Digital library on sustainable finance

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TITLE Active Ownership
AUTHOR Elroy Dimson, Oguzhan Karakas, Xi Li
PUBLISHED Aug 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Abstract: We analyze an extensive proprietary database of corporate social responsibility engagements with U.S. public companies from 1999-2009. Engagements address environmental, social, and governance concerns. Successful (unsuccessful) engagements are followed by positive (zero) abnormal returns. Companies with inferior governance and socially conscious institutional investors are more likely to be engaged. Success in engagements is more probable if the engaged firm has reputational concerns and higher capacity to implement changes. Collaboration among activists is instrumental in increasing the success rate of environmental/social engagements. After successful engagements, particularly on environmental/social issues, companies experience improved accounting performance and governance and increased institutional ownership.

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TITLE The banking sector's contribution to sustainable growth - risks assessment, sustainable finance, voluntary initiatives and regulations
AUTHOR Olaf Weber
PUBLISHED Aug 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Carbon Asset Risk: Discussion Framework
AUTHOR World Resources Institute, UNEP Finance Initiative
PUBLISHED Aug 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The low-carbon economy provides significant opportunities for investments and growth. On the other side, 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.

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TITLE The cost of inaction: Recognising the value at risk from climate change
AUTHOR The Economist Intelligence Unit
PUBLISHED Aug 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Swiss Foundation Code - Principles and Recommendations for the Establishment and Management of Grant-making Foundations
AUTHOR SwissFoundations
PUBLISHED Aug 2015
LANGUAGES DE  FR 
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Summary

To provide an orientation framework for these and other questions, an interdisciplinary working group has developed the Swiss Foundation Code. It is a self-regulatory and application-oriented tool. First published in 2005 and supplemented with a commentary in 2009, it is now completely revised in its third edition. Its 3 principles and 29 recommendations can be applied to all types and sizes of foundations.

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TITLE Swiss Foundation Code 2015
AUTHOR Swiss Foundations
PUBLISHED Aug 2015
LANGUAGES DE  FR  EN 
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Summary

Der Swiss Foundation Code ist aus der Stiftungsbranche entstanden und wird von SwissFoundations getragen. Es handelt sich um ein selbstregulatorisches und anwendungsorientiertes Werkzeug. Im Jahr 2005 erstmals erschienen und 2009 mit einem Kommentar ergänzt, liegt er nun vollständig überarbeitet in der dritten Ausgabe vor. Seine allgemein formulierten 3 Grundsätze und 29 reich kommentierten Empfehlungen lassen sich auf alle Arten und Grössenordnungen von Stiftungen anwenden.

Der Swiss Foundation Code ist auf Deutsch, Französisch und Englisch beim Helbling Lichtenhahn Verlag Basel erhältlich.

Helbing Lichtenhahn, 2015

ISBN:978-3-7190-3584-6

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TITLE Perspectives on ESG Integration in Equity Investing: An opportunity to enhance long-term, risk-adjusted investment performance
AUTHOR Calvert Investment Management, Inc.
PUBLISHED Jul 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The authors use historical analysis of multiple datasets to examine several approaches for introducing ESG factors into the investment process and assess their efficacy from a portfolio management perspective. Using three approaches (negative screening, stand-alone ESG inputs for stock selection and combining ESG information with traditional investment factors) across U.S. and European stock markets, the authors demonstrate that incorporating ESG factors into investment decisions enhances risk-adjusted returns.

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TITLE Bank and Investor Risk Policies on Soft Commodities
AUTHOR Natural Capital Declaration
PUBLISHED Jul 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Introducing the Impact Investing Benchmark
AUTHOR GIIN and Cambridge Associates
PUBLISHED Jun 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This document introduces the new Impact Investing Benchmark providing performance data on a quarterly basis. Initial findings show that private impact investment funds – specifically private equity and venture capital funds – that pursue social impact objectives have recorded financial returns in line with a comparative universe of funds that only pursue financial returns.

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TITLE Valuing the Vote 2015: The Impact of Proxy Voting on SBA Portfolio Holdings
AUTHOR Florida State Board of Administration (SBA)
PUBLISHED Jun 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This study is an empirical analysis of an institutional investor's proxy voting decisions involving dual board nominees and the impact on portfolio value.

It was demonstrated that SBA equity value linked to proxy contest holdings increased by $572 million (or $5.3 million per vote) in the five years after a contest is announced, during the study's time frame from 2006 through 2014.

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TITLE Ready or not? An assessment of sustainability integration in the European banking sector
AUTHOR KPMG & WWF
PUBLISHED Jun 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report contains an overview of the current approaches and practices of 12 major European banks regarding the integration of environmental and social factors in commercial and investment banking activities.

