ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector, including FigBytes, Apex Group, L&G, Tumelo, Net Purpose, and Greenly.
Ottowa-based IT services and consulting firm FigBytes’ ESG Insight Platform has been selected by Quantum Energy Partners, a Texas-based private equity firm, for the management of its ESG platform. FigBytes will enable Quantum to automate the process of manually gathering ESG data, allowing Quantum to ensure higher quality ESG reporting. FigBytes will provide enhanced analytical and visualisation features across key ESG focus areas to meet the current needs of the private equity industry. Through the partnership, Quantum will be able to gain insights on carbon, water, DEI, and governance factors, while simultaneously reducing their reporting burden and regulatory risk. FigBytes will be integrated into the Quantum Energy Cloud, Quantum’s industry cloud solution for energy and private equity.
Apex Group, a global financial services provider, is collaborating with BlackRock’s eFront to boost ESG data collection for private markets. The partnership will provide general partners (GPs) with a combination of Apex Group services and eFront’s technology to feed ESG data into eFront’s ESG Outreach solution and simplify ESG data collection and reporting. Melissa Ferraz, BlackRock eFront’s Head of Insight, said: “We are excited to continue to lower the barriers that exist in private market ESG reporting. We have seen strong adoption of ESG Outreach, and the collaboration with Apex Group will only further accelerate our shared goal to streamline and standardise ESG data for private markets.” Apex Group also announced the establishment of Apex Foundation, an independent, not-for profit entity, intended to empower sustainable change by supporting grassroots charitable projects. It will focus in three areas: the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment; women’s empowerment and economic independence; and education and social mobility. Apex Group said the foundation will enable employees to deliver impact in line with its purpose of ‘driving positive change’ through supporting the raising and distribution of funds to meaningful causes.
Legal & General (L&G) has partnered with UK-based financial services firm Tumelo to launch a new digital service allowing trustees to identify key ESG issues for their members. The ‘Expression of Wish’ service is being launched via the Tumelo platform with NatWest, one of Legal & General’s largest trust-based clients. It is expected that after an initial three-month period, the service will be available to Legal & General Investment Management’s (LGIM) defined contribution (DC) trustee client base of 2.15 million scheme members in the UK, as well as other LGIM clients, allowing them to express their views on upcoming AGM votes. The service currently helps members to see which companies they have in their pension, as well as have a say on issues they care most about, such as diversity and inclusion, biodiversity, climate change, executive remuneration, and human rights. Georgia Stewart, Tumelo’s Chief Executive, said: “We are already seeing the benefits of better member engagement on various issues since we launched, with data across members demonstrating a significant increase. The new service will allow trustees to engage more directly with LGIM’s stewardship team and better represent members views through an expression of wish.”
London-based sustainable investment platform Net Purpose has raised £10 million in the Series A funding round led by ETF Partners. Net Purpose has close to US$50 billion in sustainable funds, with this latest round being used to launch new features to provide all investors with a more complete overview of their sustainability by 2025. New investors M-Tech Capital and Exceptional Ventures joined the round, and existing investors Jim O’Neill, former Chair of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Kevin Gould, Co-Founder IHS Markit, the Louis Family, Illuminate Financial, and Revent also increased their commitments to Net Purpose. The platform, which is powered by a combination of AI and human intelligence, provides data on sustainability themes, including climate, water, gender, financial inclusion and other social themes, as well as covering companies and all major investment indices. Sam Duncan, Net Purpose’s Co-Founder and CEO, said: “Investors are demanding the facts on the social and environmental performance of their funds, just like they do financial return. We are proud to arm investors with trusted and transparent data, and we are honoured to power the most sophisticated investors in the world.”
French environmental services firm Greenly has launched a new supplier engagement solution, which will help companies analyse and reduce supply chain emissions. It aims to accurate assess the environmental impact of supply chains’ resource procurement, logistics, and waste disposal processes, allowing companies to then use this information to engage with suppliers to address their negative climate impacts. Greenly provides an environmental score for each supply partner from A+ to E, based on each supplier’s carbon maturity, allowing companies to monitor progress through a centralised dashboard that is updated in real time. Alexis Normand, Greenly’s Co-Founder and CEO, said: “Companies interested in reducing their real impact on the environment need to address the 90% of their resulting emissions that are not under their direct control. A company’s low-carbon policies need to actively address the decarbonisation of its supply chain. The global fight to reduce carbon emissions depends on concrete engagement from companies with their suppliers.”