Settimana SRI 2020
Finanza verde, perché gli investimenti a prova di clima sono sempre più numerosi
Aumenta l’attenzione di istituti di credito, aziende, assicurazioni e investitori per gli investimenti climate proof e questa nuova tendenza, già confermata nel 2019 e nel 2020, è destinata a crescere anche in futuro. Il clima diventa sempre di più una questione globale.
Investire sul clima per il rilancio dell’economia: guida all’uso in 4 azioni e 6 settori
Il nuovo manuale del Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile individua 4 azioni prioritarie per gli investitori e 6 settori strategici d’intervento per la mitigazione e l’adattamento al cambiamento climatico. Il testo è stato presentato nel convegno di chiusura della nona edizione della Settimana SRI.
Fondazioni di origine bancaria: quelle che scelgono la finanza sostenibile rappresentano oltre il 60% dell’attivo patrimoniale in Italia
I risultati della prima edizione dell’indagine sulle politiche SRI delle Fondazioni di origine bancaria condotta dal Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile presentata durante la nona edizione delle Settimana SRI.
Operatori previdenziali sempre più ESG: in Italia il 62% dei rispondenti all’indagine FFS applica strategie SRI
I risultati della sesta edizione dell’indagine sugli investimenti sostenibili degli operatori previdenziali, condotta dal Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile e presentata in occasione della nona edizione della Settimana SRI.
PMI italiane: per il 30% la sostenibilità può accelerare l’uscita dalla crisi
I dati emergono dall’indagine del Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile presentata all’apertura della nona edizione della Settimana SRI.
Investing in climate change to restart the economy: guidance on 4 actions and 6 sectors
• 4 priority actions for investors: analyze climate-related financial risks; improve transparency on sustainability themes; reduce adverse environmental impacts; invest in mitigation and adaptation solutions.
• 6 strategic sectors for mitigation and adaptation: energy; farming and forests; transport and mobility; cities and construction; digital technologies; circular economy.
• These are the core themes of the “Sustainable climate investments” handbook by the Italian Sustainable Investment Forum (ItaSIF).
• The handbook was presented at the closing event of the 9th edition of the SRI Week, which involved over 5.000 people in 13 online events organized by ItaSIF.
Investing in the decarbonization of the economy will help restart it after the crisis triggered by the current pandemic and will contribute towards long-lasting social and economic development: sustainable finance can play a crucial role in this process by incorporating the “climate factor” in investment policies. The new ItaSIF handbook identifies 4 priority actions for investors and 6 strategic sectors where action needs be taken, including through public-private partnerships.
The handbook is comprised of the contributions of a working group organized in collaboration with WWF and with the support of BPER Banca, Etica Sgr, Natixis Investment Managers and UBS Asset Management and was presented during the closing event of the ninth edition of the SRI Week, which involved over 5.000 people in 13 online events organized by ItaSIF (overall, the SRI Week calendar featured 17 conferences and 2 cultural events).
Climate-aligned sustainable investments: contents
Starting point: the current crisis triggered by the COVID-19-pandemic should not overshadow the issue of climate change
The goal to curb global average temperature rise to within 1.5° should not be downplayed in comparison with the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, for two reasons. First, because healthcare- and environment-related issues are closely interconnected: altered ecosystems increase risks for human health and, conversely, safeguarding biodiversity and countering global warming entail beneficial impacts, including on health. Second, because climate-aligned investments unlock opportunities to restart the economy. Therefore, it is necessary to align portfolios to decarbonization targets and invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions. How?
4 strategic actions and 6 priority sectors
The handbook examines 4 actions that investors can incorporate in their investment policies in order to factor in environmental and climate-related themes: 1) analyze climate-related financial risks; 2) improve transparency on sustainability themes – with corporate reporting and ESG data availability for investors being essential; 3) reduce the adverse environmental impacts of portfolios – through a combination of engagement, exclusions, divestment and reallocations; 4) invest in mitigation and adaptation solutions.
