Advisors on ESG Investing: We Need Better Data (ThinkAdvisor)

Link to Natixis Survey:

Investors are more interested than ever in how publicly traded companies handle environmental, social and governance issues, but many say they lack the information to make ESG investment decisions and their advisors often offer little help.

Those are some of the major findings of a new Natixis survey on ESG investment issues, which essentially combines the results of four previous global surveys of close to 12,500 individual investors, financial professionals, institutional investors and professional fund buyers. About 12.5% of those surveyed are from North America, primarily the U.S.

New UN Report – Humans ‘threaten 1m species with extinction’ (BBC)

Interesting to note it’s not climate change that is top of the list this time: 1) Changes in land / sea use; 2) direct exploitation of resources.

Other highlights:

Species extinction risk: Approximately 25% of species are already threatened with extinction in most animal and plant groups studied.

Natural ecosystems: Natural ecosystems have declined by 47% on average, relative to their earliest estimated states.

Biomass and species abundance: The global biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82%. Indicators of vertebrate abundance have declined rapidly since 1970.

Nature for indigenous people: 72% of indicators developed by local communities show ongoing deterioration of elements of nature important to them.

Live coral cover on reefs has nearly halved over the past 150 years.

Link to the Global Assessment website:

As Retiree Health-Care Bills Mount, Some States Have a Solution: Stop Paying (WSJ)

States across the U.S. are testing how far they can reduce health benefits for their retirees as a way of coping with mounting liabilities and balancing budgets. State and city governments increasingly began looking to cut these costs as they struggled following the 2008 financial crisis. In Detroit and Stockton, Calif., officials agreed to reduce their support for retiree health care as a way of negotiating their exits from municipal bankruptcy protection in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Global sustainable investments hit over $30 trillion in 2018 (GSIA Report)

Globally, sustainable investing assets in the five major markets stood at $30.7 trillion at the start of 2018, a 34percent increase in two years. In all the regions except Europe, sustainable investing’s market share has also grown. Responsible investment now commands a sizable share of professionally managed assets in each region, ranging from 18 percent in Japan to 63 percent in Australia and New Zealand. Clearly, sustainable investing constitutes amajor force across global financial markets.

From 2016 to 2018, the fastest growing region has been Japan, followed by Australia/New Zealand and Canada. These were also the three fastest growing regions in the previous two-year period. The largest three regions— based on the value of their sustainable investing assets—were Europe, the United States and Japan.