Thematic Studies


Published Author   Title 
May 2018 PRI Implementing the TCFD recommendations: a guide for asset owners

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.
May 2018 MSCI Research FOUNDATIONS OF ESG INVESTING - Part 2: Integrating ESG into Benchmarks
  In the second part of our "Foundations of ESG Investing" paper, the authors test whether two ESG indices can be used as benchmarks, both for the total portfolio and individual allocations. They choose the MSCI ESG Leaders Index – a "best-in-class" approach that selects index constituents with strong ESG ratings – and the MSCI ESG Universal Index – a re-weighting methodology that relies on ESG ratings and changes in ESG ratings for illustration. Specifically, the report examines whether the two indices met four key tests for benchmarks and how their risk-adjusted returns, diversification and investment opportunities compared to their parent cap-weighted indices. While not indicative of future performance, these ESG indices enhanced risk reduction and led to better risk-adjusted returns during our study period.
April 2018 PRI The European Commission Action Plan - financing sustainable growth: assessment of the reform areas for PRI signatories
  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.
April 2018 UN Environment Inquiry Making Waves: Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development
  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.
April 2018 PRI Asset owner guide: Enhancing manager selection with ESG insight

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. 

April 2018 PRI Asset owner strategy guide: How to craft an investment strategy

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.

April 2018 Veronika Stolbovaa, Irene Monasteroloc & Stefano Battistona A Financial Macro-Network Approach to Climate Policy Evaluation
  The academic authors develop a methodology based on financial networks, which allows for analyzing the transmission of positive or negative shocks throughout the economy, induced by the introduction of specific climate policies. They apply the methodology to empirical data of the Euro Area to identify the feedback loops between the financial sector and the real economy. By focusing on climate policy-induced shocks that affect directly either the banking sector or non-financial firms, we analyze the reinforcing feedback loops that could amplify the effects of shocks on the financial sector and then cascade on the real economy. Our analysis helps to understand the conditions for virtuous or vicious cycles to arise in the climate-finance nexus and to provide a comprehensive assessment of the economic impact of climate policies.
April 2018 UNEP, Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre & Bloomberg New Energy Finance Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018
  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).
March 2018 Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, & Honor The Earth Banking on Climate Change - FOSSIL FUEL FINANCE REPORT CARD 2018

The Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Honor The Earth reveal that in spite of the urgent climate crisis, 2017 was a year of backsliding by private banks. The report, 'Banking on Climate Change 2018', is the ninth annual report ranking bank policies and practices related to the financing of some of the most carbon-intensive, financially risky and environmentally destructive fossil fuel sectors. The report also details the negative impacts of these sectors on human rights, Indigenous rights and community health and well-being.

Tracking 36 of the world’s biggest banks, the report finds that the institutions funneled USD 115 billion into extreme fossil fuels in 2017, an increase of 11% from 2016. The single biggest driver of the increase in financing came from the tar sands sector, where financing grew by 111% from 2016 to 2017. The massive hike in bank support for tar sands to nearly USD 47 billion, led tar sands to overtake coal power as the most heavily funded extreme energy sector.


This discussion paper makes a proposal for how TPI might assess the carbon performance of oil and gas producers. Its central premise is that oil and gas producers are engaged in primary energy supply and therefore, that the appropriate measure of activity for the sector is energy production and that the appropriate measure of carbon performance is the lifecycle carbon intensity of primary energy supply. Using recent disclosures from Shell, Total and Petrobras, this report tests the proposed measure of carbon performance and identifies the key technical and other issues to be considered in the application of this measure. It demonstrates that:

  • It is possible to define low-carbon transition pathways for primary energy production that are consistent with the Paris Agreement NDCs or pledges, and limiting warming of the planet to 2 Degrees;
  • An appropriate low-carbon transition pathway for oil and gas producers is measured in terms of companies’ lifecycle carbon emissions per unit of energy supplied; and
  • It is possible to assess companies against these transition pathways, using data on their current lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and on their future ambitions, objectives and targets.
March 2018 wbcsd Insights from the Reporting Exchange: Corporate governance and harmonization

Corporate governance and integrated reporting requirements need for further work on alignment and harmonization. To facilitate this work, researchers started looking for forms of harmonization in the sustainability landscape by exploring specific types of reporting on the platform.
In this paper, the Reporting Exchange uses the concept of harmonization in reporting to describe the development of better alignment in reporting components, terminologies and methods, and not the development of a single reporting provision. The paper highlights some of the examples of alignment, with the goal of understanding the potential drivers behind this alignment and suggest the lessons that could be applied to other fields.

  Many lessons have been learned through the issuance of the first emerging economy sovereign green bond in Fiji, which can be applied to future sovereign issuers. For an international issuance, there is a significant appetite for green bonds from both environmental, social and governance-focused (ESG) investors, and institutional investors with mandates to have a minimum percentage of their portfolio meeting ESG standards. But it should be remembered that international sovereign issuances require a significantly greater effort in terms of regulatory compliance compared to that of a domestic issuance. The primary global guidance comes from the International Capital Markets Association which produced the Green Bond Principles, a set of voluntary process guidelines intended for broad market use, developed by a range of investment and multilateral banks, including the World Bank and IFC. The Green Bond Principles set the foundations for the elements to be incorporated within a Green Bond Policy Framework—a critical document to give credibility to a green bond.
March 2018 GIIN Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing: Reshaping Financial Markets
  The roadmap presents a  vision for more inclusive and sustainable financial markets and articulates a plan for impact investing to lead progress toward this future. Specifically, the Roadmap details six categories of action to drive progress toward the vision. For each category, the Roadmap describes specific actions needed, which stakeholders should lead on these actions, and a timeframe. Enacting the plan will require collective action by leaders from the entire impact investing ecosystem.
March 2018 European Commission Declaration of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles

The international community has recently reaffirmed its strong commitment to conserve and sustainably use the ocean and its resources and to reduce the adverse impacts of land-based activities. Investment capital, both public and private, is fundamental to unlocking a sustainable approach to the development of the Blue Economy. In this spirit, the organisations commit to applying the 14 sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles.

The Principles are intended to complement existing frameworks governing responsible investment in aspects of the Blue Economy. They are expressly intended to further the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially those which contribute to the management of the ocean, in particular Goal 14 (“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”). They are also intended to be compliant with IFC Performance Standards and EIB Environmental and Social Principles and Standards.

March 2018 The Reporting Exchange Insights from the Reporting Exchange: ESG reporting trends

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.

March 2018 Business and Sustainable Development Commission Better Leadership Better world - Women Leading for Global Goals

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.

March 2018 European Commission European Commission Action Plan on Sustainable FInance -  Factsheet

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”.

March 2018 Boundless Impact Investing Labor Lens Investing

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.

March 2018 MSCI Research Women on Boards and the Human Capital Connection
  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.
March 2018 Climate Disclosure Standards Board Uncharted waters - How can companies use financial accounting standards to deliver on the Task Force on Climaterelated Financial Disclosures’ recommendations?
  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
February 2018 FNG & Borderstep Institut für Innovation und Nachhaltigkeit Leitfaden zur Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung von Start-ups: Ein Praxistool für Gründerteams, Investoren und Fördermittelgeber
  The guideline gives start-up founders, investors and other users an indication regarding the sustainability potential of start-ups. Clear criteria and a transparent evaluation will enable the most objective and transparent verification of the sustainability potential. The evaluation provides a total value as well as a differentiated result of different sustainability dimensions. Also, the guide offers contextual adaptability of the scoring scheme (e.g., for different sectors and objectives), diversity and differentiation in use, and a positive cost-benefit ratio for all stakeholders
February 2018 Eurosif & Transparent European SRI Transparency Code 4.0

The European SRI Transparency Code (the Code) focuses on SRI funds distributed publicly in Europe and is designed to cover a range of assets classes, such as equity and fixed income.
In the reviewed version, applications to sign up to the Code will be in line with key elements of the recommendations made by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Article 173 of the French TECV Act and the latest recommendations made by the High-Level Group of Experts on Sustainable Finance (HLEG) in its final report published in January 2018. 

February 2018 PRI A practical guide to active ownership in listed equity
  Active ownership is generally regarded as one of the most effective mechanisms to reduce risks, maximise returns and have a positive impact on society and the environment – for passive and active investors. This publication provides an overview of the steps investors should consider to develop their active ownership policies and practices, with the ultimate goal of understanding corporate ESG risks and opportunities, defining their expectation for higher business performance and raising standards in the listed equity market. The aim of the guide is to offer all PRI signatories with practical tools, global best practices and references to be co-owners of investee companies and catalysts of change when needed. 
February 2018 ShareAction UK Strategy, Free Cash Flow, and Climate Uncertainty: Where Now for the Integrated Oil Sector?

This report analyses how structural trends may disrupt future oil demand and explains possible implications for publicly-listed oil companies and their investors. This report concludes with three actions that investors should consider to adapt to this new environment:

  1. Ask management teams to commit to returning shareholder capital in lieu of investing in new hydrocarbon growth;
  2. Vote against scrip dividend options in 2018 to increase capital returns to shareholders and;
  3. Adapt executive remuneration to prioritise returns and profitability over hydrocarbon production growth.

