Digital library on sustainable finance

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TITLE Implementing the TCFD recommendations: a guide for asset owners
AUTHOR Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
PUBLISHED May 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary


Asset owners will need high-quality and timely data on climate-related risks to help guide them through the energy transition. The FSB Taskforce on Climate–Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) provide a global framework to translate non-financial information into financial metrics. The TCFD has been endorsed by over 238 companies, including 150 financial institutions representing a combined market capitalisation of over US$6 trillion and US$81.7 trillion assets under management. Yet, what would adopting the TCFD recommendations mean in practice for asset owners?

This publication provides technical guidance on:

  • actions for asset owners;
  • example of peer asset owner practice on implementing the TCFD recommendations and reducing exposure to climate risk;
  • questions to engage consultants or fund managers on TCFD;
  • climate scenarios.

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TITLE The Green Bond
AUTHOR Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB)
PUBLISHED May 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This paper gives an overview of the current developments in the Green Bond Market. Following an unbridled winter, the green bond market shifted towards a more tentative pattern of issuance growth through the spring, with brighter growth prospects emerging from some slightly overcast patches by April. The report's 2018 base-case issuance scenario is maintained at USD 175 bn for 2018, with the possibility to surprise to the upside once again and cross to USD 210 bn.

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TITLE Foundations of ESG Investing. Part 3: Integrating ESG into Passive Institutional Portfolios
AUTHOR MSCI
PUBLISHED May 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Part 3 of the research paper series focuses on how ESG can be integrated into passive allocations using MSCI ESG Ratings. While not indicative of future results, the MSCI ESG Ratings provided better risk-adjusted returns from August 2010 to December 2017 than the MSCI ACWI Index. MSCI used existing best-in-class selection-based index methodologies for the creation of hypothetical global and regional passive allocations. In the global and regional allocations, the authors found that ESG integration led to a reduction in risks and an increase in valuations compared to their respective parent index.

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TITLE Directive on Information relating to Corporate Governance
AUTHOR SIX Exchange
PUBLISHED May 2018
LANGUAGES DE  EN 
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Summary

Under the Federal Act on Financial Market Infrastructures and Market Conduct in Securities and Derivatives Trading (FMIA), the Regulatory Board determines what information needs to be published so that investors are able to evaluate the characteristics of securities and the quality of issuers. Internationally recognised standards are taken into account (Art. 35 para. 2 FMIA). The information to be published includes details on the management and control mechanisms at the highest corporate level of the issuer (Corporate Governance).

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TITLE Bedeutung und Stellenwert der OECD-Leitsätze für multinationale Unternehmen in der Schweiz
AUTHOR Herbert Winistörfer, Claus-Heinrich Daub, Seta Thakur, Verena Berger, Marie-Christin Weber
PUBLISHED May 2018
LANGUAGES DE  FR  EN 
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Summary

Um ihrer gesellschaftlichen Verantwortung nachzukommen und Erwartungen von Anspruchsgruppen zu erfüllen, beziehen sich Unternehmen häufig auf international akzeptierte und legitimierte CSR-Standards. Unter diesen Standards nehmen die OECD-Leitsätze für multinationale Unternehmen eine besondere Stellung ein. Durch die nationalen Kontaktpunkte (NKP) - in der Schweiz das Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft (SECO) -  und ein entsprechendes Beschwerdeverfahren, verfügen die Leitsätze über eine einzigartige hoheitliche Komponente.

Mit der nachfolgenden Studie wollen das SECO sowie die DEZA den Stellenwert der OECD-Leitsätze und des NKPs für Schweizer Unternehmen ermitteln. Zugleich wurden Informationen über den Bedarf an Unterstützung für Unternehmen bei der Umsetzung der OECD-Leitsätze erhoben.

