Leading Investment Firms: Advanced Focus on Carbon Accounting and Carbon Risk Management is necessary

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and a group of leading investors initiated an investor briefing which might lead to a new guideline for exposing greenhouse gas emissions in the portfolios of financiers.

Bonn, 24 July 2013: The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) released a new investor briefing together with a group of leading investors, including HSBC, Allianz, Eurizon Capital, Aviva, Pax World Investments and Robeco SAM. It explains that an analysis of the carbon footprint is one considerable tool that investors should use to extenuate and survey portfolio carbon risk. Additionally, the briefing lays the groundwork for a new standard to assess and report financed emissions, which has been demanded for some time by investment beneficiaries, civil society organisations and advocacy groups. They postulated that investors should start exposing and revealing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their portfolios as well as reducing these emissions over time.

Manhattan, Financial District
© Rainer Sturm / Pixelio

Gianluca Manca, Head of Sustainability at Eurizon Capital and Co-Chair of the UNEPFI Asset Management Working Group said, "Information on the carbon intensity, performance and climate risk exposure of thousands of companies is now publicly and readily available.” But the need of a similar level of transparency among investors is important too, or "we won't know whether that information is used or not, nor whether it is helping to deliver the low-carbon economy.”

Furthermore, the Briefing argues that in particular GHG emissions can lead to financial risks and that investors can play a key role in "re-allocating capital to the low-carbon economy; importantly, it does not have to be inconsistent with investors’ fiduciary responsibilities” said Julie Gorte, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Pax World Management, and Co-Chair of UNEP FI's Asset Management Working Group.

Sylvie Lemmet, Director of UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, adds that "institutional investors are striving to systematically address carbon and climate change risks and be more transparent about the ways in which they do so. There is now a need to develop and test the standards, tools and metrics that will be required, and UNEP FI will assist the investment community with that task.”

The portfolio can be downloaded here.

Tags: Renewable Energies | Finance Industry

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