Thursday, July 30, 2009

Poor corporate governance hurts performance, study concludes

A hypothetical mutual fund screened to exclude companies identified as having poor corporate governance practices significantly outperformed its benchmark, according to a study conducted by Northfield Information Services for Portland, Maine-based The Corporate Library.

The Governance Alpha Fund (GAF) was created in 2003 and has beaten the Russell 1000 index by 279 annualized basis points over the past five years.

"The Corporate Library's ratings-based screens were used to exclude any companies identified as having poor corporate governance and high governance risk at the time of rebalacing, effectively creating an enhanced index portfolio," the study states.

"A $100 investment in GAF at inception of the fund would have returned $171.14 over the next five years versus $149.92 if the money had been similarly invested in the Russell 1000 benchmark."

The GAF fund excluded companies with an excessive focus on management interests (e.g., composition of the board and key committees), runaway agency costs (e.g., CEO compensation that is poorly aligned with shareholder interests), management and/or board entrenchment (e.g., overly-powerful takeover defences), board-level accounting weaknesses and subordinated public shareholder interests (e.g., dominant or controlling shareholder concerns).

To request a copy of the report, please contact Drew Buckley at dbuckley (at)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Suncor- tomorrow's General Motors?

Prof. Gordon Laxer believes the environmental impact of the tar sands is such that there is no way to continue with these projects. “The climate change agenda is going to make the tar sands impossible. (If we continue) Canada is going to be the pariah of the world.” Speaking to the Peak Oil meetup in Toronto, the founder of the Parkland Institute gave us an Alberta spin on the tar sands, largely from an Edmonton point of view, but peppered with quotes from Calgarians.

Even Peter Lougheed, the former Premier of Alberta, thinks the pace of development has been extreme. In an article in the Calgary Herald earlier this month, he stated, “ ‘The oil sands have created in our province, because of the rapid growth that has occurred in the past decade, a very high-cost economy,’ He conceded that his opinion is ‘in the minority’ but added the government is well aware of his position on the subject.”

Laxer feels we are wasting other resources in our quest for oil. “In 2006 Canada used 12% of our natural gas to produce the dirtiest oil on earth.” Jim Dinning, the former Treasurer of Alberta agrees that ‘you all know that we’re consuming our natural gas asset at an accelerated rate, especially in the oil sands. As a source for electricity, steam and hydrogen, natural gas is expensive and its price is volatile. In fact,injecting natural gas into the oil sands to produce oil is like turning gold into lead.

When asked if it would be politically feasible to rein in tar sands development, Prof. Laxer opined that it would be difficult, but that there was some agreement around ‘no new approvals’ as the first step. Groups calling for a moratorium on new approvals for tar sands development include the Alberta Federation of Labour, the Council of Canadians and the Sierra Club. Ethical Funds released a white paper last fall on tar sands development, “We are proposing that institutional investors join us and call on oil sands companies to suspend new oil sands development pending the introduction of a comprehensive land use plan, while at the same time speeding up the development and introduction of potential solutions that could improve environmental and social performance.”

However, a number of tar sands issues, such as the tailings ponds, have proven intractable. Syncrude’s ‘tailings pond’, a toxic reservoir, is now the second largest dam in the world. And we have no idea what to do with it. Perhaps the time has come to recognize that the tar sands can never be a responsible source of energy. Wedded to a product that is increasingly out of step with the world’s environmental demands, tar sands developers may be the car companies of tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

U.S. mutual fund discloses carbon footprint

Boston-based Green Century Funds is now disclosing the carbon footprint of its balanced fund, claiming to be the the first retail American mutual fund to do so.

Green Century hired analysis firm Trucost to perform an analysis, which revealed that the carbon footprint of the balanced fund was 66% less than the S&P 500, as of April 30, 2009.

The study found that that the fund's low carbon intensity is attributable to its underweighting or avoidance of the utilities, oil and gas and resources sector.

"The debate over climate change is over. With emissions restrictions pending in the U.S. and internationally, we believe it is in the best interest of our shareholders to recognize and understand the carbon footprint of our fund's investments," says Green Century Funds president Kristina Curtis.

"With the reality of climate change upon us and the economy in flux, it is urgent thqat we move toward a low-carbon, resource efficient and sustainable economy," added Lisa Woll, CEO of the U.S. Social Investment Forum. "We are proud of our member investment firms that are leaders in addressing critical environmental issues."

Trucost's carbon audit involved calculating the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions for each company in the Green Century Balanced Fund portfolio. Companies in the portfolio that contributed the most greenhouse gas emissions were Air Product & Chemicals, General Mills and 3M. The fund's top ten holdings as of June 30, 2009 were IBM, AT&T, Xerox, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, General Mills, SLM Corp., Telefonica S.A., Johnson & Johnson, Advance Auto Parts and Oracle Corp.