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OECD_Leitsätze_Brochure_DE (pdf 3.9 MB)
OECD_Principes_Directeurs_Guide_FR (pdf 9.3 MB)
OECD_Guidelines_Brochure_EN (pdf 4.8 MB)
TITLE Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study 2018
AUTHOR Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF)
PUBLISHED May 2018
LANGUAGES DE  FR  EN 
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Summary

This is the first time Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) provides its own comprehensive market overview of sustainable investments in Switzerland. The study highlights the growing importance of sustainability within the Swiss financial community and sheds more light on the background and drivers for this development.The market study also includes case studies from two large asset owners (Migros Pension Fund and Geneva Cantonal Pension Fund CPEG), interviews from the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF), and a comprehensive chapter on regulatory issues applying to Switzerland as well as globally. 

The full report is available in English and summaries in German and French.

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TITLE How to invest in the low-carbon economy: an institutional investor's guide
AUTHOR Principles for Responsible Investsment (PRI)
PUBLISHED May 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This guide highlights the investment strategies available to investors in their efforts to align their investment portfolios with a lower carbon, more climate-resilient economy. It is designed for investors that have developed (or are in the process of building) their climate-related policies and processes, and are moving to implement them (particularly, the implications for investment allocations).

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TITLE Water risks and financial market
AUTHOR South Pole
PUBLISHED May 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This study, developed by South Pole for the Swiss Government, explores the importance of water risks for the overall economy and the financial system and reviews the availability of data, models, tools and studies to assess the impacts of water risks on the real economy and the financial market .

In addition to the risk perspective, this study also explores, if there are alignment strategies, thus investment strategies aiming at contributing to international water goals or scientific findings on adequate use of water.

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Water_risks_and_financial_market_2018 (pdf 1.2 MB)
TITLE Connecting Finance to Natural Capital: a supplement to the natural capital protocol
AUTHOR UNEP FI, Natural Capital Coalition, Natural Capital alliance, VBDO
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This Supplement is based on the framework of the Natural Capital Protocol, a standard decision-making process written for business, made up of four stages covering ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘what next’. This document builds on the Protocol, providing sectorspecific guidance to make the Protocol more applicable and practical for financial institutions. It provides a framework for financial institutions to assess the natural capital impacts and dependencies of the entities and portfolios that they support. These impacts and dependencies represent an indirect relationship to natural capital on the part of the financial institution.

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TITLE Recommendations on climate risks to the Swiss National Bank
AUTHOR Klima-Allianz Schweiz
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES DE  EN 
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Summary

The NGO-coalition Klima-Allianz makes nine recommendations to the Swiss national bank to take into account the Paris agreement in its investment policies. They argue that it is in the interests of both the state and the SNB to analyse the impact of climate change on the security, return and liquidity of the SNB's investments in an integrated manner and to implement the necessary measures.

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TITLE The European Commission Action Plan: An assessment of the reform areas for PRI signatories
AUTHOR Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

On 7 March 2018, the European Commission released an action plan for financing sustainable growth. The plan is a response to recommendations from the High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Sustainable Finance, which were submitted to the Commission on 31 January 2018. Nine PRI signatories were members of the HLEG. The PRI served as an Observer, providing technical input on many of the recommendations. This report provides an initial assessment of the 10 reform areas outlined in the action plan. The Commission has committed to a timeline for implementation of the reforms, with the first legislative proposals to be published in May 2018. Working towards a sustainable financial system is consistent with the PRI’s Blueprint and Mission. The PRI warmly welcomes the action plan and will continue to work with signatories and the European Commission to support its delivery.

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TITLE Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018
AUTHOR UNEP, Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre & Bloomberg New Energy Finance
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The report finds that falling costs for solar electricity, and to some extent wind power, is continuing to drive deployment. Solar power rose to record prominence in 2017, as the world installed 98 gigawatts of new solar power projects, more than the net additions of coal, gas and nuclear plants put together. The solar build-out represented 38% of all the net new generating capacity added (renewable, fossil fuel and nuclear) last year. China accounted for just over half of that new global solar capacity in 2017, and it accounted for 45% of the $279.8 billion committed worldwide to all renewables (excluding large hydro-electric projects).

