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newsletter 09/2017

Our topics:

1. Customers

- oekom research provides second party opinion for Hypo Vorarlberg’s first green bond

- Schelhammer & Schattera bank: Investment funds based on oekom research’s sustainability research receive top appraisal from consumer-product tester, Stiftung Warentest

- WWF Switzerland: Environmental Rating & Innovation Report on the Textiles Industry

2. oekom Services

- oekom Facts & Figures: The Impact of Sustainable Investment

- oekom Industry Focus Auto Components

- oekom Position Paper Agriculture

3. Market/Initiatives

- oekom Market Statement – France

4. Events

- Global Sustainability Jam

- Novethic 10th Annual Conference

1. Customers

oekom research provides second party opinion for Hypo Vorarlberg’s first green bond

Hypo Vorarlberg, the largest independent bank in Austria’s regional state of Vorarlberg, appointed oekom research to review and confirm the sustainability performance of the bank’s first green bond in the course of the instrument’s issuance. This appraisal was conducted on the basis of the criteria and indicators of oekom research’s internally developed Green Bond Analysis Framework. As, among others, one of the founding members of the climate neutrality alliance ‚Klimaneutralitätsbündnis 2025’ – an initiative of meanwhile 90 companies across Europe which have the goal of continually cutting carbon emissions and achieving climate neutrality by 2025 – the bank will use the green bond to promote sustainable buildings which demonstrably contribute to climate protection: the properties must prove an energy-efficient building design and lead to energy efficiency improvements.

“Our choice of oekom research as SPO partner was essentially based on the rating agency’s expertise and outstanding reputation in this field,” says Hypo Vorarlberg’s green bond project manager, Andrea Kaufmann MA. “We already worked very successfully with the agency back in 2016 in the framework of the oekom Corporate Rating. We also found the thoroughness of the appraisal, the sustainability framework’s clear concept, and the transparent work processes very convincing,” she continues.

Contact: Mag. Andrea Kaufmann, Tel. +43 50 414-1375, Email

Schelhammer & Schattera bank: Investment funds based on oekom research’s sustainability research receive top appraisal from consumer-product tester, Stiftung Warentest

The SUPERIOR 1 – Ethik Renten fund of Austrian bank Schelhammer & Schattera was awarded first place in a test of sustainable investment funds conducted by Berlin-based consumer-product tester Stiftung Warentest (07/2017). Stiftung Warentest confirmed that the winning fund returned a 2.5 per cent annual yield over five years. Another fund awarded a top rating in the category “Mixed Fund – Defensive – Global” was the SUPERIOR 3 – Ethik fund which returned a 4.4 per cent annual yield over a five-year period, according to Stiftung Warentest (in each case: at 30 April 2017).

Both funds are based on oekom research’s sustainability research. They are the only sustainable ethical investment funds from Austria to have been awarded the maximum five points (“substantially above average”) – and thereby the very best value – in the Stiftung Warentest Finance Test.

Contact and further information:

WWF Switzerland: Environmental Rating & Innovation Report on the Textiles Industry

WWF TextilindustrieWWF used industry-specific rating data from oekom research as the basis for analysing twelve textiles brands with regard to their environmental commitments. The main finding was that over half of the investigated companies take virtually no measures to counter climate change.

None of the assessed companies could be classified by the rating in the best possible category, “Visionary”. H&M was the only company to be classified in the category “Ambitious”. Nike, adidas and Mammut were assigned to the “Upper Mid-Field”; and VF Corporation (The North Face, Timberland etc.), Hugo Boss, Odlo and Calida to the “Lower Mid-Field”. Triumph, Chicorée, PKZ and Tally Weijl only reached the category “Laggards/Non-Transparent” as they take very limited environmental measures, or fail to disclose information altogether.

The complete report can be downloaded here:

2. oekom Services

oekom Facts & Figures: The Impact of Sustainable Investment

oekom Facts and FiguresIn a new, enhanced edition of its Impact Study to be issued mid-October, oekom research is now not only able to evince that sustainable investments have a discernible influence on companies, but also that this influence is continually rising. Over 61 per cent of the survey’s respondents said that sustainability rating agencies were the key driver for more sustainability at companies. And already over a third (36.5 per cent) confirmed their inquiries have a significant to very significant impact on the general corporate strategy; this represents a rise of almost four per cent compared to the first survey in 2013. Furthermore, over 61 per cent said these inquiries also influence their companies’ sustainability strategies.

