Impact Bond Issuance Tops $1 Trillion in 2021 as ‘Greenium’ Expands: ICE

Global exchange and clearing house operator Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced today the release of a new report examining the market for impact bonds. According to ICE, issuance of green, social and sustainable bonds continued to expand rapidly last year, increasing 77% over 2020 to reach nearly $1.04 trillion.

Source: Intercontinental Exchange

The new report examined several aspects of the sustainable bond market, including by issuer type, geography and bond category.

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easyJet Turns to Big Data Software to Cut Carbon Footprint of Aviation

easyJet announced today an agreement to adopt eco-flying software solutions provider OpenAirlines’ fuel management solution to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions of fleet, as part of a wider ambition to cut its carbon footprint from flying across Europe.

Alexandre Feray, CEO, OpenAirlines, said:

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Principles for Responsible Investment Calls on Investors to Expand, Broaden Focus on DEI

UN-supported leading responsible investing organization Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) announced today the release of a report encouraging investors to improve performance on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues, and outlining a series of actions for investors to follow on addressing DEI in their own organizations, and in their portfolios and more widely across society.

The Principles for Responsible Investment were established by a group of investor signatories in 2006, supported by the United Nations, to aid investors in integrating ESG factors into the investment process, and establishing a set of specific, voluntary and aspirational principles for investors to follow. The initiative has grown to more than 4,300 signatories, representing over $121 trillion assets under management.

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Charles River Labs Sources Renewable Energy for 100% of Europe & North America Operations

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology development services company Charles River Laboratories International announced that it will be able to source renewable energy sufficient to address 100% of its European power requirements by 2023, with the signing of a new wind energy contract with Spanish energy company Repsol.

Today’s agreement also follows the company’s announcement from June 2021 that it will meet  100% of its North American electricity needs with renewable energy by 2023. Overall, the company anticipates that 90% of all its global electricity will be supplied by renewable energy by 2023.

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EY Launches Net Zero Center to Navigate Clients Through Climate Transition in Australia, NZ

Global professional services firm EY announced today the launch of a new Net Zero Center, aimed at guiding companies in Australia and New Zealand to prepare their businesses and identify and capitalize on opportunities related to the net zero transition.

According to EY, the firm developed the new center in response to growing market demand. Recent EY studies have indicated that company executives are increasingly looking to take steps to address the sustainability impacts of their businesses, and integrating ESG considerations into their capital allocation strategies. The firm also cited growing pressure on companies from the investor community, with a recent survey finding institutional investors seeking to ramp green investments and exit investments in poor ESG performers.

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ESG Today: Week in Review

This week in ESG news: BlackRock pledges to guide investors through the net zero transition; sustainable bond issuance forecast to soar again in 2022; T-Mobile achieves 100% renewable energy goal; HSBC invests $100 million in Bill Gates’ climate solutions initiative; Ulta Beauty makes $50 million DEI commitment; California moves ahead with law requiring corporate  climate disclosure; EU classifies gas & nuclear as green activities – member states push back; EU regulator launches process to regulate ESG ratings providers; Salesforce & JetBlue partner to reduce climate impact of business travel; Carlyle becomes one of the first PE firms to commit to net zero portfolios, and more.

See below for the highlights of the past week, and get all your ESG news at ESG Today:

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Tikehau Announces Leadership Appointments for North America Private Equity Climate Strategy

Paris-based alternative asset manager Tikehau Capital announced today two new leadership appointments for the firm’s decarbonization-focused North American Private Equity Climate Practice, adding Alexander Bell and Cristian Norambuena as Head and Director of the practice, respectively.

The appointments follow the launch by Tikehau in April 2021 of its North American private equity fund dedicated to the transition to a low-carbon economy, and aimed at helping achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement by financing profitable companies engaged in the fast-growing energy transition sector in North America. The fund invests in leading companies addressing the energy transition by developing solutions to reduce energy consumption, increase the supply of renewable energy, develop low-carbon mobility and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Oak Hill Advisors Hires SASB’s Jeffrey Cohen as New Head of ESG

Alternative credit manager Oak Hill Advisors announced today the appointment of Jeffrey Cohen to the newly created role of head of ESG and Sustainability.

Cohen joins Oak Hill from ESG disclosure standards developer the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Foundation (SASB), which recently merged with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) to form the Value Reporting Foundation, and is currently being integrated into the IFRS Foundation. Cohen joined SASB in 2018, and most recently served as Director of Capital Markets Integration – Head of Private Investments, with responsibility for advising alternatives investors on the development and integration of ESG factors into various phases of the investment process.

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BlackRock Commits to Guide Investors Through Net Zero Transition

In a new letter to clients, investment giant BlackRock pledged to guide and advise investors through the net zero transition, outlining a broad approach to protect portfolios from climate-related risks and to identify and invest in opportunities arising from the multi-decade global decarbonization drive.

The letter, sent to clients who have “expressed interest in the net zero transition,” highlighted the issues of greatest concern to investors, outlining several common questions that BlackRock has fielded from clients, ranging from how to safeguard investment portfolios against physical climate risks and transition risk, to the best approaches to capitalize on transition-related opportunities such as new climate solution technologies.

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