This fourth edition of the handbook examines 6 strategic sectors, including in terms of public-private partnership action: 1) energy; 2) farming and forests; 3) transport and mobility; 4) cities and construction; 5) digital technologies; 6) circular economy.
The interconnection between the environmental and social aspects of climate change
One of the peculiarities of the handbook is that it analyzes the social phenomena related to climate change and their financial relevance, including risks (e.g., health issues, more inequalities and forced migration) and opportunities (in terms of just transition and more resilient enterprises and human societies).
Banking Foundations adopting sustainable finance account for over 60% of total AUM in Italy
• Foundations that invest sustainably have a total AUM of no less than €27 billion.
• Their favorite approach is impact investing, with an emphasis on social housing.
• These findings are from the survey conducted by the Italian Sustainable Investment Forum (ItaSIF) and presented during the SRI (Sustainable and Responsible Investment) Week.
“The sustainable and responsible investment policies of Italian banking foundations” survey was conducted by ItaSIF in collaboration with Acri and MondoInstitutional with the support of DPAM, Natixis Investment Managers, Prometeia and T. Rowe Price.
The event was part of the 9th edition of the SRI Week (Settimana SRI).
Adoption of SRI strategies
• The sample surveyed includes 83 Banking Foundations that are members of Acri (hereafter referred to as “Foundations”) with an aggregate AUM of over €44 billion. The 32 respondents account for 80% of total assets (ca. €35 billion).
• Half of the respondents (14 Foundations) make sustainable investments; among these, the top 10, size-wise, collectively manage €27 billion, equal to 61% of total assets of the sample. The main reason for choosing SRI investment strategies is a willingness to: manage financial risks more effectively, obtain better returns, mitigate reputational risk and keep up with the evolution of the reference regulatory framework (especially within the EU). Their answers indicate that Foundations see a competitive advantage in sustainable investments.
• Among the respondents that do not apply sustainable investment strategies, 10 reported that are considering doing so (15% of total assets) and in 7 cases they are likely to decide by the end of 2020.
Impact investing and mission-related investments (MRIs)
• The most widespread SRI strategies among Foundations are: impact investing (with the main focus being on social housing), exclusions, thematic investments, best in class and international conventions membership.
• 14 Foundations that use SRI make mission-related investments : here again, the focus is on social housing.
The survey points out three areas in which the Foundations could be encouraged so as to increase their SRI commitment:
• assets managed with sustainable strategies (now mainly ranging between 0 and 25% of AUM);
• engagement with investee companies and stewardship to promote more sustainable corporate practices – that might be encouraged through information and educational activities on this theme;
• disclosure of information on sustainable investments (9 in 14 Foundations that adopt sustainable investments only disclose general data on this theme).
Pension schemes are increasingly ESG-driven: in Italy, 62% of the FFS survey respondents apply sustainable investment strategies
• 53 schemes with €127 billion of AUM apply sustainable investment strategies to the products monitored.
• More schemes adopt sustainable investment strategies to 75%-100% of their assets and set sustainability targets for their managers.
• These are the findings of the ItaSIF survey presented during the 9th edition of the SRI Week.
The sixth edition of “The sustainable investment policies of pension schemes” survey was conducted by the Italian Sustainable Investment Forum (ItaSIF) in collaboration with Mefop and MondoInstitutional.
The survey interviewed a sample of 115 pension schemes with over €236 billion of AUM and found an increase in the number of respondents that apply sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) strategies and a greater awareness of the financial importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) themes. The evolution of European regulations on transparency (IORP II Directive and Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation – SFDR) and stewardship (Shareholders Rights II Directive) will help consolidate these trends further.
The survey was supported by ENPACL, HDI Assicurazioni, Sella SGR and Vigeo Eiris.
• 85 schemes with €184 billion of AUM (74% of the sample) answered the questionnaire.
• 62% of respondents (53 schemes with €127 billion of AUM) apply sustainable investment strategies to the products monitored, up from 2019 when the schemes using SRI accounted for 47% of respondents.
• The main reason why pension fund investors adopt sustainable investment strategies is a willingness to contribute towards sustainable development and manage financial risks more effectively, which points to a greater awareness of the financial importance of ESG.
