For super funds and their advisers

Managers and funds as PRI Awards finalists

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The Principles for Responsible Investment organisation annual awards will be announced at the PRI Digital Conference next week, October 18-21.

The conference and awards will provide a suitable opening act for the COP26 meetings to be held in Glasgow in the first week of November, arguably the most important climate change event in several years.

Finalists in each of the five PRI awards categories were announced last month. The two super funds in the running, in separate categories, are NZ Super for ‘Stewardship Initiative of the Year’, and Unisuper for ‘Real-world Impact Initiative of the Year’.

Big US-based managers dominated the ‘ESG Incorporation Initiative of the Year’ category with finalists J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Rockefeller Asset Management, Acadian Asset Management and GMO all US headquartered. BNP Paribas Asset Management is also in the running as the only non-US manager.

In the ‘ESG Research Innovation of the Year’ category, a collaboration between global manager Ninety One and the World Wildlife Foundation has been shortlisted alongside global manager Insight Investment (a BNY Mellon company), Sustainalytics (a specialist ESG research subsidiary of Morningstar) and MioTech, an artificial intelligence startup backed by Singapore’s GIC.

The Ninety One/WWF shortlisted project is the Climate and Nature Sovereign Risk Index, which was launched last year with the aim to harness the potential of the US$50 trillion sovereign debt market to support countries in their sustainable transition.

The benchmark encourages governments to seek green investment packages in order to make foreign investment and sovereign lending more attractive over the long term.

Australia, India, Portugal, Greece and the Gulf Cooperation Council are countries identified by the index as having the most to benefit from a green recovery.

Ninety One and the WWF have collaborated before in the interests of improving sustainability in the fixed income market. They produced a joint report in 2019, ‘Satellites and Sustainability’ which highlighted the critical role of sovereign debt investors in sustainability.

The KEHATI Foundation of Indonesia, which promotes biodiversity, is the only organisation to have been shortlisted in two categories, for the ‘Real-world Impact Initiative of the Year’ and the ‘Emerging Markets Initiative of the Year’, both for the same project.

The nominated project, SRI KEHATI, is also an index, launched in 2009 with the Indonesian Stock Exchange. The foundation’s aim is to “create mutualism between the world of conservation and the business sector”.

The finalists in each category for 2021 are:

ESG incorporation initiative of the year

Shortlisted projectsSubmitted by
ESG Improvers – an alpha enhancing factorRockefeller Asset Management
ESG Integration, Investment-Led, Expert-DriveJ.P. Morgan Asset Management
Green-leader or gree-washer? Using AI to prioritize company engagementsAcadian Asset Management
Inclusive GrowthBNP Paribas Asset Management
Integrating macro ESG metrics into emerging market sovereign debt investingGrantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo
& Co. LLC

ESG research innovation of the year

Shortlisted projectsSubmitted by
Climate & Nature Sovereign Index: WWF & Ninety OneNinety One, WWF
Incorporating Remote Sensing Data to ESG and
Alternative Risk Monitoring
MioTech
Prime Climate Risk RatingsInsight Investment
Sustainalytics – 10 for 2021 – Investing in the Circular Food EconomySustainalytics

Stewardship initiative of the year

Shortlisted projectsSubmitted by
Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI)Willis Towers Watson
Collaborative engagement against the construction of Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power plantNordea Asset Management
Collaborative engagement with the social media companiesNZ Super Fund
Reconciliation and Responsible Investment InitiativeShareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA) – both Canadian
Satellite-based engagement towards no-deforestationACTIAM

Real-world impact initiative of the year

Shortlisted projectsSubmitted by
Norsad FinanceNorsad Finance
Novaxia RNovaxia Investissement
“Preserve, Strengthen, Rebuild” Covid-19 ResponseCDC Group
SRI KEHATIKEHATI Foundation
UniSupers Sustainable Path to 2050UniSuper

Emerging markets initiative of the year
Shortlisted projectsSubmitted by
Democratising ESG Investing: All-in-one Digital PlatformCrea8 Capital, Cammillion
Fixed income incorporation of Southern Asset ManagementChina Southern Asset Management
Harvest ESG Scoring System and its application advancing sustainable investmentHarvest Fund Management Co., Ltd
Norsad FinanceNorsad Finance
SRI KEHATIKEHATI Foundation

Registrations for the PRI Annual Conference and other information on: https://digitalconference.unpri.org/pri/

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