The research suggests shareholders should be requesting cash returns from outperforming oil and gas companies, instead of seeing it invested into economically unsound growth during a period of disruptive change.

February 2018 Sustainalytics 10 for 2018: ESG Risks on the Horizon

The report examines critical ESG risks in 10 sectors, which are classified under four broad themes, including: Water Management, Climate Change, Stakeholder Governance and Consumer Protection. Based on this analysis, many of these issues will potentially reach a tipping point and might pose a threat to shareholder value in the year ahead. For every theme the study contains at least one example from industry players. This story selections are meant to provoke new thinking about risk and sector attractiveness, particularly over the long run.

February 2018 PRI Politique d'Investissement : Processus & Pratiques / Guide à l'Usage des Investisseurs Institutionnels
  This guide provides a framework for Asset Owners who appoint and monitor external managers to assess whether their managers’ investment policies and processes are consistent with their ESG expectations. It aims to support them in their dialogues with managers so that they gain a clear understanding of the ESG risks and opportunities affecting their portfolios and how their managers are addressing them. This publication is in French
January 2018 High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG) Financing a Sustainable European Economy - Final Report

In this final report, the HLEG makes eight recommendations to be considered by the Commission to improve the contribution of the financial system to sustainable and inclusive growth. Those are:

  1. establishing an EU sustainability taxonomy, starting with climate mitigation;
  2. clarifying investor duties to extend the time horizons of investment and bring greater focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions;
  3. upgrading disclosures to make sustainability opportunities and risks transparent;
  4. empowering and connecting Europe’s citizens with sustainable finance issues;
  5. developing official European sustainability standards for some financial assets, starting with green bonds;
  6. establishing ‘Sustainable Infrastructure Europe’ to deploy development capacity in EU member states for infrastructure necessary for a more sustainable economy;
  7. reforming governance and leadership of companies to build sustainable finance competencies;
  8. and integrating sustainability firmly in the governance of financial institutions as well as in financial supervision.

The Commission will privide its final action plan in March 2018.

January 2018 UBS Mobilizing private wealth for public good
  The UBS whitepaper constitutes a blueprint for directing private capital towards the SDGs. It points out the specific SDGs where private wealth can play a larger role, which are zero hunger; quality education; good health and well being; affordable and clean energy; industry, innovation and infrastructure; and climate action. Yet, in order to attract the needed investment the transparency of data ought to be increased to facilitate the identification of investment opportunities.
January 2018 OECD Making Blended Finance Work for the Sustainable Development Goals
  The report provides a thorough assessment of the current state and priorities for blended finance for achieving the SDGs. It argues that while blending has potential to scale up commercial finance, its deployment by the development finance community needs to be based on a common framing and principles, as well as additional evidence and analysis. Therefore, the report describes concepts and definitions, lays out the main actors and instruments and shares learnings from past experiences.
Januar 2018 Sustainalytics  Understanding ESG Incidents: Key Lessons for Investors

Based on analysis of over 29,000 incidents that took place from 2014 to 2016, the report identifies prominent incident categories, where incidents are occurring, and which industries are most involved. The report also considers how incident analysis can be integrated into portfolio strategy, including industry tilts, beta analysis and security selection, as well as corporate engagement processes.

Sustainalytics’ incident collection framework covers 45 incident categories and 60,000 sources of information worldwide, and provides comprehensive insight into company activities that generate undesirable social or environmental effects. The key findings from Sustainalytics’ report include:

  • Quality and safety and business ethics are the two most common ESG incident types, accounting for 30 percent of all incidents;
  • The banking industry accounts for 19 percent of all incidents, more than twice the amount of the next most exposed industry (food products);
  • Adjusting for differences in industry size, the automobile industry is the most incident prone, and real estate is the least; and
  • Over 40 percent of incidents occur in the U.S., the highest concentration of any country.
January 2018 Blended Finance Taskforce Better Finance, Better World

The flagship report of the Blended Finance Taskforce created by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission presents the perspective of the private sector towards Blended Finance. Still awaiting feedback from stakeholders until mid-March 2018, it will finalise a concrete action plan by late April 2018. Instead, if offers five key take aways:

1. Momentum is building around the $50+ billion blended finance market.

2. There is a window of opportunity for private institutional investors.

3. The MDBs and DFIs will be critical to scaling the blended finance market and can do so by setting ambitious targets to mobilise external private finance.

4. Developing countries which generate high quality infrastructure assets will not be short of financing.

5. There is a major opportunity for the world to increase its underlying rate of growth, deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (including climate) and strengthen long-term returns for savers.

January 2018 Convergence Who is the private sector? Key considerations for mobilizing institutional capital through blended finance
  The Blended Finance Taskforce commissioned Convergence to support in segmenting the private sector ecosystem for getting a better understanding how to drive more institutional investment towards the Global Goals in developing countries. This resulting report provides ananalysis of the investment motivations, requirements, and constraints of six segments of institutional investors: I) pension funds, ii) insurance companies, iii) sovereign wealth funds, iv) commercial banks and investment banks, v) private equity firms, and vi) asset/wealth managers. Blended finance structures must create assets that fit within the mandates, constraints, and risk-adjusted return preferences of each institutional investor segment.
January 2018 Climat Policy Initiative Blended Finance in Clean Energy: Experiences and Opportunities
  This Climate Policy Initiative report, comissioned by the Blended Finance Task Force, analyses opportunities where blended finance can mobilise large scale private capital for clean energy. It evaluates, by geography and clean energy sector, the most significant opportunities for impact on both climate change and energy access per dollar invested; the risks and barriers that prevent investment; and how blended finance could be deployed to address investor needs. The report finds the greatest opportunities for blended finance in clean energy are in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and East Asia, with a subset of eight countries alone offering more than USD 360bn in investment potential in clean energy by 2030.
January 2018 KOIS Invest Financing Sustainable Land Use - Unlocking business opportunities in sustainable land use with blended finance
  This KOIS Invest report, comissioned by the Blended Finance Task Force, finds that private investment is not at the scale needed to tackle the sustainable land use (SLU) that comes with growing demand for food and energy. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the way in which (i) private sector investors view investment opportunities in SLU and how (ii) public and philanthropic investors engage to catalyse private capital in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The most common refrain in SLU is the lack of ‘investable’ project opportunities, even though they exist, in the form of early-stage SLU venture capital investments. To make the risk level more palatable to investors, collaboration with public finance institutions - a blended finance approach - is essential.
January 2018 Moxie Future Understanding Female Investors - Women using capital to change the world
  Moxie future has launched the first survey specialising on the responsible investment behaviour of women and the barriers they face. The survey was answered by 2536 women in Australia, China, Germany, UK and US, whereof respondents from China showed the highest interest in responsible investing. Also, 83% care about where their money is invested, 69% feel a sense of urgency to invest responsibly, and 63% are motivated to be responsible investors.
December 2017 Norwegian Ministry of Finance & Inflection Point Capital Management Mapping of global responsible investment best practices
  This guidance book provides a broad overview of global best practices of responsible investment for institutional asset owners. The source material for this report is drawn from interviews with a range of institutional investors globally as well as a range of RI experts from a broad selection of countries both developed and emerging. With a deeper understanding of ESG risks, institutional investors are also beginning to appreciate the investment opportunities presented by the emergence of new industries, the transition to a more diversified, low carbon energy future, and the possible returns from those technologies and services coming to market to put the world on a pathway to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
December 2017 Climate-KIC Benchmarking the greenness of financial centres

In this first benchmarking, Climate-KIC, I4CE and PwC compare the financial centres of G7 countries: Frankfurt (Germany), London (United Kingdom), Milan (Italy), New York (United States), Paris (France), Tokyo (Japan) and Toronto (Canada). The main indicators were transparency of information; availability of green finance; green intensity; integrity of green finance; and the dynamics of the green financial centres. Though working with partial data only the report attempts to highlight the strong points of certain financial centres with respect to developing green finance. This first benchmark shows that green finance is currently traceable mainly through stock exchanges and notably via green bonds. A first conclusion is the need of diversifying green financial products and of developing their traceability and comparability at an international level. This concerns mainly green lending, private equity, insurance and green investment funds.

December 2017 Thun Group of Banks Paper on the Implications of UN Guiding Principles 13b & 17 in a Corporate and Investment Banking Context
  This paper builds on the requirements for sound due diligence as explained in the Thun Group of Banks' 2013 Discussion Paper and focuses on situations where banks may be directly linked to negative human rights impacts under UNGP 13b of the UNGPs. It further clarifies the interpretation of UNGP 13a, and specifies that the Paper was drafted from the perspective that financial institutions will generally be directly linked in the case of adverse human rights impacts (UNGP 13b). 
December 2017 PRI & Willis Towers Watson Responding to megatrends: investment institutions trend index 2017

This report outlines the key megatrends that are impacting the global economy, financial system and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over the past several months the authors have engaged with PRI signatories, market participants and other key stakeholders to gauge investor responses and strategies for dealing with current and future outcome volatility caused by the megatrends. The study finds that technological advances and environmental changes are seen as the most impactful global megatrends that represent major opportunities and threats to investment institutions. However it also shows that social inequality and global capital flow issues, including public sector deficits, emerge as rival concerns for senior global investment industry figures.

