SVI BLOG

We regularly release reports on a wide range of ESG topics, focusing on climate change, corporate governance topics such as conflicts of interests, executive pay, tax avoidance, anti-competitive practices, privacy issues with tech companies and proxy advisers.

As the China-US trade war drags along with increasing Sino-American tensions, China has not ceased opening up various markets. Why is the opening of the financial industry in China important for foreign players? Is the liberalization a concession made by …
We continue our report on Lebanon. In our previous installment, we took a closer look at Lebanon’s banking sector and its underlying monetary system which has strong responsibility in the present financial crisis. Today Lebanon is one of the most …
The new more ambitious GHG emissions reduction target of 60% by 2030 voted by the EU Parliament is a clear signal that Europe wants to remark its virtuous leadership in the green transition and together with implementing the taxonomy and …
As a response to the fragmented environment of ESG reporting, the international community has begun taking its steps towards harmonization. After a joint vision has been shared by the five leading Framework and Standard-setting Institutions, also the Big Four Accounting …
The plant-based meat alternatives market is on a continuous rise. VC investment in bio-engineered foods has rocketed in the past 10 years and the trend is likely to continue with investors coming after bioengineered food start-ups in droves. Environmentalists are …
More and more companies, cities, regions, countries are committing to becoming carbon neutral, i.e. to balance out the sum of all greenhouse gases put into and taken out of the atmosphere. More companies than ever committed to ambitious climate action …
The second report of the Lebanon series by Christina Lawandos we publish today considers the role that Lebanon’s monetary system and banking sector play in the present crisis. With a debt to GDP ratio of 152%, Lebanon is the third most indebted country …
The European Commission has published the new 2030 Climate Target Plan, proposing to raise to 55% the cut in GHG emissions by 2030. This more ambitious target for the next decade will put the EU on the right path to reach its …
The IPO of Nongfu Spring, a bottled water brand in mainland China, broke the record of the subscription capital of HKEX on September 8, 2020: it was 1,147 times oversubscribed by more than 700 thousand investors. The listing made the …
While the benefit of lithium batteries are well-known (batteries are light, charge fast and are able to store a lot of energy) and used in wide-spread technologies (from electric cars to smartphones), the extracting process is far from being environmental …
SVI start publishing today reports by Christina Lawandos on the current Lebanese situation from an ESG perspective. Christina is our contact in Lebanon, a local witness strongly engaged in sustainable topics. Unfortunately, what happened in Beirut has to do with …
As the economy increasingly struggled amidst the COVID19 pandemic, many corporations halted their dividend plans but appeared instead more reticent in sacrificing their executive compensation plans. For instance, the cases of IAG, British Airways owner, and Ryanair Bonus payment to CEO Michael O’Leary …
“A relevant question we all need to ask ourselves as citizens, consumers, workers, savers, investors, in our daily life as well as when we are on holiday. Everything is tightly interconnected, the environmental disaster at the Mauritius and our personal …
MorganStanley, Citi and Bank of America have joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials, a global group composed of 70 financial institutions representing more than $10 trillion in assets, which aims to provide financial institutions with a common methodology to …
Investors fear that firms’ financial statements do not represent the real long-term outlook for many businesses as only a minority of them accurately incorporate climate change risks. The oil and gas company BP has cut $17.5 billion off the value of …
Bolsonaro has imposed a ban on forest fires during the dry season and arranged military operations against deforestation practices. This decree comes after pressure from financial investors, international companies and foreign governments on the need to improve Brazil’s environmental commitment and to stop …
Australia’s Snowy Hydro 2.0, a pumped hydro storage project in the Snowy Mountains, has recently been approved by the federal government as an economic savior to bushfire-ravaged region and the COVID19 recession. However, several concerns arise from its economic and environmental costs. Australia …
Alphabet has launched one of the largest sustainable bond offerings to be ever recorded, devoted to funding ongoing and new green and social justice-oriented projects. Sustainable bonds are not without risk of social washing and investor monitoring is much needed. The Covid-19 pandemic has …
The modern slavery case at Boohoo shows the importance of investigating firms’ ESG practices more deeply. The Manchester-based online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo has launched an independent review of its domestic supply chain after the Sunday Times published an investigation affirming that …
According to the OECD, globally, EUR 6.35 trillion a year will be required to meet the Paris Agreement goals by 2030. The EU Taxonomy will help investors and companies in choosing green opportunities that are in line with a low carbon economy and resource-efficient economy. Finance enables transformative improvements in industries all over …
The recent oil price shock has deeply affected corporations such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil, but also the long-term trend in oil demand seems to pose risks. As the sector is evolving, activist investors are becoming increasingly vocal with respect to environmental matters …
Despite the worldwide increase in ESG and sustainable investments, in the USA we are assisting to a great deterrence against ESG policies reviving the old objection they provide low returns, which has not been supported by the facts. In the last …
The coal industry is likely to never recover from the heavy blow caused by COVID19, experts said. The modern society’s dependence on coal has been cut loose due to the slash in costs of its greener alternatives and heightened climate activism. …
Biodiversity depletion is an environmental disaster deteriorating faster than climate change. Environmental risks will adversely affect the macroeconomic performance of various sectors and financial markets. Moving sustainable finance into mainstream practices is key. Evidence shows that nature-based solutions can be readily turned into …
Suppliers of international tech and fashion companies, such as Apple, Nike and Calvin Klein, have been exploiting forced labor from ethnic minority groups, mostly Uighurs, detained in the Xinjiang region, China. Organizations have already started to take action. Several investigations carried out …
Ms. Booker, former Global Head of Diversity at Morgan Stanley, has pursued legal action against the bank claiming that she was fired last December after having pushed a plan aimed at helping black financial advisors. Last June, Marilyn Booker has pursued …
