Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: BNPP AM Targets Hydrogen, MedTech

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news about funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria, including BNPP AM, Western Asset, GAM, Blue Horizon, Gresham House and Architas. 

BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has launched two new thematic index ETFs integrating an ESG approach. The Easy ECPI Global ESG Med Tech ETF replicates the ECPI Global ESG Medical Tech index, which selects 50 active companies contributing to sustainable medical technologies, such as biotech, life sciences tools and services, and healthcare. The Easy ECPI Global ESG Hydrogen Economy ETF tracks the ECPI Global ESG Hydrogen Economy index, offering investors exposure to 40 companies contributing to the transition to hydrogen-based technologies. “The healthcare and green hydrogen sectors are enjoying strong growth and are themes of the future, enabling us to offer relevant long-term investment solution,” said Denis Panel, Head of Multi-Asset, Quantitative and Solutions at BNPP AM. These funds broaden the asset manager’s existing range of thematic ESG ETFs, which also includes low-carbon, the circular economy and green real estate. 

Western Asset, the specialist fixed-income investment manager of Franklin Templeton, has launched the Sustainable Global Corporate Bond fund. Classified as Article 8 according to the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the fund offers investors the opportunity to capitalise on opportunities in global credit markets while contributing to sustainability and decarbonisation goals. “Our emphasis in achieving a lower portfolio carbon intensity is on identifying issuers with whom we regularly engage and have credible and quantifiable targets, and those with plans for reducing carbon intensity and increasing the use of renewables,” said Annabel Rudebeck, Head of Non-US Credit at Western Asset. “In addition, the fund prohibits investments in tobacco, civilian firearms, controversial weapons, nuclear weapons, thermal coal and issuers that do not uphold the principles outlined in the UN Global Compact,” she added. The fund is registered for distribution in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Greece and Cyprus.  

Pure play asset management firm GAM Investments has introduced a low-carbon infrastructure strategy in Australasia. Managed by GAM’s Alternative Investment Solutions (AIS) team, it seeks to achieve medium- to long-term capital appreciation by investing in private funds providing access to energy transition infrastructure projects. “We believe it is a great opportunity to help decarbonise the economy by investing in private, low carbon, energy transition infrastructure funds,” said Giovanni D’Alesio, Head of Research at GAM AIS. 

Blue Horizon, an impact investor in food system sustainability, is investing in the LatAM biotech Polybion, which has developed and is now producing animal-free and plant-based vegan leather called Celium, which is made from fruit waste. Blue Horizon’s investment will go towards upscaling production. “Scaling the production of Celium is a huge step on Polybion’s mission to bring performance and possibility to 21st century designers and material engineers. The impact investor has also announced a seed investment in Arkeon Biotechnologies, an Austria-based ingredients company using microbes to contribute to a more sustainable, nutritious and ethical food system. Arkeon coverts CO2 into 20 amino acids that are needed in the human diet. “Arkeon has the potential for tremendous impact for people, animals, and the planet,” said Friederike Grosse-Holz, Director at Blue Horizon. “It will not only provide low-cost functional inputs for the new sustainable food system, but can sequester CO2 itself while preserving natural carbon sinks.” 

Alternative asset manager Gresham House has unveiled its new Forest Charter, which outlines its sustainability framework for all forestry investments. It covers a range of topics, including carbon emissions, biodiversity and supply chain sustainability. Gresham House’s forestry assets generate returns through the sale of timber and the capital growth of land and trees. Carbon credits are also produced by planting new productive woodland. As part of the Charter, the firm has committed to increasing the carbon sequestration of forests under management while reducing their operational carbon footprint and enhancing woodland biodiversity. “We have dedicated significant resources to reviewing our current forest assets and exploring ways to enhance biodiversity and sustainable measures, and we have already commenced a programme of development to make this a reality,” said Olly Hughes, Managing Director of Forestry at Gresham House. “The Forest Charter will not only hold us to account, it will deliver tangible benefits for the environment, while also improving the long-term viability of the assets themselves and their attractiveness to investors.” 

The E.P.I.C Global Equity Opportunities fund has been launched by Architas, an asset manager owned by AXA Group. The fund gives investors exposure to ethical investment opportunities across three core themes: digital transformation, health and wealth, and sustainable planet. It is classified as an Article 9 fund under SFDR. “By launching the E.P.I.C Global Equity Opportunities Fund, we are expanding our commitment to sustainable investing and delivering a product that aligns with our investors wants and needs,” said Zaid Alrifai, Head of Asia at Architas.  

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