December 2017 PRI Investment Consultant Services Review
  The PRI has published this review with the aim to drive a deeper discussion in the industry about the inclusion of ESG issues as a standard part of consulting advice and which additional ESG integration investment services are needed. The report also sets out barriers to this practice and identifies preliminary interventions.
December 2017 UNEP Inquiry Accelerating Financial Centre Action on Sustainable Development
  The UNEP Inquiry has published this report with the official launching of the international network for Financial Centres for Sustainability. The report maps out the action areas, as well as strategic priorities which the group will address in the following years.
December 2017 ShareAction UK Banking on a Low-Carbon Future

This ShareAction UK report captures the current state of the European banking sector’s response to climate-related risk and the low-carbon transition. It aims to provide share- and bondholders in the 15 largest European banks with an overview of where the sector is positioned on climate-related risks and opportunities. The report is structured around four key areas:

  1. Climate-related risk assessment and management
  2. Low-carbon products and services
  3. Public policy engagement and collaboration with other actors on climate change
  4. Governance structures and strategy on climate-related risks and opportunities
November 2017 Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Evidence on the Financial Performance of Impact Investments
  The metastudy evaluates over a dozen studies and finds that investors who aim for market-rate returns can achieve them, given a diligent fund manager selection. First, market-rate returns are achievable in impact investing, with returns distributions among market-rate-seeking impact investments comparable to those of analogous conventional investments. Second, small funds do not necessarily underperform relative to their larger peers. And third, the impact investment market includes opportunities for investors with varied risk appetites, investment strategies, and target returns. The report is also meant to provide data for helping to standardize the impact measurement frameworks and therewith increasing the credibility of the industry.
November 2017 BlueOrchard SMEs and SDGs: Supporting small and medium enterprises to achieve the sustainable development goals
  Contributing to the growth and development of the SME sector has both important economic and social impacts, and these businesses, both formal and informal, have a critical role to play in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their impact is particularly strong through employment creation, providing significant opportunities for populations in developing countries. For this report, BlueOrchard conducted a survey on a sample of financial institutions (FIs) lending to SMEs across different regions with the objective to identify differences and commonalities of SME markets across various countries and the needed improvements in terms of services and financing for SMEs in emerging and frontier markets.
November 2017 FERI Institute & ISS Ethix Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy: How it impacts Investors and the Sectors they invest in
  This report, launched at COP23 in Bonn, intends to give an overview of current discussions in this area, drivers of the transition and potential pathways for actively managing it from the perspective of a financial institution. It also tries to address urgent and legitimate questions on behalf of private and institutional investors, regarding potential investment risks and opportunities related to the evolving “low carbon transition process”.
November 2013 SSE Initiative How Stock Exchanges can Grow Green Finance

The growth of green finance depends on both promoting green finance products as well as greening mainstream financial markets. A green finance action plan is offered to guide stock exchanges in the implementation of green finance strategies. This voluntary action plan provides exchanges with a checklist of 12 action points within 4 action areas. It can be used as a self-assessment tool to identify areas where stock exchanges can initiate or expand their activities on green finance. Real world examples are provided for each action item to assist with implementation. 

November 2017 PRI Managing ESG risk in the supply chains of private companies and assets

To help investors engage companies on this issue, the PRI has released this guidance, which aims to empower private equity, infrastructure and real estate investors to improve the risk profile of their portfolios and maximise their returns by promoting effective management of ESG risks in the supply chains of their portfolio companies. Considering ESG risk in the supply chain of investee companies can be a daunting task, particularly in private markets where company capacity to manage supply chains, transparency and disclosure may be limited. This guide provides initial steps investors can take to assess and manage supply chain risk.

November 2017 UNEP Inquiry & World Bank Roadmap for a Sustainable Financial System
  The objective of this Roadmap is to propose an integrated approach that can be used by all financial sector stakeholders—both public and private—to accelerate the transformation toward a sustainable financial system. This approach can bring policy cohesiveness across ministries, central banks, financial regulators, and private financial sector participants to focus efforts. The ultimate vision that the Roadmap seeks to reach is one of a financial system that integrates sustainability considerations into its operations, including the full costing of positive and negative externalities that sustainability implies, leading to a reorientation of the flow of resources toward more inclusive and sustainable activities.
November 2017 Focusing Capital on the Long Term Moving Beyond Quarterly Guidance: A Relic of the Past
  Quarterly reporting remains essential in providing investors with the transparency they need and in keeping management teams accountable for their performance. On the other hand, consensus earnings estimates will continue to be a feature of markets regardless of what companies choose to disclose. If companies do not issue guidance, a mismatch between reported earnings and consensus indicates an inaccurate forecast rather than an earnings “miss.” This paper is aimed not at reporting or consensus estimates, but at the issuance of quarterly earnings guidance alone.
November 2017 IFC Creating Markets for Climate Business: An IFC Climate Investment Opportunities Report
  This report provides information for investors, banks and companies about the most attractive climate investment opportunities, while offering governments a set of best practice policies and measures that have been proven to attract private investment. Engaging the private sector in climate-smart investments will be essential to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
November 2017 Responsible Investor Aligning the UN SDGs with investment

This ESG Magazine Issue 9 looks at why and how companies, investors and related bodies are already starting to play their part in promoting the SDGs. It also looks at how a selection of the goals can fit clearly into the risk/return profiles of institutional investors, according to market practitioners. Governments could help enormously here by making SDG goal targets part of public procurement programmes where feasible: that would be a direct financial signal to investors. There is still a very real danger that the SDGs could become the ultimate catch-all for greenwashing – SDG-washing if you like – whereby every business and finance activity is hitched, however tenuously, to a goal.

October 2017 PRI, UNEP-FI & Global Compact The SDG Investment Case

The PRI published the SDG Investment Case in partnership with PwC. The report makes the case for why the investment community should adopt an active role in achieving real world impact through implementation of the SDGs. It outlines why there is an expectation that investors will contribute to the SDGs and – crucially – why investors should want to contribute to them.  

  1. The SDGs represent the globally agreed world’s most pressing environmental, social and economic issues.
  2. Large institutional investors can protect their long-term financial performance.
  3. Achieving the SDGs will be a fundamental driver of economic growth.
  4. A significant proportion of currently external costs might at some point in the future be forced into companies’ accounts.
  5. Providing solutions to sustainability challenges offers attractive investment opportunities.
October 2017 oekom The Impact of Socially Responsible Investments on Companies – an Empirical Analysis
  The aim of the study is to identify the extent to which sustainable capital markets impact the way companies handle the social and environmental challenges of sustainability. A total of 3,660 companies worldwide from the oekom Rating Universe, were contacted and invited to take part in the online survey. 475 companies participated in the survey. Analysis of the survey responses served as the basis of the study.
October 2017 OECD Blended finance - Mobilising resources for sustainable development and climate action in developing countries
  The global community has spoken loud and clear: more resources must be mobilised to end extreme poverty and mitigate the effects of climate change. Blended finance - an approach to mix different forms of capital in support of development - is emerging as an important solution to help meet the ‘billions to trillions’ agenda. For development co-operation providers, the scaling up of this approach needs to be based on a good understanding of its potential in supporting developing countries meet the SDGs and Paris Agreement. This Policy Perspectives draws on recent OECD work, including the upcoming 2018 report Making Blended Finance Work for the SDGs, the draft OECD DAC Principles on Blended Finance and work under the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on measuring the amounts mobilised by official development finance interventions.
October 2017 UN Environment Inquiry  Green Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Countries
  This paper focuses on the actual and potential role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in achieving the transition to a low-carbon, just and sustainable world and, more specifically, FDI flows into developing countries. The particular implications of FDI on the environment – both potentially positive and negative – have given rise to an interest in the concept of “green FDI”. This publication attempts to aid the effort by taking stock of the current position and highlighting potential ways forward.
October 2017 European Banking Federation Towards a Green Finance Framework
  The objective of this report is to provide a general overview of how banks see their role and how they could further increase their support for sustainable economic growth. It takes stock of current banks’ activities in the Environmental and Climate Change (ECC) dimension of sustainability, the current environment in which banks operate, and the main obstacles to increasing banks’ involvement in financing environmentally sound investments. Furthermore, it suggests what needs to be done for these obstacles to be removed, and how the current regulatory and supervisory frameworks should be modified to reflect the ECC-related risks.
October 2017 PRI & Global Compact Coping, shifting, changing: the PRI, UN Global Compact launch report on market short-termism
  This report responds to feedback that investors could, and should, do more to support companies on recommendations pf the PRI and the GC, building on work by other organisations also tackling this problem. It presents three main strategies, each including recommendations focused on measures that companies can adopt to address the problems caused by market short-termism, and actions that investors can take to support companies in those efforts.
September 2017 PRI & Novethic  Investor action on climate change

The Principles for Responsible Investment has commissioned Novethic to assess:

  • The extent to which global investors see climate change as a long-term factor for investment;
  • Progress and leadership practices, including tools and activities underway;
  • Where greater attention is needed by investors and PRI in future.
Novethic’s analysis examines responses provided by signatory asset owners and asset managers to the 2017 PRI Reporting Framework, which signatories are required by PRI to complete each year. This research covers 1,248 respondents, divided into geographic regions.
September 2017 Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG) Nachhaltige Kapitalanlagen für institutionelle Investoren: eine Einstiegshilfe


This guidance document is addressed in particular to smaller and medium size (SME) institutional investors to gain an initial overview. For this purpose, motifs and market developments are illuminated, and investment strategies and -classes are analised. The introductory document can not and should not answer all questions related to sustainable investment, but, if possible, refer to existing publications and guides, as to look at selected topics in depth.
September 2017 CFA Institute & PRI ESG in Equity Analysis and Credit Analysis
  This document is a practical guidance for investors on the integration of ESG criteria. It describes the scope, issues of ESG materiality, and provides case studies to make the concept more tangible. While for equity analysis ESG criteria are included alongside factors such as value, size, momentum, growth, and volatility, in credit analysis they help to establish the creditworthiness of an issuer.
September 2017 Center for Universal Education at Brookings & Convergence Impact Bonds in Developing Countries: Early Learnings from the Field
  This report explores the lessons learned in the development of impact bonds in low- and middleincome countries, bringing together the findings from interviews with stakeholders and research into the impact bond space conducted by the authors over the course of a year. Furthermore the report includes a Deal Book with detailed fact sheets for all impact bonds in developing countries, featuring both the four contracted and 24 in design phases. 
September 2017 Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation & United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (UN MPTFO) Financing the UN Development System Pathways to Reposition for Agenda 2030
  This third annual report on financing the UNDS presents the major trends, opportunities and challenges around financing the UN. After providing an overview of the revenue, income sources and expenditure of the UNDS, 28 concise essays from senior colleagues outside and inside the UN system help to chart five possible pathways for the UN’s role in financing Agenda 2030. The report seeks to present the current financial state of play and to stimulate fresh thinking around priorities for financing reform.
September 2017 Asian Development Bank  CATALYZING GREEN FINANCE A Concept for Leveraging Blended Finance for Green Development
  Flows of large volumes of private sector finance are imperative for enabling the success of any attempt to mainstream green finance within existing institutional approaches. This outlines a path to leveraged and blended financing. Targeted linking of financing with performance and policy conditionalities to proactively lead to green results would leapfrog toward addressing the core problem of degrading ecosystems, constrained bankability, and discontinuous investment pipelines—adversly affecting the quality of growth. The Green Finance Catalyzing Facility (GFCF) described in this report was conceptualized as a result of this objective.
August 2017 Smith School of Enterprise & the Environment (SSEE), University of Oxford Ultra High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWIs), Private Banks, and Sustainable Finance
  The study finds UHNWI have considerable interest in sustainable finance, but are not satisfied with their private bankers’ related services. The working paper identifies five key barriers to further demand from UHNWI, namely measurement and reporting, a generational gap, skepticism over returns, importance versus other concerns, and inertia on the part of private bankers. However, the whitepaper identified that there is a common view in the market that demand for sustainable finance is likely to increase dramatically in the coming decade as more women and a younger generation inherit more wealth.
July 2017 PRI  Shifting perceptions: ESG, credit risk and ratings, Part 1: the state of play
  This report is the first in a three-part series by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) on its initiative to enhance the systematic and transparent consideration of ESG issues in the assessment of the creditworthiness of borrowers in fixed income (FI) markets. It provides a snapshot of the current state of play on ESG in credit risk analysis to better understand investors' and CRAs' actions, goals and expectations. Parts two and three will provide more in-depth coverage on existing challenges as well as future opportunities.
July 2017 The Economist Intelligence Unit THE ROAD TO ACTION - Financial regulation addressing climate change
  This follow-up report of "The cost of inaction: Recognising the value at risk from climate change"from July 2015 reviews issues concerning climate-related financial disclosure. In more detail, it investigates the mandates of ten different international, EU and UK financial institutions, all with very different focuses and mandates, to consider what role they play, or could play, in supporting climate-related financial risk reporting. The report also looks at the recommendations put forward by the TCFD and considers how climate-related financial disclosure can be set into the UN’s broader Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), rather than being siloed into green finance-related policies and regulations.
July 2017 High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (European Commission) Financing a Sustainable European Economy

The High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, established by the Commission, has published its first report setting out concrete steps to create a financial system that supports sustainable investments. The Commission will explore some key early recommendations to take further steps towards a low carbon, more resource-efficient and sustainable economy. The report is part of broader efforts to map out an EU strategy on sustainable finance, a priority action of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan.

Public consultation currently ongoing

For more information visit the group's website

July 2017


WWF White Paper: Sustainable Finance - Now or Never! (en) / (de) / (fr)

  In the latest position paper, WWF intends to compare the sustainable finance activities in Switzerland to the ones by its international peers. It finds that there is little difference between market actors and civil society organizations in how they approach sustainable finance in Switzerland and abroad. The major exception is that Switzerland lacks effective framework conditions that encourage sustainable finance. In particular, there is a lack of incentives and support provided to the Swiss National Bank, pension funds, insurers, and Switzerland’s financial market regulator for embedding sustainability thinking into their core business. Therefore, the paper suggests seven policy recommendations to improve the framework conditions for sustainable finance in Switzerland.
June 2017 Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
  The final report of the TCFD developed four widely adoptable recommendations on climaterelated financial disclosures that are applicable to organizations across sectors and jurisdictions . Those recommendations are grouped around the thematic areas governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets. The Task Force recommends that preparers of climate-related financial disclosures provide such disclosures in their mainstream (i.e., public) annual financial filings.
May 2017 Thomson Reuters and BSD Consulting Global 100 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Performance, New Pathways for Growth and Leadership
  This is the 6th climate change report from Thomson Reuters and BSD Consulting which identifies the 100 biggest listed GHG emitters and finds that most of them have potential pathways to decarbonisation.
May 2017 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Investment governance and the integration of environmental, social and governance factors
  The OECD issued this paper which presents the findings of an international stocktaking of the regulatory frameworks that apply to institutional investment in different jurisdictions and how these frameworks are interpreted by institutional investors in terms of their ability or responsibility to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their governance processes.
April 2017 Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and UN Global Compact Aligning Values: Why corporate pension plans should mirror their sponsors
  The PRI and the UN Global Compact issued this report as a call on CEOs to ensure their corporate pension plans adopt responsible investing policies and to highlight concrete benefits including improved investment performance, fulfilling fiduciary duty and managing regulatory risk and boosting corporate sponsor credibility.
April 2017 Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change (GIC) Transparency in Transition: A Guide to Investor Disclosure on Climate Change
  This report from the Investor Group on Climate Change (Australia/New Zealand) and the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) is thought to be the first institutional investor-specific guidance released in the wake of the TCFD draft.
March 2017 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors
  The OECD's paper “Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors” explains the application of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in the context of institutional investors.
January 2017 United Nations Environmental Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) The Principles for Positive Impact Finance - A Common Framework to Finance the SDGs
  The UNEP FI's Principles for Positive Impact Finance are a set of high-level guidelines, designed to "provide a common yet flexible framework for the business and finance community to identify and develop positive impact activities, entities and projects".
January 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) The Global Risks Report 2017
  The Global Risks Report 2017 is a survey of 750 thought leaders on global trends and economic risks, which identifies environmental-related risks such as climate change as key challenges in the next years.
January 2017 Thun Group of Banks Discussion Paper on the implications of UN Guiding Principles 13 & 17 in a corporate & investment banking context
  The Thun Group of Banks' new Discussion Paper aims to gain further understanding of how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights should be applied in the banking sector.
December 2016 Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Global Guide to Responsible Investment Regulation
  This is a global study that analyses the impact of responsible investment-related public policy initiatives. They identify almost 300 policy instruments globally that support investors taking longer-term views and mind some evidence that such policies drive better ESG performance by companies. Although currently, the report finds rather weak implementation, there are signs that governments are beginning to link sustainability and capital markets policy.
December 2016 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)  Investing for resilience

CISL has facilitated this report with ClimateWise, a growing global network of over 30 leading insurers, reinsurers, brokers and industry service providers with a voluntary, shared commitment to reduce the impactof climate change on both society and the insurance industry. The objective of this study is to explore the relationship between the insurance industry, its investment activities and its potential support for climate resilience. This has been addressed through an overview of the existing and potential capabilities within the insurance industry’s asset management, underwriting and risk management activities that could promote broader societal resilience to climate risk. This report is intended to act as a foundation for further research and discussion across this crucial area. In order to provide a broad overview, we engaged with a wide range of stakeholders across the industry’s underwriting and asset management activities, as well as a variety of external stakeholders including representatives from rating agencies, engineering firms and central and local governments.