The issuance of social bonds has outpaced that of green bonds this year, reflecting a diversification in sustainability investments and increasing attention by investors on social matters and social risks in light of the challenges brought by COVID19. Covid-19 has brought …
The US Department of Labor has issued a new rule proposal that requires pension funds fiduciaries to prove that by implementing ESG-oriented investments they are not sacrificing financial returns to social good, regardless of investors’ preferences. The PRI, Morningstar and Nuveen have …
Consumption of plastic destinated for single-use items, especially personal protective equipment, has grown dramatically in the last months due to COVID19. This phenomenon has been worsened by lockdown-driven behaviors and the oil price crash which has made recycled plastic more expensive. While …
Many companies worldwide have been receiving financial state aids to counteract the effects of the economic crisis brought by COVID19. Different rules and limitations apply to approved aids and beneficiary firms in Europe and the US. Since the advent of …
Since he became president, Trump has dismantled 100 environmental rules. A drastic accelerator to this law reformation has been put in place during the COVID19 pandemic Since the beginning of his mandate as president of the United States, Trump has dismantled …
Adidas has received complaints from employees about the lack of diversity in the workplace for years. The recent resignation of the company Global HR chief follows employees’ criticism about her approach to addressing racial diversity issues and is among the highest-profile …
The COVID19 pandemic had a huge impact across the whole energy sector, particularly in terms of demand and supply. Read more on how this time the pandemic’s impact on the oil and gas industry is expected to endure. The COVID-19 pandemic had, and it is …
Policymakers and experts share their thoughts on the post Covid-19 future The age-old adage that prevention is better than cure is completely at odds with the issues we will face tomorrow. In fact, the adage leaves room for a deadlock …
The condition of civilized man in one of scarcity. It was 1798 when a young British economist published An Essay on the Principle of Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society, a text which criticized Utopians of his …
What are the implications of climate change mitigation on the market value of coal, oil and gas companies? To assess how much market value these companies might lose as governments are increasingly eager to impose stricter measures on the hydrocarbon …
The universe of investment is changing. Millennials are twice as likely to invest in sustainable investment products as the rest of the investors. If responsible investments are considered a niche choice for the majority of the investors, they have become …
The 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment informs us about a consistently declining rate of deforestation, to be explained by diminishing deforestation coupled with natural forests expansion and afforestation. The African continent is however emerging as a key hotspot, and important ecosystems, such …
The COVID19 pandemic is having a huge impact across the whole energy sector, particularly in terms of demand and supply. After healing from coronavirus, the world might face an energy crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact across the whole energy …
The global health crisis, COVID-19, is reducing carbon emissions more than any policy as ever done before. The COVID-19 viral disease that has swept into at least 114 countries, killing approximately 30,000 people and infecting more than 600,000, is now officially a pandemic. …
Populism and the challenges of a just transition to mitigate climate change. The language of politics is not straightforward, this is why politicians aim at oversimplifying it and making it appealing for voters. This approach to politics leads to a …
As announced under the bold European Green Deal, the European Commission has launched a public consultation on the review of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The NFRD sets out the rules for disclosing non-financial information by large companies as required …
BlackRock CEO recently announced he will take action towards a more sustainable investment. Whereas, in the early stages, responsible investing meant excluding from portfolio highly controversial and problematic stocks, such as gunmakers. Nowadays, responsible investment means selecting carefully the assets …
The Circularity Gap Report 2019 finds that the global economy is only 9% circular – just 9% of the 92.8 billion tonnes of minerals, fossil fuels, metals and biomass that enter the economy are re-used annually. Climate change and material …
A new book written by Luiz Awazu Pereira de Silva, Patrick Bolton, Morgan Després, Frédéric Samama and Romain Svartzman and published by the Bank of International Settlements as of January 20, 2020 states how climate change poses new challenges to …
According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global AI in oil and gas market was around USD 1.75 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach around USD 4.01 billion by 2025. On January 16th 2019, Microsoft announced …
Climate scientist Michael Mann is on sabbatical stay in Sydney, Australia where he studies the correlation between climate change and catastrophic weather events.  Home to one some of the greatest natural wonders of this planet, like the Great Barrier Reef …
“The transformation ahead of us is unprecedented,” said EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, announcing the investment plan. The European Green Deal Investment Plan will mobilise EU funding and create an enabling framework to facilitate and stimulate the public and …
World’s biggest asset managers are facing enormous pressure over the role they (do not) play on climate change. Public opinion, shareholders and governmental institutions are urging JPMorgan, Vanguard and BlackRock to substantially change their strategies over climate change. What the …
Asset managers and younger age groups are driving the change to a more sustainable financial sector. As the second decade of the XXI century has now officially began, people are eager to rethink the very purpose of the current economic …
“All that glitter is not gold, often have you heard that told.” Tech giants have long been deemed ESG good-will ambassadors. They usually couple a meaningful value proposition together with a garageland background, which makes the formula extremely appealing to …
“I am disappointed with the results of COP 25” The UN Secretary-General António Guterres sentenced on Twitter on 15 December, 2019, at the end of the COP 25 closing plenary. “Time For Action” was the slogan unrolled at the start …
Major ESG-related controversies during the past six years were accompanied by market capitalization losses of $534 billion for large US companies over the past 5 years, according to an analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The research shows that …
Millions of people are taking into the streets in an effort to save the planet. Despite that, public mobilisation has had very little impact on governments’ leaders so far. Talks between world’s leaders have not evolved into actions as people …
Hiro Mizuno, chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, says in an interview to the FT of December 12, 2019 that it values stewardship and it is going to embrace ESG factors fully in all the investment of …
