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newsletter 10/2017

Our topics:

1. In-house news

- SRI-Connect Responsible Investment Survey IRRI 2017: oekom research is in the running

2. Customers

- oekom Sustainability Solutions Assessment data are feeding into Sycomore AM fund management

- BBGI Group successfully launched its low carbon risk indices with the support of oekom’s Carbon Risk Rating and Fossil Fuel Screening data

- oekom research and CBI confirm Strasser Capital's MEP Green Financing Programme

- Boston Consulting Group study with data from oekom research: "Total Societal Impact – A New Lens for Strategy"

3. oekom Services

- oekom Impact Study 2017: The impact of responsible investment on companies is increasing

- Industry focus financials/multi-sector holdings

4. Market/Initiatives

- Petition to require compliance by the European Central Bank with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

- EU Parliament calls for increased divestment efforts by pension funds

- Updated UN Global Compact integrity standards

5. Events

- Looking back: oekom Double Dividends 2017 meeting

6. Jobs

- Senior Web Developer

- Junior Analysts



1. In-house news

SRI-Connect Responsible Investment Survey IRRI 2017: oekom research is in the running

This year, oekom research is once again participating in SRI-Connect's international Independent Research in Responsible Investment Survey (IRRI). Numerous representatives of asset managers, brokers, ESG analysts and also publicly traded companies are invited to vote on who has distinguished themselves in this field during the past year through quality performance and innovations.

The new oekom Impact Study 2017 documents how relevant and effective our work is. Sustainability rating agencies are the greatest driver for sustainability commitment among companies. This result and the continuing positive feedback from market participants regarding our work inspire us to encourage you once again to vote for oekom research: Rate us, our work and our analysts!

The survey will be conducted by the market research institute Extel on behalf of SRI-Connect, the worldwide network for independent sustainability research, and runs from 1 November to 30 November 2017.

More information is available at http://www.sri-connect.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1359&Itemid=1809


2. Customers

oekom Sustainability Solutions Assessment data are feeding into Sycomore AM fund management

Since July 2017, oekom and Sycomore AM have entered into a partnership focused on the evaluation of companies’ social contribution to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This partnership includes the oekom Sustainability Solutions Assessment, which evaluates the contribution or obstruction of companies’ product portfolio to the UN SDGs.

Sycomore AM is soliciting oekom's expertise on SDG-related data to complement its internal research. The social dimension of the oekom Sustainability Solutions Assessment is used by Sycomore AM as an input in the analysis of a company’s social  contribution. It is integrated across all its funds. Notably, it is part of the portfolio construction process of the Sycomore Shared Growth thematic fund.

Contact: Bertille Knuckey, Head of Sustainable & Responsible Investment, Sycomore AM; Tel.: +33 (0)1 73 54 16 60; Email: bertille.knuckey@sycomore-am.com


BBGI Group successfully launched its low carbon risk indices with the support of oekom’s Carbon Risk Rating and Fossil Fuel Screening data

BBGI Group and oekom have started a cooperation aiming at developing two low carbon indices: the BBGI-oekom Low Carbon Risk Equal Weight and the BBGI-oekom Low Carbon Risk Smart Beta. Both indices are now public, with historical data available from 31.12.2013. Since the beginning of the year, the indices are demonstrating very promising performance (over +21% for both at end of September).

As clean thematic indices experience solid success in Switzerland, BBGI Group was willing to bring a new dimension in this area, going beyond a pure carbon footprinting approach. BBGI Group’s intention was to structure indices demonstrating low carbon risk and a low and controlled exposure to fossil fuels.

To that end, BBGI Group decided to call upon oekom’s expertise: the oekom Carbon Risk Rating and Fossil Fuel Screening appeared to be the best solutions available to identify those issuers who contribute to a low carbon economy and the ecological transition.