December 2016 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
  To help identify the information needed by investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters to appropriately assess and price climate-related risks and opportunities, the Financial Stability Board established an industry-led task force: the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (Task Force). The Task Force was asked to develop  voluntary, consistent climate-related financial disclosures that would be useful to investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters in understanding material risks. In this report, the Task Force presents four widely adoptable recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures that are applicable to organizations across sectors and jurisdictions. Importantly, the Task Force’s recommendations apply to financial sector organizations, including banks, insurance companies, asset managers, and asset owners.
November 2016 Thomson Reuters Global 3500 Greenhouse Gas Performance 2010-2015 - Key Trends & Opportunities for Leadership
  Climate change, and the new risks and opportunities emerging from it, are of keen interest to policymakers, regulators, investors, corporations, and others. Similarly, the solution to climate change involves diverse communities acting together towards common goals, including the crucial role of business. This new report on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trends from 3,500 of the largest publicly traded companies in the world is intended to help clarify trends and opportunities in this group of actors and their value chains. These companies account for about 20% of global annual emissions (without even including their value chains). As with four previous GHG trends reports, this new report examines how much emissions have increased or decreased over the most recent four-year period from this group of companies.
November 2016 New Climate Economy The Sustainable Infrastructure Imperative
  With trillions of USD expected investments in infrastructure over the next 15 years, it will be important to finance the right kind of projects to tackle three important challenges: reigniting global growth, meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reducing climate risk. Read this comprehensive report to learn more about the decisions that need to be made regarding our infrastructure investments and mobilising the right capital for the right projects.
September 2016 UNEP Financing Sustainable Development - Moving from momentum to transformation in a time of turmoil
  This report suggests 5 steps to transform tomorrow's global financial system to include financing for sustainable development. This is in light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, as they are the most ambitious multilateral goals ever agreed on. The steps range from financial market reform to mobilizing technology to building capabilities, tools and standards.
September 2016 Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative 2016 Report on Progress
  This report provides a picture of sustainability initiatives implemented by stock exchanges and regulatory bodies around the world. It seeks to highlight current good practices, trends, opportunities and challenges.
September 2016 BlackRock Investment Institute Adapting portfolios to climate change - Implications and strategies for all investors
  This BlackRock study details how investors can mitigate cliamte risks, exploit opportunities or have a positive impact. They conclude that climate-aware investing is possible without compromising on traditional goals of maximizing investment returns.
September 2016 OECD Development Co-operation Report 2016: The Sustainable Development Goals and Business Opportunities
  There is an urgent need to mobilise unprecedented resources to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The private sector can be a powerful promotor of sustainable development. Companies provide jobs, infrastructure, innovation and social services, among others. Increasingly, investments in developing countries – even in the least developed countries – are seen as business opportunities, despite the risks involved. The public sector can leverage the private sector contribution, helping to manage risk and providing insights into effective policy and practice. The Development Co-operation Report 2016 explores the potential and challenges of investing in developing countries, in particular through social impact investment, blended finance and foreign direct investment.
August 2016 Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) The Business Value of Impact Measurement
  This report highlights the connection between measuring the social and environmental performance of impact investments and the application of these data to generate business value for investors and investees. 30 practitioners were interviewed for this report who provided detailed insights into how they maximize impact based on social and environmental KPIs.
August 2016 Bundesministerium der Finanzen (Deutschland) Relevanz des Klimawandels für die Finanzmärkte
  This preliminary study of the Germance Finance Ministry focusses on climate risks and their impacts on the financial stability. It comes to the conclusion that concrete action to gradually lower the exposure on climate-intensive assets, is less risky than a sudden and abrupt one, as it would create a significant danger for the financial stability. A more in depth study will be presented later this year.
July 2016 G20 Green Finance Study Group G20 Green Finance Synthesis Report
  The G20 Green Finance Study Group (GFSG) work supports the G20's strategic goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth. The GFSG was established to explore how to funnel tens of trillions of dollars in order to scale up green finance. This study summarizes 14 input papers and establishes a number of options for the G20 and country authorities for consideration for voluntary adoption, to enhance the ability of the financial system to mobilize private capital for green investment. This paper was presented at the G20 event in September 2016.
July 2016 Swiss Confederation Switzerland's initial steps towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  In this report, Switzerland presents and accounts for the work it has undertaken so far in implementing the 2030 Agenda. The report discusses first experiences, lessons and successes, but also reveals the challenges Switzerland faces in fulfilling this task.
July 2016 UNEP Green Finance for Developing Countries
  This report outlines concerns and needs of developing countries in relation to green finance. In particular the report focuses on the particular challenges faced by developing countries due to their underdeveloped financial systems.
July 2016 ESG Magazine ESG Magazine: Investors move to governance checkmate
  In this issue, close attention is paid to the 2016 proxy voting season. With levels of voting by long-term investors on the rise, issues such as climate resolutions, gender equality and environmentally friendly infrastructure are gaining more attention amongst shareholders.
July 2016 Climate Bonds Initiative Bonds and Climate Change – The state of the market in 2016
  The Climate Bonds Initiative released their 2016 market report on “climate-aligned bonds”. It was found that the market is still dominated by non-labelled climate-aligned bonds as opposed to Green Bonds with an estimated $694 bn of climate-aligned bonds outstanding, an increase of $96 bn compared to a year ago.
July 2016 The Pensions Regulator (UK regulator of work-based pension schemes) Guide to Investment Governance
(to be read alongside our DC code of practice no. 13)
  This guide was published along side the new DC code of practice no. 13. It provides guidance to pension schemes mandating that trustees should take into account factors that are financially material to any investment’s performance – such as the effects of climate change – and that ESG and ethical factors can be included if trustees also believe them to be significant.
June 2016 UNEP FI, PRI and Generation Foundation Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century - Global statement on investor obligations and duties
  As part of a three year project, this statement was launched in a first step to clarify investor duties in relation to the integration of environmental, social and governance issues in investment practice and decision-making. The statement aims to call on international and national policy makers to introduce a policy instrument that clarifies investor obligations and duties, in particular, to make explicit reference to the requirement to integrate ESG issues in investment decision-making.
June 2016 FOEN and Swiss Team Proposals for a Roadmap towards a Sustainable Financial System in Switzerland
  In this report drafted by a diverse project team of finance experts, representatives of science and federal authorities coordinated by FOEN 20 concrete measures are presented. The specific proposals for action aim to promote sustainable financial services taking into account environmental, social and governance criteria in the five segments asset & wealth management, institutional investors, credit & lending, capital markets and research & education. A key requirement is to introduce greater transparency in the sustainability of financial products, while the integration of sustainability risks and opportunities in the investment, credit and rating processes is also considered to be crucial for long-term financial success.
June 2016 BankTrack Banking with Principles? Benchmarking Banks against the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  This report assesses to what extent 45 of the largest banks globally have integrated the Guiding Principles into their operations over the past five years. To determine this the study focusses on the evaluation of human right policies, processes and reporting of the banks, against 12 criteria, based on four categories: policies, due dilligence commitments, reporting and access to remedy. The research concludes that progress in the implementation has been slow, there are no true leaders, and that the link between good policies and good implementation appears to be weak.
June 2016 WWF France Green bonds must keep the green promise!
A call for collective action towards effective and credible standards for the green bond market
  This mandated research by WWF, focusses on the green bond market and explores the diverse landscape of green definitions, standards, frameworks, and guidelines that are currently used in the market. It emphasizes the centrality of the notion of "credibility" and "effectiveness" of green bonds, which stand at the center stage of the discussions and the importance of developing criteria around adaptation and climate resilience assets and environmental challenges beyond climate change. 
May 2016 KPMG, GRI, UNEP, Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa Carrots & Sticks - Global trends in sustainability reporting regulation and policy
  This report is the follow-up study of the one published in 2013. Since then, there has been a surge in the number of reporting instruments identified. The research identified almost 400 sustainability reporting instruments in 64 countries versus 180 instruments identified in 44 countries in the 2013 report. Especially the level of activitiy of stock exchanges and financial market regulators is noteworthy in the 2016 edition.
May 2016 Alternative Bank Schweiz Gut oder Börse? Überlegungen zum ethischen Börsenhandel
  Die Studie der Alternativen Bank Schweiz (ABS) und dem Verein zur Förderung von Ethik und Nachhaltigkeit bei der Geldanlage (CRIC) besteht aus zwei Teilen. Der Erste beschreibt die Wertpapierbörse vor dem Hintergrund des ökonomischen Standardmodells und den der Ökonomie eigenen normativen Auffassungen. Der zweite Teil analysiert den Börsenhandeln aus der Sicht von CRIC relevanten ethischen Problemfeldern. In einer Replik nimmt die ABS Stellung zu den einzelnen Argumenten und Empfehlungen der CRIC Analyse.
May 2016 OECD Green Investment Banks Scaling up private investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure
  This report focusses on capitalised green investment banks (GIBs), analysing the rationales, mandates and financing activities of this relatively new category of public financial institution. Based on the experience of over a dozen GIBs and GIB-like entities, the report provides a non-prescriptive stock-taking of the diverse ways in which these public institutions are catalysing private investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure and other green sectors, with a spotlight on energy efficiency projects. The report also provides practical information to policy makers on how green investment banks are being set up, capitalised and staffed.
May 2016 Investment Leaders Group Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Feeling the heat: An investors' guide to measuring business risk from carbon and energy regulation
  This report suggests a model that quantifies the impact of potential climate and energy regulation on company profitability. Thereby aiming to improve stock picking and empowering investors to engage with companies on actions they can take to become "future proof". The research finds significant effects of climate and energy regulation on company profitability, but with important differences on a firm-level within the same sectors and geographies.
May 2016 Investment Leaders Group Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership In search of impact: Measuring the full value of capital
  Helping the investment industry to understand the impact of their investments on sustainability challenges, is the aim of this research. Therefore, a framework is suggested based on a set of six environmental and social themes (based on SDGs), which should allow investors to calculate and communicate the social and environmental impacts of their portfolio. 
May 2016 Investment Leaders Group Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Taking the long view: A toolkit for long-term, sustainable investment mandates
  This report includes investment strategies that can contribute to increased long-term value creation by companies and the economy as a whole. Such investments are guided by a clear investment philosophy, process and culture rather than a defined set of rules or criteria. This report outlines 10 design features which can be flexibly adapted to deliver varying degrees of long-term value; focusing foremost on active listed equity strategies.
May 2016 Paulson Institute, Green Finance Committee, sifma, UNEP, Bloomberg Philanthropies Green finance - a growing imperative
  This briefing underlines the importance that green finance is scaled, thereby 'industrialised'. This requires international harmonization of definitions, products and standards. Hence governments have a central role to play. This report discusses barriers, challenges, and makes suggestions on how to encourage the industrialisation of sustainable finance. 
May 2016 UNEP, Global Footprint Network ERISC Phase II: How food prices link environmental constraints to sovereign credit risk

