Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: New CBRE, NN Group Venture Targets Buildings’ Energy Efficiency

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news about funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria, including CBRE, NN Group, Nuveen, Shell Foundation, Low Carbon, Brown Advisory, and Aidu. 

CBRE Investment Management and international financial services company NN Group have launched the Positive Impact Programmatic Venture (PIPV) with an initial equity commitment of €500 million. The venture will invest in Dutch sustainable real estate to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. “Our work with NN through the PIPV will focus on assets that qualify as being highly energy efficient but also have rent affordability, tenant inclusion and wellbeing considerations at their heart,” said Bas Tiemstra, Head of Separate Accounts CE at CBRE Investment Management. “The programme has made its first acquisition with the forward funding agreement to acquire a residential asset located in a popular location in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. It is a solid first acquisition for the PIPV in delivering for investors and demonstrating this agenda.” PIPV also contributes to NN Group’s target to increase investments in climate solutions by a minimum of €6 billion by 2030. The programme will target a broad range of ESG themes, aligning with the objectives of the EU’s environmental taxonomy. Going forward, it will include lifecycle assessment of materials employed in the construction phase as part of the development design as a way of reducing embodied carbon, waste and pollution. “Contributing to the wellbeing of people and planet is a key element of our strategy,” said Jelle van der Giessen, NN Group’s CIO. 

Global investment manager Nuveen has partnered with UK-registered charity Shell Foundation to drive more capital to emerging market climate solutions. The partnership was established with support from Consilium Capital, a corporate finance firm focused on sustainable impact. Over the next five years, Nuveen’s private equity impact strategy will invest at least US$100 million into companies providing solutions to climate-vulnerable communities across Africa and Asia. Solutions include increasing energy access, mitigating climate change and building climate resilience. Much of the Shell Foundation’s portfolio operates in target sectors for Nuveen’s Global Impact Strategy, including agri-renewables, agri-finance, energy for business, mini-grid renewables, mobility and off-grid utilities. The partnership will provide a source of institutional capital to these companies. “This partnership will provide a platform for us to leverage more holistically – to work more thoughtfully and efficiently to deploy capital into leading companies that are disrupting traditional value chains and providing valuable products and services to emerging markets consumers,” said Rekha Unnithan, Co-Head of Private Impact Investing at Nuveen. 

Privately-owned UK investment and asset management firm Low Carbon has announced its financial close on the Mörknässkogen wind farm in Finland. The project has a generation capacity of 29.5 megawatts (MW) from five turbines and forms part of the firm’s 120MW pipeline across the country. Commercial operations at the farm are expected to commence in Q4 2023. The wind farm aligned with Finland’s National Energy and Climate Strategy for 2030, which aims to increase the use of renewable energy to half of the country’s energy consumption by the end of this decade. “Achieving financial close on the Mörknässkogen wind project demonstrates Low Carbon’s ability to effectively direct capital into renewable energy infrastructure at scale,” said John Graves, CIO of the Low Carbon Renewables fund. He described Finland as a “highly sought-after European renewables market” and Low Carbon as playing a part in diversifying the country’s renewable power mix with affordable and clean wind energy. 

Brown Advisory, an independent and privately-held global investment management firm, has launched a USD UCITS fund for its Global Sustainable Total Return Bond strategy. The fund aims to deliver a stream of risk-adjusted returns while generating a positive impact on global sustainability issues. Investing in a broad range of liquid fixed income instruments, including inflation-linked government bonds, and securitised and corporate bonds across developed and emerging markets, the fund harnesses Brown Advisory’s framework for analysing sovereign bonds against ESG criteria. The fund therefore qualifies as Article 8 under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. “Against a backdrop of rising inflation and central bank tightening, this is a challenging environment for fixed income investors seeking to manage their portfolio volatility,” said Ryan Myerberg, Portfolio Manager of Brown Advisory’s Global Sustainable Total Return Bond fund. “We believe that the landscape is evolving into a bond picker’s market, and security selection will be increasingly additive to our future return.” 

The Aidu Wind Farm has launched a €150 million green bond that will be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The 12-year green bond will secure funding to complete the Aidu project by 2025, which already generated 100MW in Northeast Estonia. The project, which is key to Estonia’s ‘Green Turn’ framework to end electricity production from shale oil by 2035, is led by Eleon Green AS, an Estonia-based technology innovation company focused on the development and manufacture of wind turbines. “The agreement between the government and private sector, along with proposed subsidies displays the long-term focus required to ensure energy transformation,” said Andreas Sonajalg, Co-Founder of Eleon Green AS. “This is crucial to Estonia successfully scaling up renewable energy from its current 28.3%, and will also provide a model for both governments and private businesses tackling climate change around the world.” 

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