Australian and Canadian pension funds join Dutch SDI platform

first_imgAustralianSuper and British Columbia Investment Management have joined the Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform announced by Dutch pension investors APG and PGGM last year.The vehicle will offer insight into how investable companies contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The commercial launch of the project – originally foreseen for the first quarter of this year – will take place at a virtual event in September, as of when interested investors can subscribe to the standard and data provided through distribution partner Qontigo.The four pension investors are looking for “a maximum of three” additional asset owners to join the platform, Claudia Kruse, managing director global responsible investment at APG, told IPE. A larger number would hamper effective decision-making, she said, adding that conversations with other pension investors to join the platform are ongoing.Though the initiative will thus remain restricted to a maximum of seven asset owners, Kruse expressed hope the SDI platform, the first of its kind in the world, would reach “a critical mass of investors who together define the meaning of investing in the SDGs”.To reach this goal of broad adoption, the four investors have decided to now share the SDI data generated by the platform publicly.Since APG and PGGM first published an SDG taxonomy in 2017, the pair have had “many queries from fellow investors who have asked us whether they could use our taxonomy to classify their own investments”, said Kruse.These other investors can now also use the underlying data and SDI classifications for their own investments, she added. These data will be available to the broader market in September.The platform has hired data science company Entis to develop a model which feeds the participating asset owners’ policy and current investments into the assessment process.“Entis collects relevant data on what products and services of companies can be attributed to which SDG,” Kruse explained. “The model focuses on the impact the products produced by a company have on the SDGs.” It doesn’t take into account environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria or metrics such as a company’s carbon footprint.Kruse gave Dutch engineering company Arcadis, in which APG has a €163m stake, as an example: “According to our data, the infrastructure projects undertaken by Arcadis have an impact on SDG 6 – clean water and sanitation; SDG 9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure; SDG 11 – sustainable cities and communities; SDG 13 – climate action and SDG 15 – life on land.”The SDI classification contains more granular data too, she said, for example on the relative importance of each SDG versus total revenues, and this will be available to subscribers.The SDG taxonomy is different from the green taxonomy currently being developed by the EU, Kruse stressed. “The EU taxonomy focuses on climate change and environmental protection. That’s a very different starting point, but the EU taxonomy is still of use to us as a reference to inform our efforts.”Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

GOP lawmakers seek to ban some actions taken for last week’s Primary

first_imgDES MOINES — Senate Republicans are proposing new restrictions on state and local election officials after changes made for last week’s primary elections led to record turnout, primarily from early voting with absentee ballots.Democrats like Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque call the GOP moves voter suppression.“What are you afraid of, that more people in this state might engage in a constitutional right to cast a vote?” Jochum asked rhetorically late Friday night. “If this last primary showed us anything, it’s that it worked.”Secretary of State Paul Pate sent absentee ballot request forms to every registered voter in the state, urging early voting through the mail during the pandemic rather than in-person voting on Primary Day. The bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee late Friday night would forbid Pate and county auditors from mailing out absentee ballot request forms in the future. Senator Roby Smith, a Republican from Davenport, said he has certified letters outlining instances of voter fraud.“I welcome the debate. I can defend this until the cow’s come home…because I want to protect the ballot box,” Smith said.Republican Senator Marinnette Miller-Meek of Ottumwa won last week’s second congressional district primary and she disputed the idea Pate’s mailing of absentee ballot request forms spurred turnout.“Perhaps on the Republican side…there was a record Republican turnout because you had congressional candidates who were in very spirited primaries and who were directing people and in video and in direct mail to vote by mail,” Miller-Meeks said, ” instructed how to vote by mail, reached out to them to vote by mail.”Senator Tony Bisignano, a Democrat from Des Moines, said Republicans had devised “a potpourri” of voter limitations.“Now our president thinks this country is riddled with crooks and cheats and naves,” Bisignano said. “…You’re picking up his theme. Let’s just choke down these absentees.”The bill also stipulates that no more than 35 percent of precincts may be closed on Election Day. Last Tuesday many county auditors dramatically reduced and consolidated voting sites for the primary. Republicans say that was unfair to Iowans who had to travel great distances to vote last Tuesday.The bill’s next stop is debate in the full Senate. County auditors issued a joint statement, saying they are “baffled” legislators would want to cripple actions taken for last Tuesday’s election that “led to such success.”last_img read more