The global food system is affected by changing environmental conditions (e.g. water scarcity) which will increase over the coming years, as well as the increasing demographic pressure and demand for food supplies. It is highly probable that the volatility of food commodity prices will also increase over the coming years. Furthermore, higher and more volatile food prices are key transmission mechanisms through which environmental risks and constraints (e.g. climate change) will impact national economies. If these are significant enough, they may affect a country's credit rating and risks exposure of sovereign bondholders. This report discusses how more volatile food prices, influence the different nations.

April 2016 Bruegel Financial risks and opportunities in the time of climate change
  In the scenario of a late and sudden transition to a low-carbon economy, the financial sector can be heavily exposed to environmental risks. Methodologies are being developed to measure the carbon intensity of investments, and the industry is reflecting on the importance of carbon stress tests. This policy brief proposes a Finance and Sustainability Risk Forum in which European financial supervision can share best practices and coordinate their input to the Financial Stability Board.
April 2016 Steward Redqueen From Principles to Performance

This report is an independent evaluation of PRI’s achievements and challenges at ten years. It concludes that the PRI with its mission to contribute to achieving a sustainable global financial system, is uniquely positioned to play an important role in this. For the PRI to progress RI practices and support ‘real-world change’, this report has three recommendations:

  1. Signatories’ views vary as to the PRI’s purpose and ambitions. Some see it as a platform for learning and engagement, others want it to be a (more activist) voice for real-world change with concrete outcomes. As this seems increasingly to hamper its effectiveness, the PRI should make more clear to signatories that progressing RI integration is not optional;
  2. Managing a ‘big tent’ organisation is challenging. The PRI needs to focus its activities to optimise its added value and avoid losing traction. We recommend the PRI focus its efforts on changing market practices in Europe and the USA, given their dominant market position. In addition, the PRI should select a number of new markets, and for each one develop a clear entry strategy plan. The Clearinghouse can be better utilised to address specific sustainability challenges;
  3. Accountability is key to progressing RI. In order to improve accountability while reducing the workload for both the PRI and its signatories, we recommend identifying a reporting partner. Teaming up with, for example, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), could significantly improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of accountability.
April 2016 World Economic Forum The Role of Financial Services in Society
  Due to the accelerated growth in technology-enabled innovation, the authors aim to consider the impact on the risk profile of the financial system. This report further describes the wave of innovation at hand and how it leads to opportunities for enhancing the stability of the financial system, and concludes with a set of recommendations on how to improve it.
April 2016 Credit Suisse, Climate Bonds Initiative, Clarmondial Levering ecosystems: A business-focused perspective on how debt supports investments in ecosystem services
  This report explores how businesses can utilize debt as a tool to restore, rehabilitate, and conserve the environment while creating financial value. The report explains how ecosystem services are relevant to companies, examines the state of markets for carbon, water, and biodiversity credits, discusses the suitability of debt financing for companies at various stages and sizes, and suggests recommendations for businesses and investors who want to take advantage of opportunities to invest in conservation finance.
March 2016 S&P Dow Jones Indices, Trucost Resource Efficiency: A Case Study in Carbon and Water Use
  In this study the authors take a closer look at extending the already well-researched approach to increasing the efficiency of fossil fuel usage to water usage. They find that resource scarcity is a complex theme to consider in investments as demand for various resources cannot be looked at individually considering the demand for resources is correlated. Results also show that carbon- and resource-efficient companies may outperform less efficient companies. Lastly, the report finds that a focus on efficiency can help companies mitigate risks on the level of regulation, resource depletion and reputation.
March 2016 Task Force on climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Phase I Report of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures
  At the request of the G20, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) engaged the private and public sector to review how the financial sector can incorporate climate-related issues in financial reporting. The TCFD undertakes a coordinated assessment of what constitutes efficient and effective disclosure and desings a set of recommendations for voluntary company financial disclosures of climate-related risks that are responsive to the needs of lenders, insureres, investors, and other users. This report sets out the scope and high-level objectives together with a set of fundamental principles of disclosure. Thereby, forming the framework for the second report (to be published end of 2016) which will describe the specific recommendations and guidelines.
March 2016 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Impact of Environmental Factors on Credit Risk of Commercial Banks
  This paper discusses the impact of internalizing environmental costs onto a firm's balance sheet and the consequent risks this creates for commercial banks. Two industries, thermal power and cement production, were selected for stress testing. A range of high, medium and low stress scenarios were used to assess the impact on the financial performance and credit rating. This bank-led approach is the first of its kind in China and provides a foundation for the discussions on the theoretical framework and analytical methodologies.
March 2016 UNEP Inquiry: Design of Sustainable Financial System, 2° Investing Initiative Building a Sustainable Financial System in the European Union
  This report present actions under way at the European level and in selected Member States to align the rules governing the financial system with environmental sustainability. The authors stress thereby five policy priorities: capital reallocation, enhancing frameworks for risk management, clarify core responsibilities of financial institutions, improve reporting and disclosure and the need of a strategic reset, seeking to link previously unconnected initiatives.
March 2016 Share Action

Transforming our world through investment An introductory study of institutional investors' role in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals


This study aims to examine how institutional investors across the world are beginning to consider the Sustainable Development Goals within investment decisions, in addition to their future plans related to the SDGs. A survey was sent to about 500 institutional investors globally of which 52 responded. The report highlights the belief that the SDG's will serve to enhance returns, mitigate risk, strengthen reputation and help achieve investment objectives of the different institutions.

March 2016 ESG Magazine ESG Magazine: Can investors lead the fight against climate change?
  This issue is the second in a two-part COP21 special and focuses on the major outcomes of COP21 for institutional investors. It also looks at leading current investment responses to climate change from asset owners.
February 2016 UNEP Inquiry, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) The Equator Principles - Do they make banks more sustainable?
  The Equator Principles (EPs) are a voluntary code of conduct and a risk management framework for determining,  assessing and managing environmental and social risks in projects, such as energy or infrastructure projects. This report combines a literature analysis, interviews with project financiers and stakeholders and an analysis of EP signatories' reports to determine how these actors are implementing the EPs. The report finds that the EPs do not create significant changes in project financing institutions and therefore enforcement mechanisms should be implemented.
February 2016 European Systemic Risk Board Advisory Scientific Committee Too late, too sudden: Transition to a low-carbon economy and systemic risk

The COP 21 Paris Agreement emphasizes the necessity of transitioning towards a low-carbon economy with a shift towards more renewable energies. The report outlines the danger associated with a late and sudden shift, where the adaptation occurs abruptly, whereas an early start in implementing the pledges could ensure a soft landing. The risks would mainly be associated with the macro impact of a sudden change in energy use, revaluation of carbon-intensive assets and a rise in the incidence of natural catastrophes. To ensure financial stability, this report suggests to enhance disclosure of the carbon intensity of non-financial firms, making stress-testing of related exposures of financial firms possible.