Will the EU be able to reach its 2050’s environmental targets? If so, at what costs for the international trade market? As President of the EU Commission, Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, is preparing to unveiling EU’s Green New Deal later this Wednesday (11 …
The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) latest State of the Environment (SoE) Report gives hope for future, despite EU climate change transition actions are not sufficient to fully achieve all 34 policy objectives. According to the SoE Report, Europe has to scale up …
Day one of the UN COP 25 in Madrid closed yesterday, 2 December 2019. Over the next two weeks to 13 December, the 196 delegations will negotiate to find a common ground to tackle climate change.  So what is at stake …
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will be the 2020 UN special envoy on climate action and climate finance. The Canadian economist and banker will replace billionaire Michael Bloomberg taking on the UN role to push finance to act on …

COP 25

While actions are need to tackle a major global challenge like climate change, time is running out. “Time for action” is the slogan of the 25th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25). The aim of the conference is to take …
Vanuatu is exploring an unprecedented path to protect its population against natural disaster: suing world’s biggest polluters. After Cyclone Pam destroyed the South Pacific island in 2015, Vanuatu’s minister for foreign affairs Ralph Regenvanu is considering the option to take …
Ahead of the Madrid COP 25, António Guterres urges governments of the world to keep up with the urgency of the climate change. According to the Secretary – General of the UN, the lack of a global political will is …
The EU Parliament has declared a global “climate emergency” ahead of next week’s international COP25 climate summit and backed raising the EU’s emissions reduction targets from 40 to 55% by 2030. In a separate resolution, Parliament urges the EU to submit …
The European Central Bank should take “concrete action” to help tackle the climate crisis, more than 160 academics and civil society groups said in a letter to new ECB chief Christine Lagarde. “The most powerful financial institution in Europe cannot …
According to the FT of November 27, 2019, Christine Lagarde, the new President of the European Central Bank (ECB) wants to set climate change as a priority goal for the ECB strategy and make the environment as a central topic …
Global warming is affecting the fishing industry of African countries. Tombwa, once a prosperous fishery city on Atlantic Angolan coast, sees its economy collapsing as global warming rises and fishing remains unregulated. Tombwa’s maritime life is threating by oxygen-depleted and …
The CO2 emissions continued to rise in the 2015-2019 timeframe and will continue to rise in the future. This is a bleak forecast according to the new Report by the the Science Advisory Group to UN Climate Action Summit 2019. …
Hunger is rising, half the world lacks basic education and healthcare, women face discrimination. This are are huge systemic risks. According to the secretary-general of the United Nations, Antònio Guterres, in an article published on the FT of November 4, …
A shocking report by PRI reveals that the financial market is very likely to incur in a new mortgage default crisis because of the climate change. In fact, the short sightedness of policy makers regarding climate change is increasing the …
Hedge funds are starting to face the increasing interest in responsible investing. According to the survey by BarclayHedge, a division of technology firm Backstop Solutions, four out of ten hedge fund managers now consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings …
A group of 13 companies known as Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) spoke out on Monday about the progresses they made in promoting investments in carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). OGCI said it is ready to make investments. These, though, …
“We will not be dinosaurs,” –said Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total,-“We’re going to be the energy company of the future, I’m convinced.” On Monday few blocks away from the UN headquarter in New York, where 66 countries signed their intent …
“Green-friendly ETFs hold shares in groups with coal operations” said Financial Times on September 19, 2019. The case for closer oversight of the ESG fund industry is the conclusion of the analysis conducted by the environmental research group InfluenceMap on …
Mr. Gates told the FT that investors would have better results in promoting progress and mitigating climate change, through funding innovative businesses such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, instead of divesting from fossil fuels. Already in the past Bill Gates has …
Japanese companies have set up a consortium on September 16, 2019 to help improving the reporting of financial impacts of climate-related risks in order to enhance green investments and face climate change issues. 172 Japanese companies (including Mazda Motor, Nomura …
In order to cut extreme poverty and help farmers in facing the growing effects of climate change we do need to work urgently on agricultural productivity, according to research published by the World Bank on September 16, 2019. Effects of climate …
Yale program on climate change communication latest report reveals that seven in ten Americans think global warming is happening. But data show that three out of ten say “it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment“, showing a widespread scepticism …
This is not the first case US moves back in environmental regulations under Trump administration. We already tackled the issue of methane emission limits in this article , while this is the turn of water. During his campaign, Trump has already …
According to the FT article by Robert Harding as of September 12, 2019, there is an economic case for fighting pollution to boost productivity, since the evidence increasingly suggests that particulates do not just penetrate the heart and lungs but also …
Gillian Tett, chair of the editorial board for the Financial Times, reflects on “why bosses are buying into the idea of a purpose beyond profit”, after decades in which shareholder interests have dominated the boardroom and shareholder value has been the …
As the Financial Times points out in the article dated August 4, 2019, climate change is not anymore just a mere ethical issue concerning our planet health, but also as the call for socially responsible investments.   “Rise of electric vehicles makes solar …
A US$ 500m ETF run by Vanguard that claims in its marketing material to specifically exclude “fossil fuel” stocks invest in several companies in the oil and gas industry, including oil services company Schlumberger, pipeline company Kinder Morgan and crude oil …
According to Financial Times, time has come for us and for companies to stop talking and starting taking serious actions towards climate change. And this is what Virgin Group CEO, Josh Bayliss assessed in an interview with the Business Green …
NY City has set a goal of divesting New York’s $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years in what NYC officials say would be “among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date”. Currently, New …
