25 01, 2021

ESG influencing company strategy, increasing oil market vulnerability

2021-01-25T12:33:46-08:00January 25th, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

Environmental, social and governance factors are continuing to influence company strategy, financing and operating environments in 2021, according to a new report by Fitch Ratings Inc. It found financial institutions will likely continue to enhance ESG due diligence and exclusionary policies to cover a broader set of ESG issues and entities, as the quality and quantity of ESG data is improved by increasing reporting requirements and harmonization of standards. In addition, a growing interest in sustainability is sparking debate [...]

21 01, 2021

Biden team to review Labor Department ESG rule

2021-01-21T13:53:40-08:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: , , |

The Biden administration will review a recent Department of Labor rule stipulating that ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in "non-pecuniary" vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk. In his first few hours in office Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed a flurry of executive orders, including one titled "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis." In the order, Mr. Biden directed all executive departments and agencies "to immediately review and, [...]

19 12, 2020

Two Pro-ESG Investing Bills Introduced in House

2020-12-19T08:40:38-08:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , , , |

Several high-profile Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced bills aimed at promoting the acceptance and use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments by individuals and institutions. The lawmakers are Representatives Andy Levin, D-Michigan, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee and member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions (HELP); Brendan Boyle, D-Pennsylvania, member of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, member of the House Financial Services [...]

14 12, 2020

Levin, Boyle, Axne Introduce Suite of Legislation to Protect Sustainable Investing

2020-12-14T13:37:43-08:00December 14th, 2020|Categories: Sustainable Investing|Tags: , , , |

Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09), Vice Chair of the House Education & Labor Committee and member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, along with Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-02), member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-03), member of the House Financial Services Committee, today introduced two pieces of legislation to protect and increase sustainable investments. The Sustainable Investment Policy Act and the Retirees Sustainable Investment Policies Act together would give workers a [...]

2 12, 2020

Taking Stock: Will The New DOL Rule Curb ESG Momentum?

2020-12-02T11:28:09-08:00December 2nd, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) softened its stance from an earlier proposal on ERISA plans incorporating investments using environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. In a final ruling published days before the U.S. presidential election, the DOL emphasized the importance of using only pecuniary factors—financial considerations that have a material effect on risk and/or return—in analyzing investments, but the final ruling fell short of singling out ESG investments. In fact, the term “ESG” is noticeably absent from the [...]

5 11, 2020

DOL, Dubious About ESG Pension Investing, Cuts It a Bit of Slack in Final Rule

2020-11-05T15:48:37-08:00November 5th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

The Department of Labor (DOL) on Friday eased its stance a small amount against environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, but it remained determined in its declaration in a final rule that Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plan fiduciaries must make investment decisions that won’t sacrifice returns. In June, the DOL proposed a rule that determined employer-sponsored plans have a sole fiduciary duty to beneficiaries, not to social causes advanced through ESG investing. The proposal proved to be [...]

11 08, 2020

Industry sounds off against DOL proposal on ESG

2020-08-11T09:39:33-07:00August 11th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

A Department of Labor proposal that would likely curb environmental, social and governance investments in ERISA plans has drawn sharp criticism from the retirement community. In a 30-day comment period that concluded July 30, stakeholders roundly admonished the Labor Department's proposal to add regulatory text that makes clear that ERISA requires plan fiduciaries in both private defined benefit and defined contribution plans to select investments "based on financial considerations relevant to the risk-adjusted economic value of a particular investment [...]

11 08, 2020

COVID-19 pushes social issues to ESG forefront

2020-08-11T09:37:28-07:00August 11th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , |

One of the many upheavals caused by the COVID-19 crisis has been some reordering of environmental, social and governance priorities for institutional investors. While climate change and other environmental issues "were almost synonymous with ESG, the pandemic forced us to shift, and forced owners of capital to think about the other letters in ESG," said Nathan S. Shetty, Chicago-based head of multiasset portfolio management for Nuveen LLC, the money management arm of TIAA-CREF. The global health crisis plus renewed [...]

26 06, 2020

DOL proposal could hurt prospects for ESG in ERISA plans

2020-06-26T14:53:25-07:00June 26th, 2020|Categories: ERISA, ESG|Tags: , , |

A proposal from the Department of Labor stipulates that ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in ESG vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk, which sources say could curb environmental, social and governance investments. "Private employer-sponsored retirement plans are not vehicles for furthering social goals or policy objectives that are not in the financial interest of the plan," Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said in a news release. "Rather, ERISA plans should be managed with unwavering focus on [...]

9 04, 2020

Virus Exposes Gig Economy ‘Exploitation’ ESG Investors Ignored

2020-04-09T10:16:41-07:00April 9th, 2020|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , |

ESG investors need to up their game in holding companies to account on social issues such as labor rights and employment contracts, said the head of biggest network of responsible investment firms. Fiona Reynolds, chief executive officer of the Principles for Responsible Investment, said in a blog post Friday that firms which consider environmental, social and governance issues when investing have paid too little attention to “the modern forms of exploitation surrounding the gig economy.” Lack of paid sick [...]

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