Digital library on sustainable finance

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TITLE Sustainable Real Estate Investment Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement: An Action Framework
AUTHOR United Nations Environmental Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)
PUBLISHED Mar 2016
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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).

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TITLE Conservation Finance From Niche to Mainstream: The Building of an Institutional Asset Class
AUTHOR Credit Suisse
PUBLISHED Jan 2016
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE More Walls, More Warming, Less Water: A World at Risk in 2016
AUTHOR World Economic Forum (WEF)
PUBLISHED Jan 2016
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE How Corporate Governance Matters
AUTHOR Credit Suisse
PUBLISHED Jan 2016
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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 sectors and periods of time.

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TITLE Climate change: a risk to the global middle class
AUTHOR UBS
PUBLISHED Jan 2016
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE After Paris: Fiscal, Macroeconomic, and Financial Implications of Climate Change
AUTHOR International Monetary Fund
PUBLISHED Jan 2016
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Sustainable Development Strategy 2016-2019
AUTHOR Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE)
PUBLISHED Jan 2016
LANGUAGES DE  FR  IT  EN 
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Summary

Section 4.2.5 (Action area 5 – Economic and financial system) was adapted to include two goals (goal 5.4 and 5.5) specifically related to sustainability and finance.

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TITLE ESG and financial performance: aggregated evidence from more than 2000 empirical studies
AUTHOR Gunnar Friede, Timo Busch & Alexander Bassen
PUBLISHED Dec 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Abstract: The search for a relation between environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria and corporate financial performance (CFP) can be traced back to the beginning of the 1970s. This study extracts all provided primary and secondary data of previous academic review studies. Through doing this, the study combines the findings of about 2200 individual studies. Hence, this study is by far the most exhaustive overview of academic research on this topic and allows for generalizable statements. The results show that the business case for ESG investing is empirically very well founded. Roughly 90% of studies find a nonnegative ESG–CFP relation. More importantly, the large majority of studies reports positive findings. We highlight that the positive ESG impact on CFP appears stable over time. Promising results are obtained when differentiating for portfolio and nonportfolio studies, regions, and young asset classes for ESG investing such as emerging markets, corporate bonds, and green real estate.

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TITLE Climate Strategies and Metrics Exploring Options for Institutional Investors
AUTHOR World Resources Institute, UNEP Finance Initiative, 2° Investing Initiative
PUBLISHED Dec 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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 investors seeking to reduce GHG emissions and aid transition towards a low-carbon economy through investment decisions.

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TITLE ESG Magazine: COP21: Green deal or Greenwash?
AUTHOR ESG Magazine
PUBLISHED Dec 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Profile of Responsible Investors in Europe
AUTHOR Novethic
PUBLISHED Nov 2015
LANGUAGES FR  EN 
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Summary

Novethic has published its 8th survey on responsible investment practices among European asset owners, with the support of Degroof Petercam in 13 countries. The results show that climate is a priority for 53% of the 181 institutions surveyed, together holding € 7,367 bn in assets; very few, however, have decided to exclude fossil fuels from their investments so far.

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TITLE Unhedgeable risk How climate change sentiment impacts investment
AUTHOR University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
PUBLISHED Nov 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Swiss Microfinance Investment Report
AUTHOR Symbiotics and University of Zurich
PUBLISHED Nov 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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. 

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TITLE Carbon Compass: Investor guide to carbon footprinting
AUTHOR Kepler Cheuvreux and IIGCC
PUBLISHED Nov 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Towards including natural resource risks in cost of capital State of play and the way forward
AUTHOR Natural Capital Declaration, UNEP FI, Global Canopy Programme
PUBLISHED Nov 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century
AUTHOR PRI, UNEP FI and Generation Foundation
PUBLISHED Oct 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This research, based on structured interviews with senior investment professionals, lawyers and policy makers, finds that failing to consider long-term investment value drivers, which include environmental, social and governance issues, in investment practice is a failure of fiduciary duty.

While many investors have made positive steps to incorporate sustainability risks into the way they deliver their fiduciary duty, the report argues that too many assets are still managed with a 20th century mindset, exposing savers and beneficiaries to the threat of value loss.

The Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century programme has also produced a series of other publications, including Fiduciary Duty Country Roadmaps and specific research on investor duties and obligations in Asian markets. These reports can be accessed here.

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TITLE TOP 100 - ESG Equity Fund Ratings - for Austria, Germany and Switzerland
AUTHOR Center for Social and Sustainable Products (CSSP)
PUBLISHED Oct 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report, in its second edition, and available for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Top 100 ESG Equity Fund Rating study measures and compares the portfolio quality of equity funds in terms of environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria based on the ESG Investment Screener from yourSRI. Both "sustainable" classified Investment funds as well "conventional" mutual funds are analyzed and compared in terms of their ESG portfolio performance.

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TITLE Kohlenstoffrisiken für den Finanzplatz Schweiz
AUTHOR South Pole Group and CSSP commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)
PUBLISHED Oct 2015
LANGUAGES DE  FR  EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE The Financial System We Need: Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development. The UNEP Inquiry Report
AUTHOR UNEP Inquiry
PUBLISHED Oct 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Small Money - Big Impact Mikrofinanz: Leben ohne Armut
AUTHOR Peter Fanconi, Patrick Scheurle
PUBLISHED Oct 2015
LANGUAGES
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Summary

Mikrofinanz hat sich als wichtiges Instrument zur Armutsbekämpfung längst etabliert. Führende öffentliche Institutionen wie die Weltbank nutzen Impact Investing zur Erreichung ihrer globalen Entwicklungsziele. Aber auch immer mehr institutionelle und private Investoren wollen von einer attraktiven Rendite und einer positiven sozialen Wirkkraft profitieren. Wie und warum funktioniert Mikrofinanz überhaupt? Was muss man als Investor wissen? Die Autoren dieses Buches, die Finanzspezialisten Peter Fanconi und Patrick Scheurle, erklären aufgrund ihrer Erfahrung mit über 20 Millionen Kleinstschuldnern detailliert Vorgehen und Methodik dieser besonderen Anlageklasse. Mikrofinanz macht alle zu Gewinnern: Kleinstunternehmer, Investoren und unsere Gesellschaft. 

Das Buch ist bei NZZ Libro erhätlich.

Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2015

ISBN: 978-3-03810-131-4

TITLE Rethinking Finance in a circular economy
AUTHOR ING
PUBLISHED Oct 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This study provides insights into the opportunities of the circular economy and the business models enabling it. It will also provide a better understanding of how the circular economy changes the financial landscape.

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TITLE 2015 Symbiotics Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIV) Survey
AUTHOR Symbiotics SA
PUBLISHED Sep 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The Survey provides a detailed overview of key market trends about microfinance offshore investments. More than 80 MIVs have participated in the 9th annual survey which covers 96% of the total MIV market estimated at USD 10.4 billion as of December 2014. This survey allows microfinance investors and fund managers to benchmark themselves and stay informed about the market.

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TITLE The impact of climate change on the UK insurance sector A Climate Change Adaptation Report
AUTHOR Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority
PUBLISHED Sep 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report is the Prudential Regulation Authority's (PRA) response to the invitation of the Department for Environment, 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 customers.

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TITLE ESG Magazine: European Capital Markets Union-a game-changer for sustainable finance?
AUTHOR ESG Magazine
PUBLISHED Sep 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Storm Alert: Natural Disasters Can Damage Sovereign Creditworthiness
AUTHOR Standard & Poor's Rating
PUBLISHED Sep 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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