Last year put sustainability accounting and reporting on the map. The next 12 months should see regulators, standard setters and companies taking a closer look at areas like double materiality, Scope 3 emissions and nature-based reporting.
Tokyo wants to become Asia’s top sustainable finance centre by riding the wave of green bond issuance in Japan. That would require a change in the mindset of local investors and an alignment with international norms, not least around its planned taxonomy.
Investors that are early adopters of fossil fuel exclusion policies tend to rank highly on voting, while some vocal critics of divestment are not as active on engagement as their stance might suggest, new data reveals.
After a split, two groups recently launched separate ESG-focused guidance on securities lending, while the US SEC plans to make the practice less opaque and help assess its effect on shareholder voting. Investors hope the moves will make the business more sustainable and transparent.
Capital flows into emerging markets are falling well short of what will be needed to achieve net-zero emissions or other key sustainability goals, say several new reports. The likes of Günther Thallinger of Allianz and Philippe Zaouati of Mirova are calling on governments to pull their weight.
Under pressure from the financial sector, the EU, G7 and other influential bodies are ramping up the push to achieve consistent measurement and reporting of sustainability impact amid concerns that separate initiatives are hindering this goal.
With investors pushing back on what they see as weak or immaterial claims by issuers of sustainability-linked debt, banks are now citing similar concerns – though they are still arranging deals seen as questionable.
The lucrative business of securities lending – often criticised for lacking transparency and not being aligned with long-term responsible investment – is in the spotlight more than ever. But ESG-related standards are being developed for the industry.
Capital Monitor research shows that only one in four banks have linked CEO pay to environmental impact metrics, and the ESG targets that have been set often lack transparency and impact – despite growing stakeholder pressure to address such issues.
The world’s biggest fund house is to offer wider proxy voting rights to many of its institutional clients. But there is scepticism over how much impact the move will have, and other big asset managers are reluctant to make similar commitments despite rising pressure to do so.
Sustainability expertise has become a key priority for corporate boards in Europe but the sharp rise in demand for ESG-focused top-level executives has not driven an equivalent jump in pay, say recruiters.