The article “Today situation” by Daniela Carosio, SVI Senior Partner, was published in the Ned Community online review Nr. 30 as of February 2017. February 2017 represents a crucial period in Italy. Climate imbalances are making the human and economic costs deriving from …
After a year, it is time to look back and make some considerations about the deal that never happened in Pharma industry.   For further information, see the articles listed below: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e8320ccc-0327-11e5-8333-00144feabdc0.html?o=clippings/list#axzz3bd1cPd77 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/may/19/pfizer-failed-takeover-bid-astrazeneca https://www.reuters.com/article/us-astrazeneca-pfizer/pfizer-walks-away-from-118-billion-astrazeneca-takeover-fight-idUSBREA3R0H520140526
The plant-based meat alternatives market is on a continuous rise. VC investment in bio-engineered foods has rocketed in the past 10 years and the trend is likely to continue with investors coming after bioengineered food start-ups in droves. Environmentalists are …
Investors fear that firms’ financial statements do not represent the real long-term outlook for many businesses as only a minority of them accurately incorporate climate change risks. The oil and gas company BP has cut $17.5 billion off the value of …
Bolsonaro has imposed a ban on forest fires during the dry season and arranged military operations against deforestation practices. This decree comes after pressure from financial investors, international companies and foreign governments on the need to improve Brazil’s environmental commitment and to stop …
COVID19 has reaccelerated deforestation, with forest loss alerts increasing up to 77% compared to 2017-2019. As deforestation itself heightens the risk of future disease outbreaks, rural frontiers should be approached more holistically by taking into consideration the health of humans, animals and …
Alphabet has launched one of the largest sustainable bond offerings to be ever recorded, devoted to funding ongoing and new green and social justice-oriented projects. Sustainable bonds are not without risk of social washing and investor monitoring is much needed. The Covid-19 pandemic has …
According to the OECD, globally, EUR 6.35 trillion a year will be required to meet the Paris Agreement goals by 2030. The EU Taxonomy will help investors and companies in choosing green opportunities that are in line with a low carbon economy and resource-efficient economy. Finance enables transformative improvements in industries all over …
The coal industry is likely to never recover from the heavy blow caused by COVID19, experts said. The modern society’s dependence on coal has been cut loose due to the slash in costs of its greener alternatives and heightened climate activism. …
The issuance of social bonds has outpaced that of green bonds this year, reflecting a diversification in sustainability investments and increasing attention by investors on social matters and social risks in light of the challenges brought by COVID19. Covid-19 has brought …
The 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment informs us about a consistently declining rate of deforestation, to be explained by diminishing deforestation coupled with natural forests expansion and afforestation. The African continent is however emerging as a key hotspot, and important ecosystems, such …
Climate scientist Michael Mann is on sabbatical stay in Sydney, Australia where he studies the correlation between climate change and catastrophic weather events.  Home to one some of the greatest natural wonders of this planet, like the Great Barrier Reef …
World’s biggest asset managers are facing enormous pressure over the role they (do not) play on climate change. Public opinion, shareholders and governmental institutions are urging JPMorgan, Vanguard and BlackRock to substantially change their strategies over climate change. What the …
The European Central Bank should take “concrete action” to help tackle the climate crisis, more than 160 academics and civil society groups said in a letter to new ECB chief Christine Lagarde. “The most powerful financial institution in Europe cannot …
According to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, corporations, financial institutions and socially conscious citizens must pull us back from the climate change abyss. They have the muscle to make renewables mainstream and reposition fossil fuels as the tobacco of the energy industry. …
The Paris Agreement’s 2 °C objective requires that more than 80% of all proven fossil fuel reserves become stranded resources, and investments in such resources may become “stranded assets” for industrialized and developing countries. A ‘just transition’ for workers and communities …
Mr. Gates told the FT that investors would have better results in promoting progress and mitigating climate change, through funding innovative businesses such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, instead of divesting from fossil fuels. Already in the past Bill Gates has …
Not only Amazonia: large parts of Earth are burning, and the problem might be bigger than it appears. Journalists have focused on the enormous devastation that is occurring in Amazonia this year: in comparison to last year, the number of …
Investors seeking more than just financial return face the risk to issue  bonds that are green in the name only.  According to Financial Time, “the green bond market is growing faster that ever, and companies and government have borrowed more …
Since the late-2000s, agricultural expansion in Latin America has been supported through land clearing in Brazil’s Cerrado. Roughly 50 percent of Cerrado vegetation has been converted to agriculture and pastures with a rapid spread of deforestation and land conversion due to …
The University of Edinburgh is dumping all its fossil fuel investments, making it the largest UK university endowment fund to be completely free of all coal, oil and gas holdings. Following this decision, the University of Edinburgh will sell its …
NY City has set a goal of divesting New York’s $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years in what NYC officials say would be “among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date”. Currently, New …
STORY HIGHLIGHTS Green bonds are mobilizing billions of dollars a year for development projects that countries and cities need, carried out in ways that are good for the climate and environment. 2014 was a record year for the young green …
We continue our report on Lebanon. In our previous installment, we took a closer look at Lebanon’s banking sector and its underlying monetary system which has strong responsibility in the present financial crisis. Today Lebanon is one of the most …
As a response to the fragmented environment of ESG reporting, the international community has begun taking its steps towards harmonization. After a joint vision has been shared by the five leading Framework and Standard-setting Institutions, also the Big Four Accounting …
The plant-based meat alternatives market is on a continuous rise. VC investment in bio-engineered foods has rocketed in the past 10 years and the trend is likely to continue with investors coming after bioengineered food start-ups in droves. Environmentalists are …