As far as we know, no Canadian fund has conducted a similar analysis. However, considering the TSX's high exposure to the oil and gas sector, any fund seeking to replicate the performance of the Canadian benchmark would likely score poorly in a carbon audit.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fiduciary II - a follow up to Freshfields

...or 'I read 60+ pages so you don't have to'

“The single most effective document for promoting the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into institutional investment has arguably been the ‘Freshfields Report’ published in 2005, which the UNEP FI Asset Management Working Group (AMWG) commissioned to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, a leading international law firm….In the four years since the launch of the original Freshfields report, we have seen more innovation and evolution in the field of ESG integration than in any other similar time span in history.”

The follow up report, released earlier this month and referred to as Fiduciary II, makes a series of recommendations intended to help institutional investors move more quickly along the path of ESG integration. Fiduciary II is divided into three parts. Part I provides legal commentary on fiduciary duty and the implementation of ESG in investment mandates, see ‘Institutional Advisors at Risk, UN report warns’ July 15. Legal opinions are provided by Paul Watchman of Quayle Watchman Consulting, who was the principal author of the Freshfields report, and Michael Gerrard, Robert Holten and Aron Estaver of Arnold & Porter LLP in the United States.

Part II provides an analysis of investment management consultants responses to a survey on how they are working with ESG. Some interesting points are made around how investment timeframes and the practice of evaluating short term performance against a benchmark may work against inclusion of ESG factors which typically occur over the medium to long term. “They felt that placing too much emphasis on short-term investment performance was detrimental to the pursuit of long term performance goals. It was in the domain of long-term performance that ESG factors were believed to have the biggest impact on investment returns.” The questionnaire itself is reproduced in Appendix C of the Report.

Part III brings us up to date on practical developments on the integration of ESG into the investment process. Here we get information on entities such as the Norwegian Pension Fund and the Marathon Club, as well as overviews of studies such as the FairPensions survey of 30 asset managers in the UK.

The introductions to the report refer to the historic moment at which we find ourselves, with the global financial markets found wanting and at a crossroads. “Many of us in the field of responsible investment believe that the financial meltdown actually represents a unique opportunity to ‘recast’ some of the most basic tenets of fiduciary investment. After the fallout of the crisis, many fiduciaries will wisely look at the impact of the crisis on their investments, and look for new approaches to steward and allocate their assets.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Walmart to develop sustainable product index

Walmart is sending its 100,000 global suppliers a short survey to evaluate each company's sustainability. The 15 questions are divided into four areas: Energy and Climate, Natural Resources, Material Efficiency and People and Community.

The retail giant will ask its top tier American suppliers to complete the survey by October 1. Outside the U.S., the company says it will develop timelines on a country-by-country basis.

"The index will bring about a more transparent supply chain, drive product innovation and, ultimately, provide consumers the information they need to assess the sustainability of products," Walmart CEO Mike Duke said in a statement. "If we work together, we can create a new retail standard for the 21st century."

Given the company's history, particularly in the areas of labour relations and human rights, some critics are questioning Walmart's motives. Joel Makower of GreenBiz tells that Walmart scores points for including social issues under the sustainability umbrella, but says the five questions in the People and Community section "barely scratch the surface."

"For example, they don't address most worker issues, like wages, health-care and the right to air grievances," Makower says. "Not to mention the right to unionize, an area where I witnessed the company vacillate back and forth before taking a clear stance."

Others aren't quite so skeptical. Bill Baue, who wrote Walmart's first sustainability report in 2007 and also writes for CSRwire, notes that some people will welcome Walmart using its market muscle as a "bully pulpit" to push sustainability from the top-down - which arguably produces change more quickly than grassroots, bottom-up sustainability advances.

The complete list of questions is available on the Walmart website.

What do you think? Would a sustainability index be enough to convince you to include Walmart in your portfolio? Please share your comments.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shariah-complaint funds face challenges

It's not easy to get a mutual fund off the ground these days, and it appears Shariah-compliant funds have an even more difficult time, particularly in the United States.

Earlier this month, columnist Alexander Green of "University U" (not an actual university but an investment advice website) wrote in a blog post that he wouldn't touch the recently-launched Dow Jones Islamic International fund "with a barge pole," opining that it's "virtually guaranteed to earn sub-par returns."

Green then proceeded to dig up the old argument that so-called sin stocks will always outperform socially responsible funds. It's a flawed argument, comparing apples to oranges, but that didn't deter Green, who said that in tough times, "many people feel an intense need to escape through alcohol, tobacco, or a trip to their local casino."

Still, Green says he's not advocating sin stocks, but believes his investment portfolio is a vehicle for achieving and maintaining financial independence, not for making grand moral statements. Fair enough, but his next statement suggests his motives for avoiding Shariah funds may have more to do with an underlying prejudice against Muslims. "Moreover, you need only look at Afghanistan under the Taliban to see what a society unleavened by political, religion and economic freedom looks like," he states.

Green ends his blog with this somewhat bizarre non-sequitur. "Last month, French President Sarkozy made news when he said the burqua - a symbol of the repression and subjugation of women - is not welcome in France. "Shariah law isn't welcome in my portfolio either."