Mourinho says Spurs are on the edge after Son injury – but vows to get a grip

first_imgMourinho believes Tottenham’s injury situation “couldn’t be worse”.Son has been ruled out for the season after fracturing his arm in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Aston Villa.A club statement on Tuesday read: “Heung-Min Son is to undergo surgery this week…”Following surgery, our medical staff shall be reviewing management options for Son’s rehabilitation with the player expected to be sidelined for a number of weeks.”Mourinho himself added: “I am not counting on Son playing again this season, in my mind no.most read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticLADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict Leicester vs Man City, Man Utd and Arsenal scores this coming weekend and win £100″We are going to miss him. The club wrote a nice statement. If I was the one to write the statement I would write different.”The situation couldn’t be worse. That is obvious. There is nothing we can do. We are going to play with the players we have available.”I was worried about not having attacking options on the bench, now I don’t have attacking options on the pitch.” JOSE MOURINHO reckons Tottenham are hanging from the balcony as they fight to save their season.Ahead of tonight’s Champions League last 16 first leg clash with RB Leipzig, Mourinho came up with a long “silly analogy” that David Brent would be proud of.2 Jose Mourinho turned his hand to David Brent-style philosophy as he described Tottenham’s dilemma with injuriesCredit: Getty Images – Getty2 Son Heung-min has joined fellow frontman Harry Kane on the long-term injury list for beleaguered SpursCredit: Getty Images – GettyAfter seeing Son Heung-min join Harry Kane with a long-term injury, the Spurs boss compared his plight to being caught high up in a building with collapsed stairs.He said: “Now we are with our arms on the balcony on the fourth floor and we have two options.“One is to give up and fall and normally die because it’s the fourth floor.“Another way is to fight with what we have – no stairs, but arms.”SPURS NEWS LIVE: Follow all the latest news on Tottenhamlast_img read more

Christopher Ram challenges Govt’s “business as usual” approach to contracts

first_imgNo-confidence resolution …seeks order preventing payment of contracts over $15M As the Coalition Government continues its “business as usual” approach following the passage of the no confidence motion back in December, Political Commentator and Attorney-at-Law Christopher Ram has turned to the High Court to stop the awarding and payment of contracts over $15 million.The legal proceedings were filed on Friday by Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall on behalf of Ram, and named Attorney General Basil Williams and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency, Abena Moore, as the respondents.Ram is asking the court to declare, among other things, that any procurement (contract) in excess of $15 million approved by a purported Cabinet after the evening of 21st December, 2018 is unconstitutional, unlawful, null, void, and is of no legal effect; and that the court should issue an order restraining Permanent Secretaries within all Government Ministries from making any payment towards any contracts in excess of $15 million approved by a purported Cabinet after the passage of the no confidence motion.The High Court is also being asked for a declaration to state that “…there exists no Cabinet to review or award any contract which exceeds fifteen million Guyana dollars (G$15,000,000).”It was noted in the court documents seen by Guyana Times that Section 54 (1) of the Procurement Act gives Cabinet the right to review and approve all procurements (contracts) in excess of $15 million. However, Ram pointed out in his grounds for the application that all functions and duties of the Cabinet ceased on December 21, 2018 when the no confidence motion was successfully passed against the Coalition Administration.The Resolution gives effect to Article 106 (6), which states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”According to the legal documents, the subsequent ruling of acting Chief Justice Roxane George (on January 31 in a case filed by Ram) was that the National Assembly properly, validly and lawfully passed the motion, which immediately effected the resignation of the Cabinet.“…the president and the ministers who constitute the Cabinet [were] compelled to resign their functions in Cabinet but retain their office until elections are held… I have observed that the Cabinet has not complied… and neither the Cabinet nor the President has expressed a public intention to resign or fixed a date prior to or on 21st March, 2019 for the holding of national and regional elections, nor has a resolution supported by no less than two-thirds of the National Assembly determined that elections should be held after an extended period,” Ram outlined in his application to the court.Immediately after the passage of the motion, the Coalition Government had said it would uphold the Constitution, but subsequently took a U-turn, ignoring calls from stakeholders, including the Opposition, to resign.President David Granger has maintained on several occasions that there is no provision in the constitution for a “caretaker” Government. Furthermore, the Government went on to challenge the passage of the motion in the National Assembly back in December.However, the acting Chief Justice found that the no-confidence motion was validly passed, and that Cabinet should have resigned. Government has since appealed this decision, and those matters are expected to come up for hearing at the Appeal Court next week.Meanwhile, following the High Court ruling, the Coalition has been meeting as a ‘Ministerial Plenary’, which is imbued with Cabinet powers, to carry on Government business. In fact, they have noted contracts from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) and given their approval for various appointments.This is a move which Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has called illegal. “They have a ministerial plenary to bypass the Chief Justice’s ruling, which is illegal,” the Opposition Leader has said.Jagdeo had noted, too, that if the People’s Progressive Party, of which he is also the General Secretary, returns to office, then all the actions and decisions of the Coalition Government since December 21 will be reviewed and reversed.last_img read more