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TITLE Asset owner strategy guide: How to craft an investment strategy
AUTHOR Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The guide highlights why asset owners should craft a clear and explicit investment strategy. There are a number of financial and sociological trends that have the potential to impact investment portfolios. In order to properly assess current trends such as climate change market volatility, social inequality and cybersecurity, asset owners need to understand their position in the market and the view for the future that they have of their organisation This includes their investment approach, an awareness of how the asset owner industry could change in years to come and how they will interact with their beneficiaries. The guidance also includes recommendations for successfully implementing a strategy, focusing, amongst other considerations, on how to gain support from the board and senior management before communicating the strategy across the organisation.

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TITLE Asset owner guide: Enhancing manager selection with ESG insight
AUTHOR Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The PRI has published a guide to assist asset owners with ESG-related issues in the investment manager selection, appointment and monitoring process. Among others, this new document makes a fundamental point around manager selection: If there is no cultural fit and understanding of ESG factors between an asset owner and a potential manager, there is little fundament to establish a long-term investment relationship. The guidance covers a number of critical areas including portfolio construction, engagement and voting, and reporting, in addition to looking at ESG scoring tools, highlighting considerations that asset owners should note when selecting managers. The guide is not meant to espouse a “one-size-fits-all approach;”, but focuses on the interactions between asset owners and investment managers, and examines how ESG considerations can be implemented during the manager selection process. 

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TITLE Making Waves: Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development
AUTHOR UN Environment Inquiry
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The final report of the UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System cautions that current financial flows are still nowhere near enough to deliver the trillions of dollars needed each year to finance the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. National action is critical, and there are a growing number of ambitious roadmaps on sustainable finance. Each is important, but some catalyze broader international action. For example, China’s new Guidelines for Establishing a Green Financial System are the world’s most comprehensive set of national commitments, covering priorities across banking, capital markets and insurance. Country-specific work will increasingly involve other parts of the United Nations system, partly catalyzed by the support provided by the Inquiry to the UN Secretary-General’s leadership in championing sustainable finance.

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TITLE The European Commission Action Plan - financing sustainable growth: assessment of the reform areas for PRI signatories
AUTHOR Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Nine PRI signatories were members of the HLEG. The PRI served as an Observer, providing technical input on many of the recommendations. This report provides an initial assessment of the 10 reform areas outlined in the action plan. The Commission has committed to a timeline for implementation of the reforms, with the first legislative proposals to be published in May 2018.

Link

TITLE Switzerland's climate policy: Implementation of the Paris Agreement
AUTHOR Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES DE  FR  IT  EN 
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Summary

The publication provides an overview of the current state of climate policy. The primary pillars of the Paris Agreement are presented and important concepts such as the global CO2 budget and climate neutrality are discussed. The publication highlights Switzerland's action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and addresses the vulnerability of the country under continuing global warming. With the Paris Agreement climate-friendly investments and support of developing countries particularly exposed to climate change gain in importance. 

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TITLE Switzerland's climate policy: Implementation of the Paris Agreement
AUTHOR Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES DE  FR  IT 
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Summary

The publication provides an overview of the current state of climate policy. The primary pillars of the Paris Agreement are presented and important concepts such as the global CO2 budget and climate neutrality are discussed. The publication highlights Switzerland's action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and addresses the vulnerability of the country under continuing global warming. With the Paris Agreement climate-friendly investments and support of developing countries particularly exposed to climate change gain in importance.

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TITLE Extending Our Horizons. Assessing credit risk and opportunity in a changin climate: Outputs of a workin groups of 16 banks piloting the TCFD Recommendations.
AUTHOR UNEP Finance Initiative & Oliver Wyman
PUBLISHED Apr 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

PART 1: Transition-related risks & opportunities

This report is the result of a collaboration of sixteen of the world’s leading banks under the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) to pilot the recommendations published by the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Through this collaboration, banks set out to develop and test a scenario-based approach for assessing the potential impact of climate change on their corporate lending portfolios as recommended by the TCFD. 