• The interest of pension fund investors in sustainable finance is set to grow: indeed, 21 schemes that currently do not apply sustainable investment strategies are considering doing so and, in most cases (86%), the related evaluation process could end by the end of 2020.
• Compared to 2019, in absolute terms more schemes (25 up from 23) apply sustainable development strategies to 75%-100% of their assets and set sustainability targets for their financial managers.
• Over half of the schemes that use SRI introduced, or are planning on introducing, the investment portfolio carbon footprint calculation.
• The SRI strategies most widely used by pension fund investors are: exclusions, best in class and impact investing. Use of engagement and stewardship can be enhanced in the coming months as a result of initiatives for encouraging transposition of the Shareholders Rights II Directive (e.g., promotion of soft law initiatives to regulate investor engagement in investee companies).
30% of Italian SMEs believe that sustainability can accelerate our way out of the crisis
• Over 80% of SMEs in Italy view sustainability as a key component of strategic and investment choices.
• 80% of respondents believe that environmental, social and governance (ESG) assessment is a necessary building block of lending.
• Interviewees deem it indispensable to enhance the disclosure and promotion of sustainable finance.
• These are among the key findings of the survey conducted by the Italian Sustainable Investment Forum (ItaSIF) and presented on the first day of the 9th edition of the SRI Week.
The findings of the “Italian SMEs and Sustainability” survey conducted by ItaSIF in collaboration with BVA Doxa have been presented at the kick-off meeting of the SRI Week.
The survey interviewed 477 enterprises across Italy and showed that SMEs believe that sustainability-related themes are very important, most especially in view of managing the current economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, there is substantial room for improvement in terms of mainstreaming sustainable finance instruments, mainly in terms of enhancing the promotion of the products currently available on the market and focusing disclosure on the practical benefits, including economic ones, of sustainability policies.
The survey was supported by Iccrea Banca and Intesa Sanpaolo.
Italian SMEs and sustainability: key findings
The COVID-19 pandemic and sustainability
• One in three respondents (and as much as 39% of the SMEs with at least 50 employees) believe that integrating sustainability in the criteria that drive strategic choices will accelerate our way out of the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a matter of fact, in the new social and economic scenario that has come into being as a result of the pandemic, 37% of interviewees foresee an increased focus on ESG themes.
The importance of sustainability: opportunities and challenges
• 80%+ of the SMEs surveyed reported that sustainability is important in strategic and investment choices; over half of the sample is planning on embedding ESG themes in their broader corporate strategy, with environmental themes being the most well-known, appreciated and codified.
• The main benefits of pursuing sustainability initiatives are related to marketing and product strategies (73% of respondents) and to enhanced company reputation and attractiveness (52% of respondents). The challenges of working sustainably are mainly related to higher costs (52% of respondents) and lengthy and cumbersome bureaucracy, for example when it comes to obtaining and maintaining certifications (50% of respondents).
SMEs and sustainable finance
• Most SMEs believe that sustainability is important in finance and lending. Indeed, 80% of respondents reported that financial players should use ESG indicators alongside traditional ones in order to adequately assess creditworthiness; 33% of respondents reported that sustainable projects should benefit from better financing conditions. 70% of interviewees stated that they collect ESG data for internal use, for stakeholders or for public disclosure.
• Still, there is substantial room for improvement in terms of mainstreaming Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI). As a matter of fact, only one in three SMEs considered sustainable finance products and less than 30% of them have adopted sustainability ratings and similar tools or prepared Non-Financial Reporting.
• The main reason for this is that promotion and disclosure are still limited: 70% of interviewees have never been proposed to consider financing sustainable projects. Most of the SMEs surveyed are asking financial players to increase sustainable finance disclosure and highlight success cases and practical economic, financial, reputational, marketing and positioning benefits.
• Banks turn out to be the focal point: most respondents reported that banks play an important role in the choice of financial instruments (41% of respondents) and in the promotion of SRI products (35% of respondents).