This Week’s Tech and Tools News: S&P DJI Index Targets Paris Alignment for Bonds

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector, including S&P DJI, Impact Cubed, Apex, Sweep, K2 Integrity, RepRisk, ICE, and Confluence.  

Index provider S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) has launched the iBoxx EUR Corporates Net Zero 2050 Paris-Aligned ESG Index. This new index measures the performance of eligible investment grade corporate bonds, which are selected and weighted by its parent iBoxx EUR Corporates Index, accounting for ESG elements. This climate-focused index looks to meet the standards of the EU’s Paris-Aligned Benchmarks (PABs), while also addressing transition risks and climate-related opportunities. This climate-focused bond index expands S&P DJI’s Paris-Aligned and Climate Transition indexing capabilities, adding to its growing line-up of global iBoxx fixed income indices. The iBoxx family of indices is now part of S&P DJI following the completion of S&P Global’s merger with IHS Markit earlier this year. Smadar Shulman, S&P DJI’s EMEA Head of Fixed Income Indices, said: “As an independent index provider, our goal is to provide the market with end-to-end multi-asset benchmarking solutions that help facilitate and contribute to long-term sustainability as corporations and institutions transition and strive towards a low-carbon future.”  

Analytics and investment solutions provider Impact Cubed has developed a fund ESG validator and climate tool for its analytics platform to help investors analyse whether an ESG or sustainability-labelled fund is supported by clear underlying ESG, climate or impact data. The new climate tools provide access to Impact Cubed’s climate data, as well as holistic climate risks and opportunities, including physical and transition climate risks. Dr Arleta Majoch, Impact Cubed’s COO, said: “Our data is created by investors for investors, which gives us a different view on ESG and impact data for portfolios. Providing factual data and full transparency has been Impact Cubed’s hallmark since its start, and we are now seeing the SEC and European Commission set the same expectations for managers and investors.” 

Apex Group, a global financial services provider, has released an EU taxonomy solution comprised of four steps towards improving taxonomy alignment: eligibility assessments, alignment data requests, alignment data reviews and alignment calculations and actions. This launch is part of Apex Group’s Impact Month and follows the establishment of its Impact Positive Solution. Joshua Brunert, Apex Group’s Global Head of ESG Product, said: “It is a major enabler of sustainable investment, helping companies and investors to prove their ESG credentials, stand out from competitors, and drive positive change. It is crucial that investors act to understand and report taxonomy alignment data sooner rather than later.” 

French carbon management platform Sweep has launched its Sweep for Finance solution to help financial institutions obtain a real-time picture of their investments’ emissions and to collaborate with portfolio companies to reduce their climate footprint. Rachel Delacour, Sweep’s CEO, said: “The finance industry needs the right tools to accurately track emissions and inform their investment decisions and carbon reduction strategies. With access to reliable data, financial institutions will be able to confidently move towards their climate targets and report emissions following the latest reporting regulations and frameworks.” 

K2 Integrity, a New York-based ESG data provider, and Swiss ESG data sciences firm RepRisk have partnered to launch an ESG fund certification solution that analyses compliance of managers and funds with different global ESG regulations. The solution looks to address the lack of consistency in ESG risk identification and reporting, which has previously prompted criticism from investors, regulators and fund managers. Alexandra Mihailescu Cichon, RepRisk’s Executive Vice President, said: “Government and business alike must bridge the gap between intent and behaviour via an honest appraisal of whether they are upholding their claims and pledges. Climate risks need to be tackled head-on – in the boardroom and on the campaign trail.” 

US market infrastructure and data provider Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and analytics and regulatory compliance reporting solutions firm Confluence will collaborate to leverage ICE’s ESG data as part of Confluence’s ESG solutions. This aims to help asset managers manage and meet regulatory requirements. ICE’s data solution, part of its broader ESG data set, offers current, granular values and event-triggered updates across more than 1.4 million fixed income securities of over 16,000 distinct corporate and sovereign entities. Anthony Belcher, ICE’s Sustainable Finance VP, said: “This seamless combination brings front-to-back office ESG performance analytics and compliance reporting to the investment management industry, helping customers address complex regulatory requirements without the need to spend time and money integrating data with a reporting solution.” 

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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