Download

EXTENDING-OUR-HORIZONS (pdf 1.3 MB)
TITLE Uncharted waters - How can companies use financial accounting standards to deliver on the Task Force on Climaterelated Financial Disclosures’ recommendations?
AUTHOR Climate Disclosure Standards Board
PUBLISHED Mar 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The paper aims to continue engaging relevant organizations in a discussion about the similarities between the TCFD recommendations and some of the standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), to bring more clarity about how sustainability and financial reporting can be connected. It comes out as the European Commission calls for the review of current International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to assess their potential impact on sustainable investment, as outlined in the recent Action Plan on Sustainable Finance.

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TITLE Women on Boards and the Human Capital Connection
AUTHOR MSCI
PUBLISHED Mar 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This study tries to answer the question whether having multiple women on a board of directors translates into better financial performance. The findings suggest that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Companies with both a more diverse board and stronger talent management practices enjoyed higher growth in employee productivity compared to companies with a diverse board only and to companies with strong talent management practices only. All of these groups outperformed companies with both mostly male boards and lagging talent management practices; those companies had the lowest rates of employee productivity growth, relative to industry peers.

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TITLE Labor Lens Investing
AUTHOR Boundless Impact Investing
PUBLISHED Mar 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This paper describes a promising new effort to fight global labor exploitation using financing strategies to advance and expand the global trend toward fair labor practices. It focuses on private market investment innovations and opportunities, where investors interested in improving global labor conditions while achieving positive financial results are most likely to meet their objectives. Labor Lens Investing is an investment approach that uses investors’ leverage through supply chains to advance protections of internationally recognized labor rights.

This paper is meant to ground prospective Labor Lens investors in an understanding of market conditions, to show them examples of what is already being done, to inform them about issues they should consider, and to suggest ways that Labor Lens Investing can progress from an emerging niche to a fruitful investment option for mainstream investors.

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TITLE European Commission Action Plan on Sustainable Finance - Factsheet
AUTHOR European Commission
PUBLISHED Mar 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The European Commission presented an action plan on how to finance sustainable growth on March 8, containing wide-ranging suggestions on how to make the European financial centre more sustainable. According to Vladis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, this plan is meant to redirect capital flows towards a more sustainable economy, to integrate sustainability into risk management and to foster transparency and long-term investment. Against the EU target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% until 2030, the EU has to mobilise €180 billion a year for the energy and transport sector alone.

The Action Plan is based on the recommendations of the High-Level Expert Group, published in January 2018. Industry and civil actors alike lauded it the “most ambitious sustainable finance package released by a major economic area so far”.

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TITLE Better Leadership Better world - Women Leading for Global Goals
AUTHOR Business and Sustainable Development Commission
PUBLISHED Mar 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The research identified the six leadership competencies critical to success in developing business opportunities in line with the Global Goals. These are long-term thinking, innovation, collaboration, transparency, environmental management, and social inclusiveness. Existing research shows that these competencies are most prevalent in gender-balanced teams that include women in leadership roles. One of the fastest ways to achieve the global goals is through the financial inclusion of women, by giving access to finance, opening up new market opportunities and support for the SDGs that touch on poverty, clean water, sanitation, education, health, and well-being.

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TITLE Insights from the Reporting Exchange: ESG reporting trends
AUTHOR The Reporting Exchange
PUBLISHED Mar 2018
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

In 2017, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in partnership with the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and Ecodesk, launched the Reporting Exchange. This free online platform was designed to help business navigate the often-confusing world of corporate reporting.

The clear trend that emerges is that environmental topics are the most prevalent reporting requirements, while governance topics have been the least. More specifically, 69% of the reporting requirements cataloged by the Reporting Exchange require disclosure on environmental topics, in comparison to 49% and 30% for social and governance topics, respectively. The analysis als shows the need to work towards the alignment and harmonization of sustainability reporting, focusing on both the national and international level.

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