An oekom Facts & Figures containing excerpts of the study’s central findings can now be ordered at The complete oekom Impact Study 2017 will be presented during the Double Dividends event on 17 October 2017.

oekom Industry Focus Auto Components

IF Auto ComponentsThe oekom Universe contains a total of 54 companies in the Auto Components sector which are involved in the specialist manufacturing of products for the automotive sector. The industry is closely connected to, and highly dependent on, the automotive sector. While carmakers impose a wide range of guidelines on component manufacturers, on the one hand, innovations from the Auto Components sector are also fed back into carmakers’ development processes, on the other.

The industry’s best-rated companies are currently Valeo SA (F), with the rating B-, followed by Georg Fisch AG (CH) and ZF Friedrichshafen (D), each rated with C+. The industry’s Prime quota is 11.1 per cent, thereby well below the pan-industry average of around 16 per cent.

The publication can be requested at no charge from

oekom Position Paper Agriculture

PP LandwirtschaftWith its impact on many different areas – ranging from climate change to human rights – agriculture is one of those sectors facing the greatest sustainability challenges. Moreover, the extent of agricultural activity, which covers over a third of the world’s land surface and offers work to over one billion people, contributes additionally to the sector’s importance for sustainable global development.

In its new Position Paper, oekom research presents the various agriculture-related topics relevant from a sustainability perspective, addresses the alternative scenario of sustainable agriculture and the role of the UN SDGs, and finally introduces those aspects with which the topic is addressed in the oekom Corporate Rating and oekom Country Rating.

The publication can be requested at no charge from

3. Market/Initiatives

oekom Market Statement – France

For various reasons, including long-standing national legislative initiatives to advance and implement more sustainability at companies, France is among those countries internationally considered as beacons in this area. Not without reason does the oekom CR Review 2017 observe that French companies are among the most numerous frontrunners in the sustainability rating. The French sustainable investment market is also highly developed, with decisive cornerstones being pioneering EU-wide regulatory aspects, such as the CSR reporting obligation (which took effect early on in the first decade of the new millennium), the state SRI label, and Article 173 of the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act. Also, the successful presidency of the UN Climate Conference Cop21 has led to a high level of awareness for sustainability as the order of the day.

“According to Novethic, the volume of sustainably invested assets in France reached almost EUR 750 billion in 2015 alone,” says Dr. Julia Haake, s Director International Business Development and Head of oekom research’s Paris branch. “Also, France is among the frontrunners in terms of the volume of green and social bonds, and accounts for a quarter of all green bond issuers (banks, investors and corporates) worldwide. Against this background, the inherent goal can be seen as turning Paris into the world’s leading centre for sustainable finance,” she continues.

France’s policymakers have been driving this development with tremendous fervour. They have committed themselves unambiguously to the COP1 resolutions and UN SDGs, which they also defend at an international level. Current events, such as the Sustainable Finance Week, which ended 5 October, and the French Climate Finance Day on 11 December are signals which have an important international impact, and ultimately serve as an expression of unmistakable political resolve.

Contact: Dr. Julia Haake, Director International Business Development oekom research, Email:

4. Events

Global Sustainability Jam

Each autumn, the “Global Sustainability Jam” (Global SusJam) is held simultaneously at over 40 venues worldwide. The not-for-profit event is organised by an international network with the common goal of using the ‘Design Thinking Method’ to develop solutions to environmental and social problems over a 48-hour period, and thereby to improve the world.

This year’s event in Germany, which runs from 10 to 12 November, will be held in Dresden, as in 2016. Further information is available at

Tickets can be ordered at:

Novethic 10th Annual Conference

Novethic, a subsidiary of French government-controlled financial institution Caisse des Dépôts, will be holding its 2017 Annual Conference in Paris on 12 December, one day after the French Climate Finance Day. The event, which is primarily aimed at asset owners and institutional investors, will focus on discussing and exchanging opinions on innovative investment strategies and best practices.

In an overview of the development of sustainable investments in the various European markets, oekom research CEO, Robert Haßler, will provide a guest commentary elucidating Germany’s role in this area.

Further information is available at:

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