The second report of the Lebanon series by Christina Lawandos we publish today considers the role that Lebanon’s monetary system and banking sector play in the present crisis. With a debt to GDP ratio of 152%, Lebanon is the third most indebted country …
The IPO of Nongfu Spring, a bottled water brand in mainland China, broke the record of the subscription capital of HKEX on September 8, 2020: it was 1,147 times oversubscribed by more than 700 thousand investors. The listing made the …
SVI start publishing today reports by Christina Lawandos on the current Lebanese situation from an ESG perspective. Christina is our contact in Lebanon, a local witness strongly engaged in sustainable topics. Unfortunately, what happened in Beirut has to do with …
Alphabet has launched one of the largest sustainable bond offerings to be ever recorded, devoted to funding ongoing and new green and social justice-oriented projects. Sustainable bonds are not without risk of social washing and investor monitoring is much needed. The Covid-19 pandemic has …
The modern slavery case at Boohoo shows the importance of investigating firms’ ESG practices more deeply. The Manchester-based online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo has launched an independent review of its domestic supply chain after the Sunday Times published an investigation affirming that …
According to the OECD, globally, EUR 6.35 trillion a year will be required to meet the Paris Agreement goals by 2030. The EU Taxonomy will help investors and companies in choosing green opportunities that are in line with a low carbon economy and resource-efficient economy. Finance enables transformative improvements in industries all over …
The recent oil price shock has deeply affected corporations such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil, but also the long-term trend in oil demand seems to pose risks. As the sector is evolving, activist investors are becoming increasingly vocal with respect to environmental matters …
Despite the worldwide increase in ESG and sustainable investments, in the USA we are assisting to a great deterrence against ESG policies reviving the old objection they provide low returns, which has not been supported by the facts. In the last …
Biodiversity depletion is an environmental disaster deteriorating faster than climate change. Environmental risks will adversely affect the macroeconomic performance of various sectors and financial markets. Moving sustainable finance into mainstream practices is key. Evidence shows that nature-based solutions can be readily turned into …
The issuance of social bonds has outpaced that of green bonds this year, reflecting a diversification in sustainability investments and increasing attention by investors on social matters and social risks in light of the challenges brought by COVID19. Covid-19 has brought …
The US Department of Labor has issued a new rule proposal that requires pension funds fiduciaries to prove that by implementing ESG-oriented investments they are not sacrificing financial returns to social good, regardless of investors’ preferences. The PRI, Morningstar and Nuveen have …
The universe of investment is changing. Millennials are twice as likely to invest in sustainable investment products as the rest of the investors. If responsible investments are considered a niche choice for the majority of the investors, they have become …
The 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment informs us about a consistently declining rate of deforestation, to be explained by diminishing deforestation coupled with natural forests expansion and afforestation. The African continent is however emerging as a key hotspot, and important ecosystems, such …
As of April 21, 2020, Morningstar, leading provider of independent investment research with headquarters in Chicago, announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Sustainalytics, ESG Ratings provider with headquarters in Amsterdam. Morningstar currently owns an approximate 40% ownership stake …
As announced under the bold European Green Deal, the European Commission has launched a public consultation on the review of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The NFRD sets out the rules for disclosing non-financial information by large companies as required …
As of February 24, 2020 Bain & Company (Bain & Co) announced it has acquired a minority stake in EcoVadis. Bain & Co will integrate EcoVadis’ sustainability ratings into its approaches to corporate strategy, supply chain and procurement. They will …
“The transformation ahead of us is unprecedented,” said EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, announcing the investment plan. The European Green Deal Investment Plan will mobilise EU funding and create an enabling framework to facilitate and stimulate the public and …
As of January 9, 2020 Private Equity CVC announced it is going to acquire a participation in EcoVadis through a c. US$200m investment from its CVC Growth Partners II Investment Fund. EcoVadis is a French provider of corporate social responsibility (CSR) …
Evidence demonstrates that investors’ behaviours change when the largest proxy advisory firm downgrades public companies’ rating on governance ground. Professor Paul M. Guest and PhD student Marco Nerino of King’s Business School at King’s College London empirically demonstrate that Institutional …
Asset managers and younger age groups are driving the change to a more sustainable financial sector. As the second decade of the XXI century has now officially began, people are eager to rethink the very purpose of the current economic …
“All that glitter is not gold, often have you heard that told.” Tech giants have long been deemed ESG good-will ambassadors. They usually couple a meaningful value proposition together with a garageland background, which makes the formula extremely appealing to …
Major ESG-related controversies during the past six years were accompanied by market capitalization losses of $534 billion for large US companies over the past 5 years, according to an analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The research shows that …
Hiro Mizuno, chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, says in an interview to the FT of December 12, 2019 that it values stewardship and it is going to embrace ESG factors fully in all the investment of …
Investors in ESG funds will end up with more exposure to Saudi Arabia than a passive investor, highlighting complexities in responsible investing. The article written by James Mackintosh on the WSJ of November 26, 2019 analyzes the difficult choices behind the …
A growing number of investors across the world are factoring ESG risk into their decision-making, in the belief that companies with a good rating will be better-run and produce stronger returns with lower risk. MSCI, which awards companies an ESG …
As of November 21, 2019 S&P Global announced it will acquire the ESG Ratings Business from RobecoSAM which consists of two units: one dealing with SAM CSA which issues ESG ratings and a second providing in-depth reports to companies for …
Hunger is rising, half the world lacks basic education and healthcare, women face discrimination. This are are huge systemic risks. According to the secretary-general of the United Nations, Antònio Guterres, in an article published on the FT of November 4, …
Thomson Reuters Corp announced on Monday it had completed the sale of a majority stake (around 55%) in its Financial & Risk unit to private equity firm Blackstone Group LP. The unit will now be rebranded as Refinitiv. Investors also announced …
