ESG

Hurdles to greater DC plan adoption of ESG products

CalPERS declines to divest from private prisons

Staff at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) are apparently opposed to the divestment of private prisons, according to a recent report. The CalPERS Investment Committee is expected to follow suit. Legislation forced the issue, but in almost all cases it is subject to a determination by the plan fiduciary that following such legislation comports with its fiduciary duties, often enshrined at the constitutional level.

House subcommittee schedules hearing on ESG disclosures

The House Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets will convene a hearing entitled, “Building a Sustainable and Competitive Economy: An Examination of Proposals to Improve Environmental, Social and Governance Disclosures.” The hearing will take place on Tuesday, March 26 at 2:00 PM. Hearings and markups will take place in 2128 Rayburn House Office Building and will be broadcast live on https://financialservices.house.gov/live/.

BlackRock reportedly upping ESG disclosures for iShares funds

The Financial Times is reporting that BlackRock will continue providing enhanced disclosure on more of its ETFs’ exposure to certain ESG factors, including firearms producers and carbon intensity, along with an ESG quality score. The roll out is reported to include US funds.

Company boards are facing greater pressure to disclose climate risks

As reported in The Wall Street Journal, companies are preparing to receive a record number climate-related shareholder proposals this proxy season, as major institutional investors, most notably, State Street, Vanguard and BlackRock, seek more disclosure on how climate change will affect the company’s operations. While disclosure remains voluntary and inconsistent, the SEC does not seem inclined at this time to mandate added disclosure requirements specific to climate change. Numerous institutional investors, particularly those who are fiduciaries, view climate change as presenting a material risk to portfolio performance, as well as a source of alpha.

Shareholder activism in sharp focus

ESG considerations now more likely to be blended into investment decisions

Index providers feel heat for including weapons makers

ESG investing is ‘skyrocketing’

A recent Opimas report indicates that ESG investing (across strategies) “is skyrocketing,” and they estimate that the market “grew to more than $30 trillion in 2018,” which will “rise to $35 trillion by 2020.”

Britian’s The Investment Association seeks uniform definitions of “ESG” and “sustainable investment”