Contact: Florence Bosson-Chernyak (Research Analyst, Fund Selection); Tel: +41 22 595 96 55; Email: fbo@bbgi.ch


oekom research and CBI confirm Strasser Capital's MEP Green Financing Programme

The private equity firm Strasser Capital GmbH plans to place the second tranche of its MEP Green Financing Programme in Q4 2017/Q1 2018. The programme provides long-term financing for the solar energy system leasing model of its subsidiary MEP Werke GmbH. The investment tranche was recently officially certified by CBI after previous analysis of the MEP Green Financing Programme by oekom research, and as a result may be offered to investors as "Climate Bond Certified".

The MEP Green Financing Programme provides refinancing for the short-term credit lines of MEP Werke, which were used to expand the solar energy system leasing portfolio. According to its own statements, Strasser Capital is one of only five private issuers on the German green bond market. In total, there are only ten German issuers of green bonds and green loans.

Contact: Sandra Wagner, Press Officer for MEP Werke GmbH, Tel.: +49 (0)89 442 32 87 695, Email: presse@mep-werke.de


Boston Consulting Group study with data from oekom research: "Total Societal Impact – A New Lens for Strategy"

PP Landwirtschaft

Making use of ESG analysis data predominantly from oekom research, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) investigated how companies integrate the goal of societal impact in their respective strategies and business activities, and how this ultimately expresses itself in financial performance. For this purpose, quantitative environmental, social and governance-related analyses of over 300 companies from four industry sectors were evaluated. The companies' performance with regard to ESG aspects was found to play a strong role in the general financial rating of the companies. In each of the sectors, the top performers in the ESG categories distinguished themselves through higher valuation multiples from investors.

BCG chose oekom research as a partner due to the depth of its ESG analyses, which permitted conclusions to be made regarding the questions posed.

Download the study at https://www.bcg.com/publications/2017/corporate-development-finance-total-societal-impact-new-lens-strategy.aspx


3. oekom Services

oekom Impact Study 2017: The impact of responsible investment on companies is increasing

In its new Impact Study 2017,  an extended new edition of an earlier study from 2013, oekom research concluded that the influence of the responsible capital markets is clearly positive. According to the polled companies, the impact that responsible investors, banks and rating agencies have on their sustainability efforts has increased considerably since the last survey in 2013. Over 36 percent of companies, an increase of four percentage points from four years ago, confirm that the requirements of sustainability analyses have an influence on their general business strategy.

The oekom Impact Study 2017 was conducted in partnership with PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment). In total, 3,660 companies were surveyed, of which a total of 475 companies from 36 countries and across 50 industries participated. The study was supported by Metzler Asset Management and the Evangelische Bank, as well as further institutional investors and asset managers.

The study can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/2haPUvk


Industry focus financials/multi-sector holdings

The multi-sector holdings industry currently includes 57 companies, most of which are located in Sweden, the Philippines, the Unites States and Germany. It comprises companies whose business model involves investing as an equity firm in other independent companies.

The investment companies themselves are usually rather small to very small, and often operate with fewer than 100 employees, and in some cases even fewer than ten. Hence, their own operational business has almost no impact on sustainability, as the bulk lies in its investments, i.e. in the value creation chain. Currently, the best-rated companies include Ratos AB (SE) with a B rating, and Indus Holding (DE) and Suramericana (Co) with C+ ratings.

The publication can be requested free of charge at communications@oekom-research.com.


4. Market/Initiatives

Petition to require compliance by the European Central Bank with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

The eligibility criteria for bonds and securities eligible for monetary policy operations with the European Central Bank contain no explicit ethical requirements regarding sustainability or human rights. Professor Peter Bolsinger, of the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt, saw this as a reason to investigate for the first time ethical controversies surrounding the securities accepted by the ECB for minimum reserve purposes. According to the petitioner, the results of the analysis performed by oekom research, which investigated topics such as child labour, environmental protection, tax avoidance, corruption and human rights violations, show clear regulatory gaps. The securities can be associated with numerous ethical controversies which stand in violation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as a minimum standard. The petition was debated and adopted in the meeting of the Committee on Petitions on 11 October 2017 in Brussels.