Hedge funds are starting to face the increasing interest in responsible investing. According to the survey by BarclayHedge, a division of technology firm Backstop Solutions, four out of ten hedge fund managers now consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings …
“Green-friendly ETFs hold shares in groups with coal operations” said Financial Times on September 19, 2019. The case for closer oversight of the ESG fund industry is the conclusion of the analysis conducted by the environmental research group InfluenceMap on …
As the Financial Times pointed out, a vast amount of deals occurred recently that involved ESG rating agencies: the demand for sustainability and corporate governance data has risen among investors and regulators. Today, Financial Times announced that  two of the …
MSCI Inc. acquired a 100% stake in data analytics firm Carbon Delta AG through its subsidiary MSCI Barra Sarl. “Founded in 2015, Carbon Delta is a global leader for climate change scenario analysis. Together, MSCI and Carbon Delta will create …
Gillian Tett, chair of the editorial board for the Financial Times, reflects on “why bosses are buying into the idea of a purpose beyond profit”, after decades in which shareholder interests have dominated the boardroom and shareholder value has been the …
The asset management giant Vanguard has ejected 29 stocks from the funds created to invest in companies with strong environmental, social and governance records.  The news published by the Financial Times as of August 13, 2019 reports Vanguard statement after …
London Stock Exchange (“LSE“) signed a deal with investment funds affiliated with Blackstone and Thomson Reuters to acquire Refinitiv, financial data and trading platforms provider. Refinitiv shareholders will acquire a stake of approximately 37 per cent economic interest in LSEG and less than 30 per cent …
“Credit rating agencies should not be explicitly required to consider environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors when assessing issuers’ creditworthiness, according to the EU financial markets watchdog.” This is what IPE claims right after ESMA (European Securities and Markets …
A US$ 500m ETF run by Vanguard that claims in its marketing material to specifically exclude “fossil fuel” stocks invest in several companies in the oil and gas industry, including oil services company Schlumberger, pipeline company Kinder Morgan and crude oil …
As the Financial Times pointed out, a vast amount of deals occurred recently that involved ESG rating agencies. For example, Moody’s announced last month that it had bought a majority stake in Vigeo Eiris. But, even if these deals did not caught much attention …
Moody’s Corporation announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Vigeo Eiris, leader in ESG research, data and assessments. The acquisition is part of Moody’s wider objective of promoting global standards for ESG for use by market participants and reflects the …
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), leading provider of end-to-end responsible investment and governance solutions to the global financial community, announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Strategic Insight, a leading provider of data, business intelligence, and research …
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) announced the acquisition of oekom research AG as of March 15, 2018. Oekom is a leder in providing environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating and dara and in carrying on research on sustainable investments. The …
As of July 24, 2017 Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research with heaquarters in Chicago, announced that it had acquired a 40% ownership stake in Sustainalythics. Nearly two years after partnering with Sustainalytics to develop ESG ratings of …
As of October 14, 2016 Morningstar announced it has achieved an agreement to acquire PitchBook Data, Inc. PitchBook, founded in 2007, delivers data, research, and technology covering the breadth of the private capital markets, including venture capital, private equity, and …
Proxy adviser Institutional Stakeholder Service (ISS) has acquired Scandinavia-based Ethix SRI Advisors, a company that offers sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) research and consultancy in investment decisions. The company will be renamed ISS-Ethix. “This acquisition is in keeping with our long-standing commitment …
The international community guided by OECD has increasingly committed to finding a solution for the tax challenges connected to the digitalization of the economy. What the OECD proposed would assure that companies, especially big techs such as Google and Amazon, …
As the world of Big Tech is populated by a few colossi holding a disproportionate amount of power, both the EU and the US are taking steps forward. From measures aimed at fostering transparency and accountability, to more radical measures …
As the China-US trade war drags along with increasing Sino-American tensions, China has not ceased opening up various markets. Why is the opening of the financial industry in China important for foreign players? Is the liberalization a concession made by …
The plant-based meat alternatives market is on a continuous rise. VC investment in bio-engineered foods has rocketed in the past 10 years and the trend is likely to continue with investors coming after bioengineered food start-ups in droves. Environmentalists are …
“How do we take into consideration externalities in companies’ reporting?” The debate about reforming capitalism is strong.   The Egyptian-born British multimillionaire Sir Ronald (Ronnie) Cohen is a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist who, at the age of 75, aims at transforming the …
The IPO of Nongfu Spring, a bottled water brand in mainland China, broke the record of the subscription capital of HKEX on September 8, 2020: it was 1,147 times oversubscribed by more than 700 thousand investors. The listing made the …
While the benefit of lithium batteries are well-known (batteries are light, charge fast and are able to store a lot of energy) and used in wide-spread technologies (from electric cars to smartphones), the extracting process is far from being environmental …
JPMorgan is to investigate clients and staff over illegally obtained federal aid. The bank has nearly arranged $29bn of forgivable loans under the PPP, a business loan initiative established as part of the US $2.2tn economic stimulus package. It is difficult …
At SVI we reflect that traditional confrontation on oil and gas reserves has to be considered in the light of climate change risk and decarbonization trend of world economies. The awareness of such topics is still very low but geopolitics …
China is pressuring the Pakistani army to impose a hybrid martial law to speed up the pace of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative in the country. Will workers’ democratic rights of strike, freedom of association, and collective bargain be safe? …
Pros and cons of hydrogen-powered vehicles, the “latest” solution to greening the transportation sector. When it comes to transportation and other industries heavily dependent on fossil fuels, what does create a stronger emotional commitment than the image of a Huracán …