February 2016 OECD Financial Instruments for Managing Disaster Risks related to Climate Change
  This article outlines potential implications of climate change for the management of financial risks. It identifies insurance as a mechanism to reduce the economic disruption of disaster events. In addition, it outlines policy approaches to aid the penetration of disaster insurance coverage and the capacity of insurance markets to absorb disaster risks. Recommendations for improving the financial management of disaster risks are also identified.
 February 2016 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership; Environmental Resources Management The Paris Climate Agreement: Implications for banks, institutional investors, private equity and insurers
  The momentum established by the COP 21 Paris Agreement presents revenue risks and opportunities, as capital investment shifts from high to low carbon energy infrastructure and solutions. Financial intermediaries will and are already exposed to these trends, and abrupt changes could influence the overall financial stability. In order to reduce uncertainty over the energy transition and become masters of their own destiny, this reports summarizes the issues at hand and sets out some thoughts about a potential response.
February 2016 UNEP FI Sustainable Real Estate Investment Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement: An Action Framework

With an estimated value of approximately USD 50 trillion, real estate assets consume about 40% of the world's energy and contribute to up to 30% of the annual GHG emissions. Practitioners note that the effective integration of ESG measures is hindered by excessively large amounts of available information or uncertainty about relevant actions. This report suggests a framework setting out measures and actions needed to support the integration of ESG and climate risks into the business of investment and management, overcoming the barriers. Aiming thereby to transform aspirational measures into default practices for all stakeholders in the property sector by suggesting tailor-made step-by-step frameworks for individual target audiences (e.g. asset owners, bond and debt investors).

January 2016 Credit Suisse Conservation Finance From Niche to Mainstream: The Building of an Institutional Asset Class
  This report builds on the previous CS study "Conservation Finance - Moving beyond donor funding toward an investor-driven approach". Since then the field has developed rapidly. The objective of this report is to identify financial product structures that have the potential to establish finance in mainstream investment markets, reaching an estimated medium-term potential of USD 200-400bn. However, there are four central challenges currently inhibiting the conservation finance market's growth: little commercial support for early-stage projects, substantial search and transaction costs for identification and implementation of conservation projects, high perceived risk, and the lack of the scalability and replicability of current projects. The authors propose three shifts that would allow to address these challenges.
January 2016 WEF More Walls, More Warming, Less Water: A World at Risk in 2016
  For this report about 750 experts researched 29 separate global risks. The one with the greatest potential impact was found to be failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation. It's the first time since the report was published in 2006, that an environmental risk has topped the ranking. The report highlights the importance of the interconnections among the risks, suggesting that a small number of key risks wield great influence. An example is climate change exacerbating water crises, resulting in conflicts and forced migration. The report concludes that knowledge about risks (likelihood and potential impact) and their interconnections  is fundamental for leaders, helping them to prioritize areas for action.
January 2016 Credit Suisse How Corporate Governance Matters
  This report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute explores several aspects of the connection between sound governance and improved business performance. Amongst others the experts identify specific company types and sectors, in which governance can serve as a particularly robust investment strategy instrument. The report concludes that a governance-oriented investment strategy works best in distinct secotrs and periods of time.
January 2016 Credit Suisse and INSEAD Investing in Future Leaders: How Impact Investment Can Enable Underprivileged Talents to Access Best-in-Class Higher Education
  Credit Suisse and INSEAD partnered to publish a research report about investing in higher education. It explores innovative investment opportunities in this sector and demonstrates how financial instruments can trigger a significant social impact by supporting talented students from less privileged socio-economic classes to access the world’s best-in-class schools.
January 2016 UBS Climate change: a risk to the global middle class

This UBS report looked at middle-class consumption in 215 cities around the world and compared it to the level of climate-change risk in those cities. The report highlights the economic risks (i.e covering uninsured losses, shifts in consumption patterns) resulting from the interconnection between socio-economic structures and high exposure to climate change of cities.

January 2016 International Monetary Fund After Paris: Fiscal, Macroeconomic, and Financial Implications of Climate Change
  After the 2015 Paris Agreement, this paper takes stick of the wide-ranging implications for fiscal, financial and macroeconomic policies coming to grips with climate change. Thereby issues such as the carbon price, climate finance, disclosure of carbon footprints, or the implications on the financial stability are discussed.
December 2015 World Resources Institute, UNEP Finance Initiative, 2° Investing Initiative Climate Strategies and Metrics Exploring Options for Institutional Investors
  Institutional Investors get increasingly active on climate change issues. The Montreal Pledge and the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition are two examples. This report reviews strategies and metrics for invesotrs seeking to reduce GHG emissions and aid transition towards a low-carbon economy through investment decisions.
December 2015 ESG Magazine ESG Magazine: COP21: Green deal or Greenwash?
  This issue is dedicated to the theme of fossil fuels, 'unburnable carbon' and 'stranded assets'. Read about how the financial industry is reacting to the risks of climate change and fossil fuel linked investments.
November 2015 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Unhedgeable risk How climate change sentiment impacts investment
  In light of the momentum around discussions on climate risks and its impacts on assets (i.e. carbon bubble or stranded assets), this report analyzes the short-term risks stemming from how investors react to climate-related information. Thereby the study indicates the vulnerability and resiliency of different portfolio types to climate-change related risks. This allows investors to start reflecting on how to offset potential losses and invest in assets less likely to be affected by climate risks.
November 2015 Symbiotics and University of Zurich Swiss Microfinance Investment Report
  This report complements the global, annually published aggregate report on microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) that Symbiotics has been producing since 2007, and shows disaggregated data for the Swiss subset of global MIVs. It follows a first report on this subset published by Symbiotics in collaboration with the Swiss Development Agency (SDC) in December 2011. 
November 2015 Kepler Cheuvreux and IIGCC Carbon Compass: Investor guide to carbon footprinting
  This guide helps connect the themes of carbon footprint analysis with investment objectives, such as, minimising risk and meeting climate targets. With a growing number of Carbon footprint services available, different investors may require additional insights into the various methodologies. The ‘Carbon  Compass’ reviews each methodology and answers the most commonly-asked questions simply and practically.
November 2015 Natural Capital Declaration, UNEP FI, Global Canopy Programme Towards including natural resource risks in cost of capital State of play and the way forward
  The Natural Capital Declaration aims to develop evidence to evaluate natural capital dependencies and impacts as material risk for financial institutions. The first part of this study provides arguments for a business case for banks and asset managers to incorporate natural capital factors in their lending and investment decision-making processes. The second part provides an overviews of 36 financial institutions' existing capabilities to manage natural capital risk. The report concludes that there is a discrepancy between the acknowledgment of the importance of the natural capital risks, and the effective implementation in the investment and lending processes.
October 2015 South Pole Group and CSSP commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)

Kohlenstoffrisiken für den Finanzplatz Schweiz

Summary German

Summary French

  This study commissioned by the FOEN analyses indirect greenhouse gas emissions linked to the Swiss equity fund market. The report outlines risks and costs involved in equity investments should stricter carbon pricing and regulations be put in place. The study also includes a closer look at 11 of the largest 25 pension funds in Switzerland and how future carbon pricing scenarios will affect beneficiaries.
October 2015 UNEP Inquiry The Financial System We Need: Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development. The UNEP Inquiry Report
  The UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System was established in January 2014. The Inquiry has looked in-depth at practice in over 15 countries - including Switzerland - and worked with central banks, environment ministries, international finance institutions as well as major banks, pension funds, insurance companies and stock exchanges to reach its findings. Five types of measures are presented: Enhancing market practice, harnessing the public balance sheet, directing finance through policy measures, transforming financial culture, upgrading system governance.
September 2015 Standard & Poor's rating services Storm Alert: Natural Disasters Can Damage Sovereign Creditworthiness

Standard & Poor's attempts to quantify the severity of the economic and ratings impact of rare but calamitous natural disasters. We focus on four perils: earthquakes, tropical storm and surge, winter storms, and floods. Based on a sample of 48 countries, simulations indicate that natural disasters, which can be expected once in every 250 years, can weaken sovereign ratings. The biggest ratings impact in the sample comes from earthquakes and tropical storms. One way to mitigate the economic and ratings impact of natural disasters is catastrophe insurance. 

