Top Stories

May 24, 2021


Bank of England sets rules for greener corporate bond portfolio

The Bank of England (BoE) has set out plans to use its £20 billion of corporate bond holdings to nudge companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster, as part of a wider government strategy to achieve net-zero emissions. Although it has a relatively small share of the sterling corporate bond market (6.5%), the BoE hopes its actions will serve as a benchmark for other investors. It claims to be the first central bank in the world to take steps that could see the most polluting companies banned from its bond portfolio. It will launch its first 'stress test' of British banks' and insurers' exposure to climate change next month. It will give firms time to reduce carbon emissions rather than immediately selling off its holdings in energy companies, power utilities and miners. (Reuters)


G7 nations set targets for power sector to reach net-zero in 2030s

The leaders of the G7 nations have agreed a joint commitment to ensure their power sectors reach net-zero emissions in the 2030s, setting up for the economy-wide transition by 2050. Leaders from the UK, the US, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and Italy have signed a new communique designed to deliver on the 1.5◦C ambition of the Paris Agreement, whereas the previous G7 agreement was 2◦C aligned. Detailed in the new communique is a commitment for all G7 members to stop providing public finance to the coal sector this decade, and to stop direct funding for coal-fired power stations in OECD nations by the end of 2021. G7 members will encourage other nations to follow suit on coal. More broadly, all G7 nations will target net-zero power sectors in the 2030s. (Edie)


HP sets diversity goals with gender parity in leadership roles by 2030

Technology giant HP has announced a series of diversity and inclusion initiatives and goals, including a commitment to reach gender parity in its leadership ranks by 2030. With the news goals, the company aspires to help improve diversity, equality and inclusiveness in the technology industry. The targets make it the first Fortune 100 tech company to commit to gender parity in leadership. In addition, HP announced several other 2030 targets, including reaching greater than 30% technical women and women in engineering roles, meeting or exceeding labour market representation for racial/ethnic minorities in the US, maintaining higher than 90% rating on its internal inclusion index for all employee demographics annually, and reaching one million workers through worker empowerment programmes. (ESGToday)


Wells Fargo launches $1 billion ‘Inclusive Communities and Climate Bond’

American financial services firm Wells Fargo has announced the issuance of its inaugural sustainability bond, with a $1 billion offering aimed at funding projects and programmes that support housing affordability, socioeconomic opportunity, and renewable energy. Around 75% of the underwriting fees from the transaction will go to diverse broker dealers whose owners are from underrepresented groups. The ‘Inclusive Communities and Climate Bond ‘was issued under Wells Fargo’s Sustainability Bond Framework. The bank aims to use proceeds to fund projects including increasing the quantity, quality, and overall affordability of multi-family housing properties for low- to moderate-income (LMI) populations, improving employment opportunities, education and healthcare outcomes, and community development in LMI areas, and increasing global renewable energy generation capacity, through investments in large-scale wind, solar and geothermal projects, and related equipment manufacturing. (ESGToday)


UK Government plans £166 million green industrial transformation

The UK government has announced a new £166.5 million spending plan designed to accelerate the roll out of green technologies across the UK's energy-intensive industries, predicting the latest phase of its Green Industrial Revolution will help create up to 60,000 jobs. The new funding programme is set to support a wide range of research and development and deployment projects, covering technologies such as carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal, and hydrogen. The largest investment allocations include £60 million to support the development of low carbon hydrogen projects in the UK, £37.5 million to fund early stage greenhouse gas removal technologies, £20 million to support the development of next generation Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage technologies, and £20 million to establish a new virtual Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre. (Business Green)


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