The full petition can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2hnDxwk


EU Parliament calls for increased divestment efforts by pension funds

EU Parliament calls for increased divestment efforts by pension funds
The European Parliament has called for pension funds and other financial institutions to divest from the financing of fossil fuels and to focus their investments on the two degree Celsius target of the Paris climate agreement.

In the run-up to this year's UN climate conference in November in Bonn (COP23), the EU Parliament adopted a resolution on the matter in its plenary meeting. The text urges governments, public and private institutions such as banks, pension funds and insurance companies to commit themselves to orienting their credit and investment practices towards the goal of keeping the global average temperature rise to much less than 2 degrees Celsius.

The full resolution can be viewed here: www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2017-0380


Updated UN Global Compact integrity standards

As part of a comprehensive revision of its integrity guidelines, the UN Global Compact has also expanded its admission and exclusion criteria for companies. Since 15 October 2017, companies that are active in the production of tobacco products or involved in the manufacture of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are barred from admission to the UN Global Compact.

oekom research also confirms unsatisfactory sustainability performance by the tobacco industry. "As already addressed in the August 2017 industry report, not a single company in the tobacco industry among the eleven represented in the oekom Universe meets the strict requirements of the oekom Prime Status defined for the sector", says Johannes Zimmermann, lead analyst for the sector at oekom research.

More information is available at: www.unglobalcompact.org/participation/join/who-should-join


5. Events

Looking back: oekom Double Dividends 2017 meeting

Sustainable investment works! That was the topic of the "Double Dividends – Trends in Sustainable Investment" (German: "Doppelte Dividende – Trends im nachhaltigen Investment”) meeting, held on 17 October 2017 in Frankfurt am Main and directed mainly at representatives of institutional investors such as pension funds, insurance companies, foundations and religious institutions.

During the event, the oekom Impact Study was presented, which documents the influence of sustainable capital investments and sustainability ratings on companies. In his keynote address, Felix Oldenburg, General Secretary of the Association of German Foundations (BVDS), took a fresh look at foundation assets. Prof. Anders Levermann, Professor of Climate System Dynamics at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), explored the question of how climate change will affect the (investment) world. A panel discussion and in-depth workshops focused on the impacts of sustainable investments as well as green bonds and sustainability in the chemical industry, among other topics.

More information as well as the conference transcript are available at: http://oekom-research.com/index.php?content=doppelte-dividende-2017


6. Jobs

Senior Web Developer

In order to strengthen its IT team in Munich, oekom research is seeking a full-time Senior Web Developer at the earliest possible opportunity. As a Senior Web Developer, you are genuine, enthusiastic, communicative, creative and an out of the box thinker. You work very independently, support company-wide hardware and software development, manage ongoing projects and, in particular, contribute to the design, development, and implementation of new, innovative projects. In so doing, you find new solutions and approaches and formulate requirements for the development process. For you, keeping your knowledge current and staying in touch with new technologies go without saying and you know that the development of software involves more than just source code.

More information on this job posting is available at: https://oekom-research.softgarden.io/job/1380155?l=de


Junior Analysts

In order to strengthen its research team, oekom research is seeking several full-time Junior Analysts for its Munich office, starting 15 February 2018. Job duties include, among other things, the preparation and editing of sustainability analyses for international companies as well as the collection and analysis of information regarding controversial business fields and business practices (exclusion criteria). In addition to interest and enthusiasm for CSR, a good understanding of social and ecological interrelationships as well as a readiness to continually improve knowledge of ratings methods and current sustainability topics are required.

More information on this job posting is available at: https://short.sg/j/1483450


top news

SRI-Connect Responsible Investment Survey IRRI 2017: oekom research is in the running

2017/11/07

oekom Impact Study 2017: The impact of responsible investment on companies is increasing

2017/10/17

oekom research provides SPO for Nordea Green Bond Asset Portfolio

2017/06/30

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