More than 20% of the world's largest corporates, worth sales of more than $14trn, have now committed to net-zero targets, but more transparency and short-term targets are required to navigate potential greenwash issues.
Is biodiversity being forgotten in sustainable corporate finance?
EXCLUSIVE: The issuance of sustainability bonds and sustainability-linked loans in the private sector is gathering pace, but are businesses using them to help avert the nature crisis?
'Systematic climate approach': Swiss Re plots global coal phase-out by 2040
Insurance and reinsurance giant Swiss Re has announced new climate targets for financed emissions and pledged to stop serving the global coal sector by 2040.
IRENA: Existing solutions can spur progress to net-zero
Global power sourced from renewables is set to treble by 2050, with wind, solar and hydrogen all required to account for 90% of all decarbonisation solutions to push the global economy towards the 1.5C pathway, a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has found.
Brunel Pensions Partnership targets net-zero as Nest accelerates renewable energy investment
The UK's largest Government-backed pension scheme, Nest, has pledged £250m to renewable energy projects this year, while Brunel Pension Partnership has outlined a new net-zero target.
What does the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) mean for corporates?
2021 is set to be a momentous year in terms of funds regulation as Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation (SFDR) comes into place. The SFDR forms part of the EU's Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, with the goal of eliminating greenwash and emphasizing the impact that asset managers' investments have, particularly in relation to climate change.
HSBC to vote on phase-out of fossil fuel funding
HSBC will propose a new commitment to completely phase-out financing of coal-fired power and thermal coal mines by 2040 globally, following negotiations with a group of investors with $2.4tn in assets under management.
Major investors apply net-zero alignment framework to $8trn of assets
A coalition of 35 big-name investors has become the first to apply a new net-zero investment framework to their portfolios, with $8trn of assets covered.
'Climate conflict': 4 in 5 UK bank directors have connections to high-emitting corporates
An analysis of the activities of directors at the UK's biggest banks has revealed that almost 80% have close ties to corporates in industries linked to climate change and pollution - which could undermine their net-zero commitments.
Budget 2021: Sunak confirms Net-Zero Innovation Fund, announces freeports to spur green investment
Rishi Sunak delivered his Budget for 2021 today (3 March), pledging to put green investment at the heart of the UK's economic recovery from Covid-19. But the Chancellor has come under fire for failing to mention a number of critical policy enablers for the UK's net-zero carbon transition.
New Citi boss unveils net-zero financed emissions vision
Finance giant Citigroup's new chief executive, Jane Fraser, has unveiled a new commitment to reach net-zero financed emissions by 2050.
Report: Strong net-zero policy could help UK attract £350bn of investment by 2050
The low-carbon energy transition in the UK could lead to the development of £350bn of investible assets by 2050 - but only if businesses and policymakers do more to support key sectors.
Three themes shaping the ESG landscape in 2021
It's been more than a year since Covid-19 first broke out. Understandably, the pandemic has forced many businesses to focus on survival, while others have had limited capacity to pursue their ESG agendas.
Aviva Investors targets net-zero by 2040
Aviva has pledged to reach net-zero across its operations, supply chain and financing activities by 2040, in what it claims is the most ambitious net-zero pledge from a large, UK-based financial services firm.
CDP: Water risk costs for corporates five times higher than cost of action
Some $301bn of business value is at risk because of water stewardship challenges, yet it would take corporates just $55bn to deliver appropriate mitigation and adaptation initiatives.
BlackRock Investment Institute: Tackling climate change will provide a financial boost, not a net cost
BlackRock's insights arm is forecasting that the net-zero transition could create a cumulative output gain of almost 25% by 2040, if delivered in an "orderly" fashion.
As Trinity College Cambridge divests, UK council pensions still hold £10bn in fossil fuels
Freedom of information requests by environmental campaigners have revealed that UK local government pensions held almost £10bn in fossil fuel companies last year, despite the trend towards climate emergency declarations.
Global heavy industry failing to align with Paris climate goals
Only 14% of publicly listed companies in the steel, cement, aluminum, paper and mining sector are on track to meet the Paris Agreement's 2°C climate target, according to a report by the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), a global investor group supported by the UN. Still, some European companies offer hope, EURACTIV Germany reports.
AB InBev announces $10.1bn sustainability-linked loan
The world's largest brewer has announced what it claims is the world's largest corporate sustainability-linked loan to date, priced at $10.1bn.
Thai Union launches its first sustainability-linked loan package, priced at $400m
The world's largest seafood firm, Thai Union, has announced a new $400m loan package with interest payments linked to climate, sustainability and due diligence targets.
BlackRock presses energy companies to set 'rigorous' emissions targets
The world's largest investor, BlackRock, has urged energy firms and other high emitters to disclose the full extent of their emissions and set climate targets in line with science. It is warning that failure to do so could result in stranded assets.
Report: Real estate sector's inaction on climate change could increase costs by $2.5trn
Globally, real estate firms could rack up $2.5trn of additional costs in the future unless they accelerate action to decarbonise buildings and to boost climate adaptation and resilience this decade.
Leeds and London to host new green finance research hubs
A new government-backed body dedicated to green finance research is set to launch in April, with physical "hubs" in Leeds and London.
Goldman Sachs issues first sustainability bond, priced at $800m
US-based finance giant Goldman Sachs has issued its inaugural sustainability bond, priced at $800m, as it strives to mobilise $750bn in green finance by 2030.
Business giants' climate disclosure 'clearly inadequate', lawyers warn
Lawyers have warned that the majority of FTSE 100 and the largest companies on the FTSE 250 are failing to disclose adequate climate-related data as part of annual corporate reporting frameworks, with some potentially breaching UK law.
Finance and policy: The external drivers forcing businesses to take climate action
Sustainability professionals have often found frustration when trying to embed CSR across an entire organisation, but the mainstreaming of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing looks set to create new momentum behind the green recovery.
Aviva Investors warns it will divest from climate laggards
Aviva Investors has warned that it will fully divest from companies that fail to decarbonise in alignment with net-zero climate science and will issue a new programme that engages with carbon-intensive companies to meet climate goals.
As influential as the Stern Review: Green economy reacts to the Dasgupta biodiversity study
A new landmark review, commissioned by the Government, has suggested that services provided by nature should be assigned an economic value that is used to inform future policy decisions, a move that has been unanimously welcomed by green groups.
Last chance to register: COP26 business champion Andrew Griffith to deliver keynote at the Sustainability Leaders Forum
edie has today (29 January) confirmed a final addition to the Sustainability Leaders Forum speaker line-up in the form of Andrew Griffith MP, who will deliver a keynote speech about the business opportunity of COP26 on the second day of the virtual event, which runs from 2-4 February.
Greenwash: 40% of websites 'misleading' consumers on environmental credentials
An annual sweep of corporate websites has found that four in ten are providing information on environmental criteria that could be considered misleading and potentially breaking consumer laws.
Survey: UK banks could lose millions of customers unless they get tougher on climate
A survey of more than 2,000 bank customers in the UK has found that more than one in ten would switch banks if they thought their choice of company was investing heavily in fossil fuels. The impact could be significant for big high-street brands, that could lose millions of customers each.