Category: Finance

Are ESG ratings actually measuring how responsible a company is?

Read the full story in Fast Company.

More than $35 trillion dollars are invested in ESG funds—but do those funds reward the best corporate behavior?

Aviva Investors launches funds targeting companies tackling social inequality, biodiversity loss

Read the full story at ESG Today.

Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc, announced today the launch of two new equity funds in its Aviva Investors Sustainable Transition range, aiming to invest in companies that are managing their social and environmental impacts and providing solutions to support the transition to a sustainable future. Key areas of focus of the new funds include addressing social inequality and biodiversity loss, and the funds align with several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The circular economy needs scale — Closed Loop Venture Group has $50 million to help

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

As 2021 draws to an end, Closed Loop Partners’ venture capital group — the Closed Loop Ventures Group — reports that it has closed its Venture Fund II, which is backed by investors including Microsoft and Autodesk Foundation. An executive for Closed Loop Partners said the investment arm surpassed its $50 million goal for the fund but did not disclose by how much…

With the fund closed, the group is shifting its attention to investing in the next generation of circular companies and supporting their founders. Closed Loop Ventures Group invests in seed and pre-seed stage companies that are focused on the development of the circular economy.

Opportunities for sustainability in the built environment

Read the full story from Racounteur.

Infrastructure and real estate present varying ESG risks to institutional investors, but there are still opportunities to fund environmentally and socially responsible construction projects that offer acceptable returns.

New York orders insurers to disclose exposure to climate-related risks

Read the full story at IEFFA.

New York State’s financial regulator called on insurers to consider climate-related risks in their business planning and provide related disclosures.

Can industrial hemp become a sustainable building material? These private investors think so

Read the full story at Marketwatch.

Hemp advocate Geoff Whaling launches RePlant Hemp Impact Fund to promote hemp as a green industrial material.

Demystifying sustainability-linked loans

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

For many organizations, a key strategic goal/objective, from the perspective of its business and lending practices, is to demonstrate sustainability leadership. Demonstrating this leadership can have various tangible benefits and impacts for an organization — strengthening employee morale, addressing shareholder questions and concerns, fostering strong government relations, and enhancing/protecting a company’s reputation.

So, the questions for an organization are these: How do sustainability-linked loans thread the needle of all these prospective tangible impacts? And how are they generally structured? 

BofA issues $2b sustainability bond targeting equality, economic opportunity, green investments

Read the full story at ESG Today.

Bank of America announced today that it has issued a $2 billion “Equality Progress Sustainability Bond,” with proceeds aimed at investments targeting advancements in racial and gender equality, economic opportunity, and environmental sustainability.

The offering brings the company’s total sustainable bond issuances to nearly $12 billion since 2013, including five green bonds, two social bonds, and two sustainability bonds.

California nonprofits issue $2 billion in bonds to buy 30 years of renewable energy upfront

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

Three community choice aggregators (CCA) in California issued $2 billion in bonds to pay upfront for about 450 MW of renewable energy over 30 years.

By routing bonds to purchase clean energy through the California Community Choice Financing Authority (CCCFA), the three public energy suppliers expect to save 8-12% on the cost of energy. The financial structure of the transaction will allow the CCAs to take advantage of both bulk energy discounts and the difference between taxable and tax-exempt rates, according to Garth Salisbury, director of finance and treasurer for MCE, a CCA that provides power to 37 San Francisco Bay Area communities.

Although bonds have been used to finance the prepayment of energy and natural gas in the past, this is the first time MCE has used this structure to purchase clean energy, Salisbury said Monday. With the first transactions now complete, he anticipates MCE will make additional purchases using the same template, which could also be used by other energy providers, he said.

The role of private investment in sustainable infrastructure

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

At the recent VERGE 21 conference, Melanie Nakagawa, senior director for climate and energy at the National Security Council who has advised President Joe Biden on his climate plan, emphasized the importance of forming partnerships between private investors and the government to tackle the monumental task of meeting the country’s infrastructure needs. 

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