September 2015 Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority The impact of climate change on the UK insurance sector A Climate Change Adaptation Report
  This report is the Prudential Regulation Authority's (PRA) response to the invitation of the Department for Envionment, Food & Rural Affairs (UK) to complete a Climate Change Adaptation Report. It analyzes the climate risks from the standpoint to ensure the safety and soundness of firms and appropriate protection of policyholders. The PRA concludes that there is potential for climate change to present a substantial challenge to the business model of insurers. Possibly creating new opportunities within climate-change related business, but more importantly potentially reducing or eliminating the sector' appetite to provide insurance cover for specific sets of activities, assets or customres.
September 2015 UBS The investment drought: How can the problem of weak investment be fixed?
  This White Paper aims to address some of the potential causes of the recent lack of investments ('investment drought'). Investments in long-term projects are necessary for steady economic growth but are often not appreciated by investors and taxpayers. The report concludes that changes in the tax systems, compensation structures or impact investing could reinvigorate investment and secure stable and attractive returns over time. It also concludes that governments should pay more attention on how to restore investment, in order to be able to overcome future challenges and have sufficient funding for areas such as data transmission and processing, battery technology, or education.
September 2015 ESG Magazine ESG Magazine: European Capital Markets Union-a game-changer for sustainable finance?
  ESG Magazine (launched September 2015) is the first dedicated print publication for sustainability in capital markets covering responsible investing, responsible banking, sustainable insurance, sustainable finance, impact investing, corporate sustainability and more.
August 2015 Olaf Weber The banking sector's contribution to sustainable growth - risks assessment, sustainable finance, voluntary initiatives and regulations
  Financial intermediaries, via their financing activities, have important impacts on the environment and sustainable development. This paper highlights the historic development of regulating the financial sector in order to minimize environmental and social impacts, which started in the 1980s. It further indicates how hard and soft law instruments are currently aiming to push financial intermediaries to encourage sustainable development, by channeling their capital to environmentally or socially sound projects.
August 2015 World Resources Institute, UNEP Finance Initiative Carbon Asset Risk: Discussion Framework
  The low-carbon economy provides significant opportunities for investments and growth. On hindside the transition also represents significant financial risks, ranging from a reduced profitability of investee companies to loan defaults from the stranding assets. This report suggests a framework for carbon asset risk management, intending to help financial intermediaries and investors to think more consistently and systematically about climate risk.
August 2015 The Economist Intelligence Unit The cost of inaction: Recognising the value at risk from climate change
  This research highlights the relevance of climate change to the asset management industry and beyond by estimating the value at risk (VaR) to 2100 as a result of climate change to the total global stock of manageable assets (the climate VaR). The VaR calculated in present value terms is US$ 4.2trn, however, it could be much higher if more extreme warming occurs. The authors conclude that although direct damage will be more localised, indirect impacts will affect the entire global economy, accordingly, asset managers will face significant challenges diversifying out of assets affected by climate change. Therefore, investors need to assess their climate-related risks and take steps to mitigate them.
July 2015 Natural Capital Declaration Bank and Investor Risk Policies on Soft Commodities
  This study and the tool lay the foundation for linking financial sector decisions to deforestation and forest degradation. It aims to help financial institutions better understand the dependencies of soft commodity producers on forest ecosystems, and how their businesses affect these ecosystems. This, in turn, allows financial institutions to gain more insight into their own risks and opportunities.
June 2015 OECD Overcoming Barriers to International Investment in Clean Energy
  This report identifies and explains certain barriers (specifically the often mandated local sourcing of jobs, components, or costs) that exist within the solar PV and wind-energy industry and provides policy makers with evidence to guide their decisions when designing clean-energy support policies.
June 2015 Mercer Investing in a Time of Climate Change

 This study helps address the following investor questions:

  • How big a risk/return impact could climate change have on a portfolio, and when might that happen?
  • What are the key downside risks and upside opportunities, and how do investors manage these considerations to fit within their current investment process?
  • What plan of action can ensure an investor is best positioned for resilience to climate change?
June 2015 WWF Financial market regulation for sustainable development in the BRICS countries
  This report, focused on the BRICS countries, outlines what financial market regulations these emerging market policy-makers have introduced or are considering introducing to manage and mitigate environmental and social risks of investments.
April 2015 Universität Stuttgart RISIKO, RENDITE – UND WIRKUNG? Die Anlagebereitschaft deutscher Stiftungen und vermögender Anleger für wirkungs-orientiertes Investieren (available in German)
  Wirkungsorientiertes Investieren (WI) bzw. Social Impact Investing (SII) umschreibt eine Möglichkeit für Anleger, zivilgesellschaftliche Verantwortung gezielt und mit messbaren Wirkungen durch ihre Kapitalanlagen wahrzunehmen. Die Studie stützt sich auf qualifizierte Interviews mit Vertretern von Stiftungen (17), mit Family Offices (18) sowie mit vermögenden Einzelpersonen, sog. High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) (15).
March 2015 Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) ImpactBase Snapshot: An Analysis of 300+ Impact Investing Funds
  This report provides an in-depth analysis of the impact investment intermediary landscape. Information on topics such as fundraising, fund activity, track record, social and environmental metrics, target returns and more are presented in the report.
February 2015 OECD Social Impact Investment: Building the Evidence Base
  This report provides a framework for assessing the social impact investment market and focuses on the need to build the evidence base. The report highlights the importance of further international collaborations in developing global standards on definitions, data collection, impact measurement and evaluation of policies.
February 2015 Novethic  Financement Vert
  An assessment of the contribution to green finance of the 32 largest banks and insurance companies in Europe reveiled a mixed picture. The amount of classical green projects funded is increasing, but little transparency is given as to the carbon intensity and environmental risks of the total credit portfolios. (study in French)
February 2015 Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group Energy Efficiency - the first fuel for the EU Economy How to drive new finance for energy efficiency investments
  The Energy Efficiency Financial Institution Group was established to determine how to overcome the documented challenges to obtaining long-term financing for energy efficiency. Recommendations have been elaborated by the Group over two years, which are summarized in this report.
January 2015 UK Pension Funds A Guide to Responsible Investment Reporting in Public Equity
  This iterative document was the product of a number of roundtable meetings with UK pension funds and open consultation with fund managers and sets out to encourage improvements in the quality of RI reporting for individual mandates.
January 2015 UN Global Compact, UNCTAD, UNEPFI, PRI Private Sector Investment and Sustainable Development
  This paper outlines the role of companies, institutional investors and foundations in contributing to global sustainability goals through their financing strategy and general conduct. Actors in the private sector are driven by sustainability challenges to come up with innovative solutions which need appropriate funding and support. The paper emphasizes the benefits of a well-functioning system to reach sustainable development goals, fostering an innovative and collaborative environment.
October 2014 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Stability and Sustainability in Banking Reform: Are Environmental Risks Missing in Basel III?

International Banking regulations (i.e. Basel Capital Accord) have gained much attention in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Simultaneously, interest in environmental risks for banking and their potential systemic impacts are also on the rise. The author highlights some initial programs (i.e. Brazil, China, Peru), where banking regulation and governance practices address environmental risks. This report concludes that the Basel Committee should learn from these experiences and consider reforms to the Basel III Pillar 2 Supervisory Review framework and the Pillar 3 Market Discipline framework, by recognising systemic environmental risks as material risks which can potentially threaten banking stability.

June 2014 UNEP Finance Initiative Integrated Governance A new model of governance for sustainability
  This report aims to identify corporate governance practices that could promote a durable culture of sustainability within corporations, proposing the "Integrated Governance" model. This model and its implementation in practice are explained within the report. Overall the authors wish institutional investors with insights and suggestions that they could consider when engaging with companies, and exercising their ownership rights.
June 2014 OECD New Investment Approaches for Addressing Social and Economic Challenges
  The paper provides an introduction and overview about the social investment market for OECD member countries. Other topics covered in this paper are market evolution and the role of policy makers to help facilitate the development of the market.
April 2014 World Bank The practice of responsible investment principles in larger-scale agricultural investments Implications for Corporate Performance and Impact on Local Communities
  Agriculture as a focus of investment is viewed by some as a promising and long-awaited opportunity to promote the sector. For others, it raised the concerns about the potential negative environment, social and economic impacts. This report adds to the growing body of literature by examining 39 mature agribusiness investments in Africa and Southeast Asia, assessing to what extent their activities can be characterized as responsible. Providing information about best-practices and pitfalls to avoid.
March 2014 UNEP Inquiry, Frankfurter School of Finance & Management

Delivering the green economy through financial policy


According to the UNEP FI the absence of policy and regulatory measures related to internalizing externalities is a key barrier to private sector investments in sustainable assets. Hence, this report suggests that further finance sector regulation could incentivise financial institutions to supply capital for sustainable development. This paper therefore maps out the financial regulatory landscape, discussing how regulations can influence investment behaviour and highlights further research avenues.

November 2013 UNEP FI Insuring Climate Resilience How insurers are responding to climate change. And how they can be part of an effective government response
  This report reflects how insurance might be used to assist countries that are most vulnerable to loss and damage from climate change. The report concludes that climate change is perceived as a real challenge to insurance companies, and that they are already adapting their risk control measures to climate risks; including the identification, prevention and reduction of risks.
October 2013 The Thun Group of Banks UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights - Discussion Paper for Banks on Implications of Principles 16–21
  The Thun Group of Banks is an informal group of bank representatives that have been discussing the meaning of the UN’s “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework” and the Guiding Principles for the activities of banks. This paper outlines the interpretation of Principles 16-21 and identifies key steps that need to be taken as well as challenges for banks in implementing the principles.
May 2013 The Sustainability Forum Zürich (TSF) and Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG)  Path to the Sustainable Financial Centre Switzerland – A call to action
  This white paper formed the basis for the establishment of SSF. It outlines action points that can be taken to strengthen the sustainable finance industry in Switzerland.   
February 2013 PRI  Aligning Expectations: Guidance for asset owners on incorporating ESG factors into manager selection, appointment and monitoring

This guide provides a framework for Asset Owners who appoint and monitor external managers to assess whether their managers’ investment policies and processes are consistent with their ESG expectations. It aims to support them in their dialogues with managers so that they gain a clear understanding of the ESG risks and opportunities affecting their portfolios and how their managers are addressing them.


o   The European Commission Action Plan - financing sustainable growth: assessment of the reform areas for PRI signatories

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