ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news about funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria, including Invesco, VIA AM, DWS and Mirova.
Eurazeo has launched its Sustainable Maritime Infrastructure thematic fund, which is designed to finance more environmentally friendly infrastructure and technologies in the maritime sector. Classified as an Article 9 fund under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the fund’s main objective is to support the transition to a low carbon economy. Eurazeo’s fund will largely finance three types of infrastructure, which are ships equipped with technologies negating environmental harm, assets that contribute to offshore renewable energy and sustainable harbour equipment. This follows the International Maritime Organisation’s regulation for reducing sulphur content of shipping fuels from 3.5% to 0.5% in a bid to reduce the shipping industry’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% (relative to 2008 levels) by 2050. To date, investors have contributed €300 million to the fund. “Eurazeo is particularly proud to present to its investors a solution that meets Article 9 criteria. Many investors are in search for an investment program that has a concrete impact in the decarbonisation and the ecological transition. Eurazeo Sustainable Maritime Infrastructure thematic fund distinguishes itself by a reinforced protection of the capital,” said Christophe Bavière, Member of Eurazeo’s Executive Board.
Invesco has expanded its ETF range with the Invesco MSCI Green Building ETF (GBLD). Implementing a green buildings-focused strategy, the ETF will cover sustainable real estate, also backing companies involved in the construction and design of green-certified properties. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, GBLD is equity-based, investing in real estate corporates with proven high energy efficiencies. Invesco is the first asset manager in the US to construct and ETF to track the MSCI Global Green Building index. MSCI’s index currently includes Nippon Building Fund, Vornado Realty Trust and Berkeley Group Holdings.
Paris-based systemic investment specialist VIA AM has launched carbon neutral share classes for its flagship VIA Smart-Equity Europe fund. VIA AM will compensate for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by companies within the portfolio, relative to the fund’s allocation, using carbon offsetting projects. The firm has partnered with independent specialist Judo Cares, which will advise VIA AM on project selection. VIA AM will potentially deliver additional related benefits according to its ESG criteria, such as promoting biodiversity. The UCITS fund is domiciled in Luxembourg and invests in European equities by focusing on companies that demonstrate high profitability, good potential and outlook and relatively cheap valuations. “We have long embraced ESG as part of our wider investment process, but have always had to weigh client returns with good intensions. By giving clients choice to trade via these new share classes, we hope that we and they can play a modest but objective contribution to driving down carbon emissions,” said Laurent Pla, Co-Founder of VIA.
DWS has launched two new funds that contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and bolster the blue economy. Managed by Christina Resin, the DWS Invest SDG European Equities fund will have a strong focus on small and mid-caps that contribute to good health and wellbeing, which falls under SDG 3. As well as this, the fund will invest in companies that align with at least one of the other SDGs, including no poverty, zero hunger and life below water. Meanwhile, the DWS Concept ESG Blue Economy fund will invest in companies that are proven to be active in reducing water pollution and reducing carbon emissions from ocean-dependent sectors, like shipping and aquaculture.
Mirova, the Natixis Investment Managers affiliate dedicated to sustainable investment, has taken a minority stake in storage operator Corsica Sole, setting up a bond financing programme expected to reach €80 million. This marks the first investment of the Mirova Energy Transition V fund, which is focused on bolstering renewable energies and the energy transition. Corsica Sole aims to participate in the energy transition by promoting low-carbon impact technologies, recycling 100% of the photovoltaic modules it installs. “It is important for us to invest in a company that has a demonstrable track record in the management of innovative projects, and that has developed unique knowledge in the generation and storage of electricity and the construction of charging station networks,” said Raphael Lance, Director of the Energy Transition Infrastructure Funds at Mirova.