The survey shows that while the identification and control of environmental and social issues in the core banking practices is becoming more common, the integration of sustainability criteria in lending and investment banking activities still requires significant improvement if banks aim to protect the value of their assets in the short and longer term.

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TITLE Overcoming Barriers to International Investment in Clean Energy
AUTHOR OECD
PUBLISHED Jun 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Financial market regulation for sustainable development in the BRICS countries
AUTHOR WWF
PUBLISHED Jun 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Investing in a Time of Climate Change
AUTHOR Mercer
PUBLISHED Jun 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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?

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TITLE Sustainable Investments in Switzerland
AUTHOR Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG)
PUBLISHED May 2015
LANGUAGES DE  EN 
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TITLE Swiss team input into the UNEP Inquiry: Design of a Sustainable Financial System
AUTHOR Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) with input from various experts from Swiss organisations in the field of sustainable finance
PUBLISHED May 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Swiss team input into the UNEP Inquiry: Design of a Sustainable Financial System

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TITLE Marktbericht nachhaltige Geldanlagen
AUTHOR Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG)
PUBLISHED May 2015
LANGUAGES DE  EN 
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Summary

Annual report produced by FNG surveying sustainable investment in Switzerland across all asset classes and sustainability approaches.    

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TITLE zRating-Studie 2015
AUTHOR Inrate AG & zRating
PUBLISHED May 2015
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

In der 7. Ausgabe der zRating Studie wurde die Corporate Governance von 165 Schweizer Publikumsgesellschaften anhand von 62 Kritieren analysiert.

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TITLE RISIKO, RENDITE – UND WIRKUNG? Die Anlagebereitschaft deutscher Stiftungen und vermögender Anleger für wirkungs-orientiertes Investieren (available in German)
AUTHOR Universität Stuttgart
PUBLISHED Apr 2015
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

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).

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TITLE Position paper on corporate social responsibility (CSR)
AUTHOR Swiss Federal Council
PUBLISHED Apr 2015
LANGUAGES DE  FR 
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Summary

On 1 April 2015, the Swiss Federal Council adopted a position paper on corporate social responsibility. It was prepared as part of an interdepartmental process under the aegis of SECO and based on a consultation between the various stakeholders. It has two main goals: 1. Informing companies and their stakeholders about the federal government’s goals and expectations as regards CSR; 2. Providing an overview of the government’s current and future CSR-related activities.

The CSR Position Paper sets out four strategic priorities for the federal government’s activities:

  • Co-developing CSR framework conditions;
  • Raising awareness among and supporting Swiss companies as they implement CSR;
  • Promoting CSR in developing countries and transitional economies;
  • Encouraging transparency in CSR activities.

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TITLE European Responsible Investing Fund Survey 2015
AUTHOR Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) & KPMG
PUBLISHED Mar 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

ALFI published the third edition of the European Responsible Investing Fund Survey produced by KPMG. The survey covers the European responsible investment fund market as at 31 December 2014, including the size of the market, investment categories and the domicile of such funds.

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TITLE From the Stockholder to the Stakeholder: How sustainability can drive financial outperformance (March 2015 update)
AUTHOR Oxford University and Arabesque Partners
PUBLISHED Mar 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Based on more than 190 academic studies, industry reports, newspaper articles, and books, this meta-study showed three compelling arguments.

  • 90% of the studies on the cost of capital show that sound sustainability standards lower the cost of capital of companies
  • 88% of the research shows that solid ESG practices result in better operational performance of firms
  • 80% of the studies show that stock price performance of companies is positively influenced by good sustainability practices

    Based on more than 190 academic studies, industry reports, newspaper articles, and books, this meta-study showed three compelling arguments.

    • 90% of the studies on the cost of capital show that sound sustainability standards lower the cost of capital of companies
    • 88% of the research shows that solid ESG practices result in better operational performance of firms
    • 80% of the studies show that stock price performance of companies is positively influenced by good sustainability practices

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TITLE ImpactBase Snapshot: An Analysis of 300+ Impact Investing Funds
AUTHOR Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
PUBLISHED Mar 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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TITLE Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014
AUTHOR Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA)
PUBLISHED Mar 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report provides a snapshot of the global market in terms of volume, growth and practice at the start of 2014. It draws on data and insights provided by the members of the GSIA. Each of these members—Eurosif, US SIF, Responsible Investment Association Canada, ASrIA and Responsible Investment Association Australasia—offers in-depth  reports that provide information and analysis, as well as examples, of sustainable investment within their markets.

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TITLE Social Impact Investment: Building the Evidence Base
AUTHOR OECD
PUBLISHED Mar 2015
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

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.

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