This Week’s Tech and Tools News: Impact Cubed Tools Target Greenwashing

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector, including Impact Cubed, NatureAlpha, Sylvera, Carbon Trust, Themis, Manifest Climate and AirCarbon Exchange.

ESG data and sustainable investment solutions provider Impact Cubed has launched new tools on its automated platform enabling investors to track fund holdings, measure impact and report to regulators. The tools also allow pension funds, wealth managers and family offices to compare and validate external managers’ ESG performance and “shakeout those with little impact”. “The ESG fund boom shows that investors want to see ESG factors taken into account, but it’s tricky to provide evidence a fund does that,” said Arleta Majoch, chief operating officer at Impact Cubed. “Linking our factual data to tech-enabled tools is a powerful antidote to ESG ratings confusion and concerns about greenwashing.” The end-to-end solution provides portfolio level analytics with full transparency to underlying holdings’ ESG, impact, and UN SDG performance. The tools allow investors to analyse securities against market benchmarks or peer groups to understand real world impacts like water saved or reduced carbon emissions, and can be fully integrated into workflows with seamless APIs or access to a web application.

Analytics company NatureAlpha has launched an artificial intelligence and data-driven platform to provide specialist insights on the nature footprint, risks and impacts of asset-level investment decisions. The initial dataset of 24 nature and biodiversity metrics tracks nature and biodiversity risk associated with the largest 100 European companies. Data for the US and broader developed markets will be added in the second quarter of 2022. NatureAlpha is also building a reporting platform for companies, investors and financial institutions which will be aligned to the Taskforce for Nature-related Disclosures Framework. The platform uses curated datasets from scientific, regulatory, corporate and governmental sources around the world, which assess a company or an industry’s exposure to multiple aspects of risk. A Nature Footprint Table will provide year-on-year intelligence on nature and biodiversity status and historical losses, including satellite-generated insights.

Carbon credits rating provider Sylvera has added carbon credit pricing from Xpansiv Market CBL, the spot exchange for carbon offsets, to its carbon intelligence platform. The facility will enable users to compare quality and price side by side in the platform to make more informed decisions on which credits to purchase. Alongside pricing of the most recent vintage, where available, the Sylvera platform also displays more extensive pricing for up to the last five vintages, which enables customers to get a sense of what is fair value for a given project’s credits. Dr Allister Furey, co-founder and CEO of Sylvera, said after emissions reductions, carbon markets are the greatest tool to achieve net zero, but have been hamstrung by “asymmetric information”. Displaying carbon credit pricing in the Sylvera ratings platform will drive a tighter relationship between quality and price, he said.

The Carbon Trust, which helps firms manage and reduce their carbon emissions, has launched its carbon footprint and label service in China. The organisation partnered with China Standard Conformity Assessment (CSCA) and registered with the country’s State Administration for Market Regulation. Lijian Zhao, Director of the Carbon Trust China office, said: “The launch of the footprint label service in China is a positive step towards the country’s sustainability goal of carbon neutrality by 2060. Through partnering with the CSCA, we’re happy to be providing a double benefit to client companies who will be able to comply with domestic regulations and also receive global recognition.”

A free to use anti-slavery digital tutorial has been developed for the financial services industry by a partnership including the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, UK National Modern Slavery Training Delivery Group, Themis, Unseen, RedCompass Labs and AllianceBernstein. The training draws on consultation and engagement with civil society, government, law enforcement and the private sector, and includes insights and video clips from a range of experts. The training tool has been accredited by the London Institute of Banking and Finance. Thornton said slavery and trafficking are economic crimes, where the commodity is a person who is exploited to make money.

Manifest Climate, a SaaS-based climate intelligence platform, has completed a C$30 million Series A raise. The round was co-led by BDC Capital Women in Technology Venture Fund and Climate Innovation Capital, with participation from the slate of investors that backed the company’s Seed Round in February 2021, including OMERS Ventures, Golden Ventures, Garage Capital, Active Impact Investments, Klass Capital and Bryker Capital. As an AI-powered platform that provides alignment with the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), Manifest Climate helps private and public sector organisations to identify, engage on, and meet disclosure obligations and build capacity to manage climate-related risks and opportunities. Manifest’s Climate’s platform is already being used by several large financial, insurance, endowments and asset management organisations, as well as real estate, mining, technology and packaged goods companies across North America, Europe and beyond. The firm’s benchmarking and maturity assessment offers tailored recommendations to improve the management and disclosure of climate-related governance and risk management processes.

Voluntary carbon marketplace AirCarbon Exchange (ACX) is to create a fully regulated carbon trading exchange and carbon clearing house in partnership with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the emirate’s international financial centre. Following the launch of ACX as a recognised investment exchange, scheduled for later this year, ADGM would become the first jurisdiction globally to regulate carbon credits and offsets as emission instruments, and to issue licences for exchanges to operate both spot and derivative markets. The regulatory framework will allow corporates to trade and finance carbon credits like conventional financial assets, thus increasing participation and investment in global carbon reduction and offset programmes. In a separate move, ACX has agreed to jointly develop a carbon marketplace in Indonesia with CarbonX, an Indonesian carbon asset developer. The domestic Indonesian carbon market will be linked to ACX’s international client order book. Indonesia has committed to a net zero emission target by 2060.

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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