WednesdayMar 27, 2024 10:00 am

‘Greenhushing’ Is Adversely Impacting ESG Activity in Private Markets

A report outlining the state of Environmental, Social & Governance (“ESG”) investing in private markets has suggested that a phenomenon called “greenhushing’” is causing some asset managers to retreat from their public environment, social, and governance reporting commitments. Greenhushing refers to the practice of retaining information on climate-change mitigation strategies due to the fear that releasing this information could potentially risk a company’s reputation. Companies will either do this through avoidance or outright refusal to divulge any climate-action-related information, meaning they won’t provide any information if nobody asks and will decline to answer any queries that they do receive. For…

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MondayMar 25, 2024 3:00 pm

Texas Terminates $8.5B Investment in BlackRock, ESG Movement Stunned

Earlier this week, Texas announced that it would be pulling the plug on its multibillion-dollar investment with BlackRock. This comes after the state determined that BlackRock was boycotting energy companies. BlackRock is a multinational investment company and the biggest asset manager globally with trillions in assets under management. Aaron Kinsey, chair of the state’s Board of Education, revealed that the decision was made in agreement with a 2021 state law focused on distancing Texas and its public funds from financial institutions that boycotted the oil and gas sector. In a statement, Kinsey stated that the state’s Permanent School Fund had…

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FridayMar 22, 2024 2:00 pm

Implementing ESG in Financing Heavy Industry Is Still Challenging, Expert Says

Despite making significant progress over the past several years, the environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) space still faces significant challenges in heavy industry financing. ESG considerations are a set of standards that investors use to analyze a company’s social and environmental impact before deciding on their investment strategy. Given the major role institutional and large investors play in determining the success of companies and entire industries, incorporating ESG into financing strategies is a great way to encourage the corporate adoption of clean energy. Unfortunately, heavy industries such as oil and gas, petrochemicals and steel face plenty of unique challenges that…

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WednesdayMar 20, 2024 2:00 pm

Canada Publishes Draft IFRS-Based Reporting Standards on Sustainability

Last week, the Sustainability Standards Board in Canada announced proposed standards for companies to report climate-related and sustainability data. The new standards are based on the International Sustainability Standards Board by the IFRS Foundation. The introduction of these new standards represents a step toward the establishment of compulsory reporting requirements for companies in Canada. In 2021, prime minister Justin Trudeau instructed cabinet ministers to adopt a reporting system based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”). The ISSB was launched during the COP26 climate conference that same year, with its objective being to develop sustainability disclosure standards. That…

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MondayMar 18, 2024 9:32 am

How Smart IT Could Help the Construction Industry Meet Its ESG Goals

The construction industry may benefit significantly from leveraging smart IT to optimize ESG reporting. For companies in energy-intensive industries that contribute to a large portion of environmental pollution, ESG is critical to ensuring the minimization of their impact on local communities and the environment at large. The construction sector accounts for around 40% of worldwide energy consumption and contributes to one-third of all global emissions. As such, the industry is under mounting pressure to showcase its commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and achieving net zero carbon. Achieving this typically involves placing a larger focus on ESG requirements during the tendering…

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FridayMar 15, 2024 1:00 pm

Shanghai Unveils Plan Aimed at Improving ESG

Experts say Shanghai’s latest plan to improve Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) standards is compatible with the country's developmental concept of “innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing.” With ESG becoming an increasingly integral cog in the corporate world, Shanghai officials recently published a three-year plan designed to boost the city's ESG capabilities. The Action Plan for Accelerating the Improvement of Environmental, Social & Governance (“ESG”) Capabilities of Foreign-related Enterprises in Shanghai (2024-2026) was released by the Shanghai Commission of Commerce to improve ESG principles among corporations operating in the city. It outlines 12 key measures across three major actions: improving…

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WednesdayMar 13, 2024 3:00 pm

Major US Banks Drop ‘Bare Minimum’ Eco Standards in Funding Energy Projects

Several climate groups across the globe were left reeling after four of the largest banks in the United States abandoned key industry safeguards and standards that sought to address the social and environmental risks posed by financial institutions when they invest in mining and fossil fuel projects. Dubbed the Equator Principles, these industry standards have been around for more than two decades and create a simple environmental-standards framework for addressing financial deals involving extractor projects that cause pollution. Although the standards aren't enforceable, the majority of banking institutions worldwide agree to abide by the standards to help mitigate the existential…

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MondayMar 11, 2024 3:00 pm

Flexibility Can Help Resolve ROI Issues in ESG Investing

Environment, social and governance (“ESG”) projects are becoming increasingly popular among investors, corporations and governments globally. With the effects of human-induced climate change becoming clearer by the day, there is a growing need for increased accountability in ESG reporting among corporations and governments because they are typically responsible for the majority of the world's emissions. Trillions of dollars are being earmarked for such ESG projects, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers forecasts that investment in ESG projects will almost double from $18.4 trillion in 2021 to nearly $34 trillion in 2026. ESG holdings are also on track to account for 21.5% of all the…

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FridayMar 08, 2024 2:00 pm

BlackRock Reports Increasing Politicization of ESG Poses Business Risks

In its 2023 end-of-year filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), BlackRock pointed out that its ESG investment strategy was a risk for the company, partly because of the growing political scrutiny surrounding environmental, social and governance practices. BlackRock is a multinational investment company as well as the biggest asset manager globally with $10 trillion in assets. The company explained in its 10-K form that if it wasn’t able to successfully manage expectations related to these practices across varied shareholder interests, it’s reputation would be negatively affected, as would its ability to retain and attract employees, clients, business…

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WednesdayMar 06, 2024 3:00 pm

EU Fails to Secure Approval for Proposed Law on Environment, Sustainability, Human Rights Reporting

The European Council has failed to approve proposed legislation on environmental, sustainability and human rights reporting. After several countries, including Italy and Germany, objected to a European Union legislation that would require companies to mitigate their impact on the environment and human rights, the legislation did not receive the European Council’s final approval. The measure did not secure the EU’s approval even though the EU Parliament and the European Council had previously reached a provisional regulation on the environment, sustainability, and human rights reporting bill. This will undoubtedly set back the regional bloc’s efforts to achieve its Corporate Sustainability Due…

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