Eurosif organises a monthly 30 minute call with the members of our SIF’s on policy developments in the area of Sustainable Finance.

In these videos you can expect to get an overview of recent policy and political developments of relevance to Sustainable Finance and the different EU regulatory and legislative files. At the end there is 10 – 15 minutes of Q&A from the SIF members.

Please see videos for April 2021 here and May 2021 here.

UKSIF hosted on the 8th June 2021 a webinar on the role of B corporations, how they have evolved since launched in 2015, what it is to be one, and the considerations you need to have to become one.
We heard from:
John Featherby, Founding UK B Corp-er. Senior Advisor, Shoremount
George Latham, Managing Partner, WHEB
Stephanie Maier, Global Head of Sustainable and Impact Investment, GAM
Watch the webinar here.

Our 8th annual UKSIF Spring Conference hosted 26-27 May 2021 was a great success! This 2-day virtual event  focuses on sustainable investment and finance issues in the UK. Our conference operates under our themes of the Big Picture in ESG, sharing the latest developments across the ESG space, and the Sectoral Dimension, diving into the challenges, opportunities and risks facing different industry sectors in the transition to a sustainable economy.

With more than 35 speakers in our panels, we ventured in this 2-day journey in a wide range of topics from Net Zero, SFDR, carbon pricing and the economics of biodiversity to the future of the energy transition, responsible extractive industries, the role of gig economy and water scarcity.

Here is the programme for day one and day two. Find the recordings of all sessions below:

Day one – 26 May 2021

Day two – 27 May 2021

In conversation with Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta Interview video

Feel free to fill out our survey here.

Our monthly webinar series continued in May with a virtual event focused on the efforts to accelerate the fossil-fuel phase out of coal-fired power stations!

In this webinar we find out more on the progress made in the transition from unabated coal power generation to clean energy.

Speakers:
Helen Wildsmith, Stewardship Director, Climate Change,CCLA
Jim Dippie, Finance Lead, International Energy Transitions Team at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Watch the recording here. Please send any feedback or queries here.

2021 is a landmark year for UKSIF – it’s our 30th anniversary!

We marked this milestone with a series of engaging activities, including the launch of UKSIF’s new Policy Vision, setting out the steps we believe policymakers and others should take to cement the UK’s leadership on sustainable finance and a panel discussion with senior industry leaders reflecting on the challenges ahead facing the sector.

We heard from John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Blackman, Managing Director, Global Head Moody’s ESG Solutions Group as well as a panel of industry leaders who were instrumental in the founding of UKSIF, reflecting on the progress the organisation has made and the future direction of sustainable finance in the UK.

Full details on our Policy Vision  can be found here.

Speakers:

John Glen MP – Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Andrea Blackman – Managing Director, Global Head of Moody’s ESG Solutions
Emma Howard Boyd – Chair, Environment Agency
Mark Campanale – Founder & Executive Chair, Carbon Tracker Initiative
Danyal Sattar – Chief Executive, Big Issue Invest
Steve Waygood – Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors
Helen Wildsmith – Stewardship Director, Climate Change, CCLA

We hosted the third webinar of our monthly series on the topic of: “Energy storage and batteries” on 13 April 2021, 11am.
In this webinar you learn about the progress being made in the energy storage field and the challenges experienced so far. We hear experts discuss the future of batteries, from electric vehicles and faster charging solutions to large scale stationary energy storage and its paramount importance in the short term balancing of renewable power pricing.
Speakers:
Thomas Fitzgerald, Co-Manager of EdenTree Responsible and Sustainable Global Equity Fund, and Lead Technology Analyst, Edentree Investment Management
Chris Morrison, Managing Director, Green Investment Group, Macquarie Capital
Shannon Notley, Founder, FlexeGRAPH

Watch the webinar here.

Ownership Day covered the topics at the forefront of active ownership; from stewardship for the net zero transition, the future of voting, and accountability of asset managers to regulatory updates from both the FCA and our panel of experts.
Here is the agenda of the day and the full programme with all of our speakers’ profiles.

 

Some take-away points

FCA’s Mark Manning gives keynote speech at ‘Owner ship Day’:
  • The FCA’s Mark Manning delivered a speech at UKSIF’s ‘Ownership Day’ Conference on 25 March, stating the regulator will consider greater scrutiny on the role of ESG ratings providers (this has been picked up in the press). He said the UK’s ‘green taxonomy’ would be an opportunity for the UK to show ambition on sustainability, and the regulator would support government in this area before turning its focus towards the implementation of SFDR. Mr Manning noted the regulator would examine how it could build on its climate work to consider bio-diversity and social issues more fully in time, and welcomed changes to the FCA’s remit.
Future of voting rights for pension schemes
  • Simon Howard provided an overview of the work of the Taskforce on Pension Scheme Voting Implementation, which he is leading. The Taskforce will shortly publish a consultation for industry feedback on voting rights for pension scheme trustees. Mr Howard indicated the approach of the Taskforce would be one of ‘radical evolution,’ stressing the importance of asset owners having the ability to express their preferences in a clear voting policy.
  • Representatives from Tumelo and Citizen Shareholders, Georgia Stewart and Alia Gerar, spoke on the panel alongside Simon Howard to discuss their digital platforms which aim to help trustees better engage with their investments and improve transparency throughout the investment chain.
  • The CEO of Tumelo, Georgia Stewart, argued if pension scheme members had a greater say over their money, this would lead to more support for sustainability-related resolutions at company AGMs. The Head of Communications at Citizen Shareholders, Alia Gerar, said the platform could allow individuals to get the issues they care about onto the radar of AGMs and called for change in the industry.
  • We expect this debate to continue to progress this year ahead of a possible shake-up by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on pension schemes’ voting rights.
Ownership Day 2021 was sponsored by Acty.
We would like to let our members  know that our event partner, Acty, is kindly offering a six month free trial of their platform to asset owners, investment managers and investor initiatives who registered for this event. To claim it, please contact their CEO and Co-Founder, Anton Ljung.
UKSIF hosted its second monthly webinar of 2021 on the topic of: “Net Zero Asset Management: Emerging good practices and techniques for a sustainable future” on 2 March 2021. In this webinar we heard from three asset managers who have recently made net zero declarations, BMO, M&G and Schroders. We learnt about the progress being made and the challenges experienced so far as well as actions others can take to start their journey to net zero.
Speakers:
Vicki Bakhshi, Director and Responsible Investment, BMO Global Asset Management
Ben Constable Maxwell, Head of Impact Investing, M&G Investments
Andy Howard, Global Head of Sustainable Investment, Schroders
Find the recording here.

UKSIF partnered with CCLA for a webinar to discuss the relation between investor engagement and modern slavery.

This webinar provides details of the risks to workers, how the engagement progressed, and ways in which companies responded to the concerns.

Moderator: James Alexander, Chief Executive Officer, UKSIF
Administrator: Joey Charisi, Communications & Events Manager, UKSIF

Speakers:
Rosey Hurst, Founder and Director, Impactt
Andrew Adams, Modern Slavery Project Lead, CCLA
Charlotte Buchanan, Modern Slavery Project Intern, CCLA

Watch the webinar here. Let us know if you have any comments or feedback.