MorganStanley, Citi and Bank of America have joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials, a global group composed of 70 financial institutions representing more than $10 trillion in assets, which aims to provide financial institutions with a common methodology to …
Investors fear that firms’ financial statements do not represent the real long-term outlook for many businesses as only a minority of them accurately incorporate climate change risks. The oil and gas company BP has cut $17.5 billion off the value of …
Bolsonaro has imposed a ban on forest fires during the dry season and arranged military operations against deforestation practices. This decree comes after pressure from financial investors, international companies and foreign governments on the need to improve Brazil’s environmental commitment and to stop …
According to a recent study, institutional investors, among which BlackRock, Vanguard, Fidelity, JPMorgan, are responsible for increasing price volatility and mispricing in company stocks. Moreover, stocks with higher ownership by such investors show greater price drops during periods of market turmoil. The …
Alphabet has launched one of the largest sustainable bond offerings to be ever recorded, devoted to funding ongoing and new green and social justice-oriented projects. Sustainable bonds are not without risk of social washing and investor monitoring is much needed. The Covid-19 pandemic has …
The modern slavery case at Boohoo shows the importance of investigating firms’ ESG practices more deeply. The Manchester-based online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo has launched an independent review of its domestic supply chain after the Sunday Times published an investigation affirming that …
After the fraud scheme, Wirecard’s links to the Italian Mafia have also been discovered. The firm processed payments for Maltese gambling companies that laundered money for the Ndrangheta. A good ESG analysis would have been effective in detecting Wirecard’s controversies. The German payment …
The recent oil price shock has deeply affected corporations such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil, but also the long-term trend in oil demand seems to pose risks. As the sector is evolving, activist investors are becoming increasingly vocal with respect to environmental matters …
Despite the worldwide increase in ESG and sustainable investments, in the USA we are assisting to a great deterrence against ESG policies reviving the old objection they provide low returns, which has not been supported by the facts. In the last …
Suppliers of international tech and fashion companies, such as Apple, Nike and Calvin Klein, have been exploiting forced labor from ethnic minority groups, mostly Uighurs, detained in the Xinjiang region, China. Organizations have already started to take action. Several investigations carried out …
Ms. Booker, former Global Head of Diversity at Morgan Stanley, has pursued legal action against the bank claiming that she was fired last December after having pushed a plan aimed at helping black financial advisors. Last June, Marilyn Booker has pursued …
Consumption of plastic destinated for single-use items, especially personal protective equipment, has grown dramatically in the last months due to COVID19. This phenomenon has been worsened by lockdown-driven behaviors and the oil price crash which has made recycled plastic more expensive. While …
Since he became president, Trump has dismantled 100 environmental rules. A drastic accelerator to this law reformation has been put in place during the COVID19 pandemic Since the beginning of his mandate as president of the United States, Trump has dismantled …
Wirecard’s share price has collapsed after the exposure of its fraud scheme. On Thursday, June 18th 2020, Wirecard’s auditor, EY, stated that, when carrying out its 2019 audit of the firm, it could not find $2 billion in the company’s accounts, …
The COVID19 pandemic had a huge impact across the whole energy sector, particularly in terms of demand and supply. Read more on how this time the pandemic’s impact on the oil and gas industry is expected to endure. The COVID-19 pandemic had, and it is …
In 2018, the Danish bank, Danske Bank was accused of suffering a “near-total process failure” in a whistleblower report, which reveals that up to USD 3.3 billion linked to the President and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation …
Slaughterhouses worldwide have gained attention as they have become COVID19 vectors, with plants forced to close due to significant infection breakouts among workers. The Covid-19 pandemic has been linked to food since the very beginning. In the last months, slaughterhouses …
What are the implications of climate change mitigation on the market value of coal, oil and gas companies? To assess how much market value these companies might lose as governments are increasingly eager to impose stricter measures on the hydrocarbon …
During the coronavirus pandemic, corporations have been contributing to the health crisis. A worldwide phenomenon of companies reconverting production facilities and R&D capabilities to support the fight against COVID19 has been witnessed across industries. During the coronavirus pandemic, corporations have …
The COVID19 pandemic is having a huge impact across the whole energy sector, particularly in terms of demand and supply. After healing from coronavirus, the world might face an energy crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact across the whole energy …
The global health crisis, COVID-19, is reducing carbon emissions more than any policy as ever done before. The COVID-19 viral disease that has swept into at least 114 countries, killing approximately 30,000 people and infecting more than 600,000, is now officially a pandemic. …
BlackRock CEO recently announced he will take action towards a more sustainable investment. Whereas, in the early stages, responsible investing meant excluding from portfolio highly controversial and problematic stocks, such as gunmakers. Nowadays, responsible investment means selecting carefully the assets …
The Circularity Gap Report 2019 finds that the global economy is only 9% circular – just 9% of the 92.8 billion tonnes of minerals, fossil fuels, metals and biomass that enter the economy are re-used annually. Climate change and material …
According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global AI in oil and gas market was around USD 1.75 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach around USD 4.01 billion by 2025. On January 16th 2019, Microsoft announced …
There is food lost or wasted all along the chain from farm to table. And it’s not just the food itself that goes to waste, it’s all the resources that went into making it, from water to land and labour. …
The creation of a cocoa OPEC among the main cocoa producing countries has been in the collective imaginary of the producers for almost a decade. There are some reasons to support their argument, but the most undeniable one is the …
“All that glitter is not gold, often have you heard that told.” Tech giants have long been deemed ESG good-will ambassadors. They usually couple a meaningful value proposition together with a garageland background, which makes the formula extremely appealing to …
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (PSA) merge into a new combined company, which would become the 3rd largest global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) by combined revenues of nearly €170bn. FCA and PSA announced it issuing a joint press release …
