ESG Talks – Educational. Practical. Conversational.
Candriam Academy ESG Talks is an educational webinar series which will look at some of the most pressing economic, social and environmental issues of our time. The ESG talks are only available in English.
#9 Biodiversity: The next frontier in Sustainable Investing?
June 21th, 2022
Biodiversity is the essential basis for the normal functioning of ecosystems, which provide humans with clean water, oxygen-rich air and nutritious food. And while climate change has understandably been a priority concern for governments, a collapse in biodiversity is a closely related threat which can significantly amplify the destruction caused by global warming.
The big problem for the planet is that today biodiversity – the variety of species of animals and plants on our planet – is declining at a pace that is ten to a hundred times higher than was the case on average over the past 10 million years—and this is accelerating. Apart from climate change, the main reasons for this decline are habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pollution and, of course, unsustainable resource use. According to WWF’s latest Living Planet Report, our society’s current rate of consumption means that Earth’s biological resources are being overused by at least 56%.
A growing number of institutional and long-term investors are searching for the best approach to embed biodiversity consideration into financial decision-making. This is being encouraged by regulators (i.e. the Do No Significant Harm principle in the EU Taxonomy and SFDR), and initiatives such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).
- The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/final-report-the-economics-of-biodiversity-the-dasgupta-review]
- The Living Planet Report 2020 | WWF [https://www.wwf.org.uk/living-planet-report#:~:text=The%20latest%20in%20WWF%27s%20flagship,reset%20our%20relationship%20with%20nature%3F]
- New report highlights how the vulnerability of degraded soil to extreme weather can deliver blow to asset value | Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership [https://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/news/new-report-highlights-how-vulnerability-degraded-soil-extreme-weather-can-deliver]
- Impact of water curtailment on the credit rating of heavy industry – Nature-related financial risk: use case | Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership https://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/resources/publications/impact-water-curtailment-credit-rating-heavy-industry-nature-related
IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services). 2019. Summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Unedited Advance Version, 06 May 2019. See also UN Convention on Biological Diversity (https://www.cbd.int/) which defines “biodiversity” as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”).
The Candriam Academy will be launching a series of webinars over the coming months.
By registering for our free online courses you will be notified of future webinars as they become available.
#8 ESG in practice: assessing Food and Beverage companies’ externalities
December 16th, 2021
The food and beverage industry is at the crossroads of the most acute environmental challenges we face. Indeed, feeding 7.5 billion humans is intimately related to our relationship with biodiversity and ecosystems. It is one of the root causes for climate change, providing the main source for two of the top three greenhouse gases as well as emitting a relevant proportion of the third gas.
At the same time, food and beverage companies are highly exposed to shifting consumer expectations. In particular, consumers becoming increasingly aware of the environmental, social and health-related impacts of the food they eat. These changes can lead to, or result from, new regulatory initiatives targeting product contents, packaging, and production processes.
For all these reasons, the food and beverage sectors provide the ideal ground to study how ESG investing is changing our perception of an important group of companies. We will examine how they are responding to and anticipating new regulatory and consumer pressure, and ultimately how they will become more sustainable whilst feeding, potentially, 10 billion humans by 2050.
#7 Find out the “ABC” of Sustainable Bonds
October 5th, 2021
Considered marginal only a few years ago, Sustainable Bonds – raising funds for green or social projects, or the combination of the two – are now one of the biggest topics of discussion among bond issuers and investors alike.
While the sector still only represents a small slice of the bond market overall, it is quickly gaining ground, helped by the rapidly evolving policy around climate regulation, as well as the “Build back better” push through the COVID-19 recovery. A momentum which translates into figures: for the first time ever, issuances are expected to surpass USD1 trillion in 2021.
#6 ESG in the US: Make America Green Again
July 8th, 2021
The election of Joe Biden has ushered a tide change in the US policy stance on ESG and climate change. America is back, sprinting to catch up with Europe and others, firming up its commitments on sustainability with numerous new ambitious plans and funding initiatives.
In this ESG Talk, we bring together experts in US regulatory affairs who have been closely following these developments from Capitol Hill and New York. Tune in as we discuss the details of this new exciting direction, as well as challenges faced by the new administration in Washington from within Capitol Hill and, perhaps more importantly, from some large states.
#5 Active Ownership: Is it all just talk?
May 20th, 2021
Shareholders own the firm. But are investors actually effective in creating greater sustainability in ‘their’ companies?
How does today’s Active Ownership differ from classical activism? Can investors become true partner with managements to create more sustainable companies?
Seasoned engagement experts discuss the trends in stewardship and how the phrase ‘Active Investor’ has come to be almost synonymous with ‘Responsible Investor’.
#4 How to align investments with the Paris Agreement?
March 25, 2021
Over 80% of worldwide energy consumption still depends on fossil energy. All this while fossil energy sources are responsible for the majority of our greenhouse gas emissions. If we are to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement of keeping the global temperature rise this century to below 2⁰C compared to pre-industrial levels, it is imperative that we replace fossil fuels with alternatives. What is the role of investors in redirecting capital towards companies that can help in this process of alignment with the Paris Agreement goals? How easy and straightforward is it to measure the so-called “carbon footprint” of an investment portfolio? And is a low-carbon portfolio automatically aligned to the Paris Agreement?
Learn more about the two experts Jean-Marc Jancovici [http://www.carbone4.com/staff/jean-marc-jancovici/?lang=en] and Jean-Yves Wilmotte [http://www.carbone4.com/staff/jean-yves-wilmotte/?lang=en].
#3 Integrating external ESG research: the pros, the cons… and the how
For many investors, ESG research providers are instrumental in making ESG investing happen. How do leading institutional investors use external ESG research? And which strengths and weaknesses do they find in that research?
This Talk sheds some light on how ESG research providers are able to deliver ESG ratings on thousands of companies, sometimes on the basis of minimal company data. It highlights the choices that each rating agency has to make to produce those ratings, and how these choices produce different ratings for the same company, depending on the ESG research provider.
Finally, it explores what ESG data could look like a few years from now.
#2 ESG Regulation: From Paper Script to Tangible Change
For those who know the importance of the EU’s ESG regulation but have not had the opportunity to dig into their word or the substance, we offer to playback our latest webinar. What are the specific objectives behind the rules? Driven by the European carbon neutral ambition, how will the regulations impact different sectors, as well as investors? Which areas will they limit and which will they boost? We invited regulatory and investment experts to enlighten you on these issues.
Member of the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance Professor Andreas Hoepner, Global Head of Sustainable Investment BNP Paribas Wealth Management Eléonore Bedel and Vice-President Sustainable Performance & Transformation Michelin Dominique Radal moderated by David Czupryna Head of ESG Development Candriam, discuss the principles and ideas behind the EU’s recent regulatory agenda having committed to a carbon-neutrality objective by 2050.
#1 The Just Transition: Achieving Social Inclusion in a Low Carbon Future
Launching the series, LSE Sustainable Finance Professor Nick Robins, Chief Finance Officer of Solvay Group Karim Hajjar, and CANDRIAM ESG Investment Specialist, Wim Van Hyfte will explore the social impact of transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
Moderated by Gillian Tett, Moral Money Co-Founder and Editor-at-Large, U.S. Financial Times, the panel dove into the concept of a Just Transition and the increasing importance of uniting the E & S of ESG in delivering the SDGs.