Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: AXA IM Offers SDG-aligned Biodiversity Fund

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news about funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria, including AXA IM, Nordea AM, WisdomTree, HANetf, Lion Global Investors, OCBC, Fu-Gen and more.  

AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has launched the AXA WF ACT Biodiversity fund to both generate a positive impact on the environment and deliver strong financial returns. “We believe companies who address their impact on the planet and contribute to preserving and restoring biodiversity will achieve stronger earnings growth and superior shareholder returns over the long term,” said Hans Stoter, Global Head of AXA IM Core. The fund aims to mitigate biodiversity loss by investing in companies offering solutions to issues spanning land and water pollution, land degradation, recycling, and more. It will implement the firm’s listed active equity bottom-up approach and apply ESG exclusions, including weapons producers, tobacco and human rights violations. Classified as Article 9 under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the fund will also contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals 6 (clean water and sanitation), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 14 (life below water), and 15 (life on land). “There is growing recognition that there are economic and human costs associated with biodiversity loss – over time these negative externalities will crystalise as economic costs for companies,” said Amanda O’Toole, Manager of the fund. “AXA IM’s biodiversity strategy identifies and invests in companies that contribute to ecosystem preservation and restoration through their products and services.” 

Nordea Asset Management (NAM) has extended its suite of climate-focused fund solutions with the new Global Climate Engagement fund. The SFDR Article 8 fund utilises the risk management framework of the firm’s global climate and environment strategy, but targets companies in the earlier stages of transitioning to more sustainable business models. “Over the past few years we have witnessed a meaningful flight of capital out of areas of the market deemed ‘not green enough’ and potentially at risk in the transition to a net zero emissions world,” said Alexandra Christiansen, the fund’s Portfolio Manager. “Yet we believe many businesses that are carbon intensive today will still be relevant in the future green economy – or even critical to enabling the energy transition. Our goal is to generate alpha by de-risking the fundamentals of these companies through engagement on decarbonisation targets, strategy, and capital commitments.” 

New York-based asset manager WisdomTree’s new Recycling Decarbonisation UCITS ETF aims to track the performance of global companies involved in waste-to-energy and recycling technologies. These companies, which are involved in generating energy from waste products like animal manure and fats, must also meet WisdomTree’s ESG criteria. The ETF is classified as an Article 9 fund under SFDR. “Moving to renewable and sustainable sources of energy is fundamental to our ability to limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming below 2°C above pre-industrial levels,” said Christopher Gannatti, Global Head of Research at WisdomTree. “Current methods of decarbonisation require further investment to make the desired impact but innovative solutions like waste-to-energy and carbon recycling represent new investable themes that can make a difference today.”  

HANetf, an independent provider of UCITS ETFs, has launched the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Equity UCITS ETF on the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Börse Xetra and Borsa Italiana. It will provide investors with exposure to listed firms involved in the development and construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure by tracking the Solactive EV Charging Infrastructure Index. The SFDR Article 8 ETF will specifically target two themes: battery charging equipment manufacturing and electric vehicle charging stations. “The future of cars is electric. In a few decades, from Shenzhen to San Francisco, it will become the norm to drive a battery powered vehicle. However, underpinning this revolution will be a huge build out of car charging capacity. Just as the growth of traditional cars in the 20th century required the building of gas and petrol stations, the electric car revolution in the 21st century will require abundant charging stations and home units,” said Hector McNeil, HANetf’s Co-CEO and Co-Founder. 

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has listed the Lion-OCBC Securities Singapore Low Carbon ETF, a joint offering from Lion Global Investors and financial services company OCBC Securities. Tracking the iEdge-OCBC Singapore Low Carbon Select 50 Capped Index, the fund will offer investors access to 50 globally-listed Singapore companies and trusts with lower carbon intensity compared to industry peers. “This listing comes at a time when companies’ decarbonisation efforts are ramping up, and owning a sustainable investment portfolio is becoming increasingly important for investors,” said Michael Syn, Head of Equities at SGX Group. “This product is an effective portfolio decarbonisation and diversification tool for investors looking to invest in a low-carbon future while maintaining competitive returns.” 

Independent power producer and renewable energy investor Fu-Gen has secured investment from Israeli insurers and a pension fund – Migdal Insurance, Menora Mivtachim Insurance and Arkin Group – to finance Europe’s energy transition. Fu-Gen will be targeting investments in onshore wind, solar, green hydrogen and battery storage. “Through the Fu-Gen platform, we will scale our investment in, and deployment of, the renewable energy technologies essential to the transition in our core Nordic markets as well as expand into new markets with favourable policy and commercial fundamentals including the UK,” said Fu-Gen CEO and Co-Founder Yaron Feingers.  

The practical information hub for asset owners looking to invest successfully and sustainably for the long term. As best practice evolves, we will share the news, insights and data to guide asset owners on their individual journey to ESG integration.

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