The European Central Bank should take “concrete action” to help tackle the climate crisis, more than 160 academics and civil society groups said in a letter to new ECB chief Christine Lagarde. “The most powerful financial institution in Europe cannot …
As of October 8, Makoto Uchida, head of China operations, has been appointed as CEO. He will be supported by Ashwani Gupta, an India-born former Renault executive who will become COO. The management team will also include Jun Seki, currently in …
Hari Nada, a powerful Nissan insider who was behind the ouster last year of Nissan’s chairman, Carlos Ghosn, over compensation issues, had been improperly overpaid himself, according to a law firm investigating problems at Nissan. As of October 9, Nissan …
More than 400,000 German car owners seeking compensation from the carmaker over emissions test cheating have signed up to a landmark collective lawsuit, which is the largest legal claim of its kind in modern German history. Volkswagen has already paid out …
What is the right business plan for an oil and gas company as people’s awareness about the threats of climate change leave no space for fossil fuels in the future? In May 2017, Shell top brass discussed the future of …
German authorities in Braunschweig have formalized the allegations of Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess, chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch and former CEO Martin Winterkorn of market manipulation in connection with the diesel emissions scandal that dates back to September 2015. The firm admitted in 2015 …
Hedge funds are starting to face the increasing interest in responsible investing. According to the survey by BarclayHedge, a division of technology firm Backstop Solutions, four out of ten hedge fund managers now consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings …
The Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China’s largest steel producer, China Baowu Steel Group. The MOU aims at developing ways to reduce carbon emissions released during steel manufacturing process. The partnership, signed on September 25, …
It is strategic to invest batteries in Europe, primarily for clean mobility and grid stabilisation, given the size of the EU’s automotive sector: 13.3m jobs, or 6.1% of the total workforce. This would also reduce the carbon footprint of producing electric …
A group of 13 companies known as Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) spoke out on Monday about the progresses they made in promoting investments in carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). OGCI said it is ready to make investments. These, though, …
“We will not be dinosaurs,” –said Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total,-“We’re going to be the energy company of the future, I’m convinced.” On Monday few blocks away from the UN headquarter in New York, where 66 countries signed their intent …
Carlos Ghosn, former Nissan boss, has agreed on 23 September, 2019 to pay a fee of $1 million to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to settle the civil allegation of concealing compensation received from Nissan. Mr. Ghosn was arrested …
“Green-friendly ETFs hold shares in groups with coal operations” said Financial Times on September 19, 2019. The case for closer oversight of the ESG fund industry is the conclusion of the analysis conducted by the environmental research group InfluenceMap on …
The FT has launched on Wednesday September 18, 2019 a new agenda under the simbolic title “Capitalism. Time for a reset.” The famous FT editorialist Martin Wolf has written an extreemely interesting article on how ‘rentier capitalism‘ is destroying the …
According to the FT article by Robert Harding as of September 12, 2019, there is an economic case for fighting pollution to boost productivity, since the evidence increasingly suggests that particulates do not just penetrate the heart and lungs but also …
Thursday, August 29th was the deadline for the claims of the longest financial scandal in the UK. We are talking about the selling of shadowy payments protection insurance (PPI) on loans, credit cards and mortgages that occurred between mid 90s and 2010, …
Activist fund Elliott Management Corp acquired a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T Inc, making AT&T one of the three largest companies after Apple and Microsoft to be targeted by activist shareholders. AT&T acquired Time Warner in 2018, gaining control of HBO and CNN, and DirecTV in 2015 among the others, and appears …
Controversial news coming from the White House: Trump administration has taken another step back for US environmental regulations. Indeed, it proposed to remove the limits and rules for companies which are required to prevent methane leaks during drilling operations for …
On August 26, 2019, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay USD 572 million in Oklahoma, the US, to resolve allegations of fraudulently downplaying the hazards and overemphasizing the benefits of opioids. According to the ruling from a US County …
As the Financial Times points out in the article dated August 4, 2019, climate change is not anymore just a mere ethical issue concerning our planet health, but also as the call for socially responsible investments.   “Rise of electric vehicles makes solar …
A report from Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found out recently that BlackRock lost $6.5tn by betting on oil companies and missing out growth in clean energy investment. According to the IEFA report, BlackRock ignored “the serious financial risk …
A US$ 500m ETF run by Vanguard that claims in its marketing material to specifically exclude “fossil fuel” stocks invest in several companies in the oil and gas industry, including oil services company Schlumberger, pipeline company Kinder Morgan and crude oil …
A Missouri jury on Thursday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who alleged the company’s talc-based products, including its baby powder, contain asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer.   For further information, …
The environmental group that started Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal has recently published a research that shows that even the newest diesel vehicles fail to meet EU standards in real-world driving conditions. Financial Times and major news provider reported the news today, …
The University of Edinburgh is dumping all its fossil fuel investments, making it the largest UK university endowment fund to be completely free of all coal, oil and gas holdings. Following this decision, the University of Edinburgh will sell its …
NY City has set a goal of divesting New York’s $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years in what NYC officials say would be “among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date”. Currently, New …
GlaxoSmithKline still has questions to answer over bribery case in China. In 2013 Chinese police accused dozens of GSK employees, including Mark Reilly, its former China CEO, of fraudulent practices and briberies worth billions of dollars to doctors and officials …
At least 124 people have reportedly been killed during a fire at a warehouse of Tazreen Fashion in Bangladesh. According to International Labor Rights Forum, the factory had no emergency exits and workers were either burnt alive or died when …