Not surprisingly, Green's comments have been picked up by a number of Islam-phobic websites, including creeping, defined as the "slow, deliberate, and methodolical advance of Islamic law (sharia) in non-Muslim countries ... also known as "stealth Jihad."

While we hesitate to even mention such sites on our blog, with Canada recently launching two Shariah-compliant funds - FrontierAlt Oasis and an as-yet unnamed joint ETF venture between Jovian Capital and UM Financial - we believe it's important that the SRI community comes together to oppose the blatantly racist opinions of people like Alexander Green and the people who run Creeping Sharia.

Green can be reached through the Investment U website.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Institutional advisors at risk, UN report warns

Advisors to institutional investors have a duty to proactively raise environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues with their clients, according to a new UN-backed report.

“Fiduciary responsibility,” released by the asset management working group of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative, warns that investment consultants or asset managers who fail to do so run the risk of being sued for negligence.

“We believe that embedding ESG issues in their legal contracts will help asset owners hold asset managers to account for delivering on this important aspect of asset management,” the report states. “Similarly, all consultants, asset managers and other service providers that are signatories to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment should make a commitment to proactively raise ESG issues within their advisory and client take-on process.”

The report consulted fiduciary law expert Paul Watchman, chief executive of Quayle Watchman Consulting. “As professional investment advisers, investment consultants and asset managers are under a contract for services rather than a contract of service. They are professional advisers to the client, not employees of the client; hence in exercising significant professional discretion, investment consultants and asset managers must be proactive rather than reactive,” Watchman said.

Furthermore, Watchman brings ESG integration to the point of contract by advising that “it is necessary for investment management agreements or the equivalent contract between pension funds and asset managers to use ESG language in order to clarify the expectations of the parties to the contract. In particular, it is important that it is made absolutely clear to beneficiaries, pension fund trustees and asset managers that ESG is regarded as a mainstream investment consideration.”

The report states that responsible investment, active ownership and the promotion of sustainable business practices should be a routine part of all investment arrangements, rather than the optional add on which many consultants appear to treat it as.

This report is a sequel to the 2005 Freshfields report, which promoted the integration of ESG issues into institutional investment.

Overall, the key conclusions of this latest report is that in order to achieve the vision of the original Freshfields report, where trustees integrate ESG issues into their decision-making, ESG issues should be embedded in the legal contract between asset owners and asset managers, with the implementation of this framework being governed by trustees via client reporting. The new report also makes a case for consultants having a duty to proactively raise ESG issues with the advisory process.

Link to download report.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Accounting group endorses sustainability

It's been said, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that lawyers and accountants stand to benefit the most from the shift to sustainability in the institutional investment sector. Whether you believe it's altruistic or profit-driven (or perhaps a little of both), European accountants appear to be getting on board.

Eurosif and the Federation of European Accountants recently issued a “call to action” (download here) for more and better sustainability disclosure by companies.

The two trade bodies were invited by the European Parliament to host a roundtable discussion of investors (held on 29 April 2009), which welcomed sustainable investment experts, bureaucrats and even an MEP (Member of the European Parliament). The keynote speech was provided by Richard Howitt, European Parliament Rapporteur on Corporate Social Responsibility. The MEP argued that the current financial crisis should not provide an excuse to companies to avoid sustainability reporting. He further suggested three ways of persuading companies to disclose sustainability information:

Highlighting that sustainability issues can have an impact on the financial bottom line of companies;

-- Rasing public awareness to achieve greater responsibility for environmental impacts;

-- Motivation through legislation; while some elements are already in the Modernisation Directive, the envisaged amendments of the Fourth Directive might be a good time to enhance the framework of sustainability disclosure.

The result of this first roundtable was an explicit appeal to companies, regulators and investors to focus on the provision of "future-orientated" sustainability information geared towards mainstream as well as SRI-type investors. They also called for an investigation into mandatory disclosure, perhaps linked to corporate governance codes and on a "comply & explain" basis.

As a follow-up to this work, the European Commission will organise a series of five workshops on the subject of “sustainability disclosure” in the coming months. The second workshop (to be held in late October) will focus on the point of view of investors, financial analysts, accountants, rating agencies and Eurosif will nominate experts to participate in the discussion.

It is particularly heartening to see a European accounting body endorse sustainability disclosure as a means to improve transparency and drive improvements in corporate behaviour. Given the activism of the EU in the aftermath of the credit crunch we may even see something that goes beyond guidelines to some form of mandatory reporting? Watch this space!

Lisa Hayles is Senior Client Relationship Manager with London-based EIRIS.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The challenge of sustainable mining

The world’s mining companies are under pressure. Not only are they forced to look further afield – both geographically and technologically – for new products, they are also facing demands to maintain standards of environmental and social best practices as scrutiny of company behaviour becomes more acute.

Those are the conclusions of a report produced by international research firm F&C Management: “Sustainable Mining: Oxymoron or New Reality?” The report assesses the progress achieved to date by leading mining companies and explores how successful the industry has been in shedding its long-standing association with environmental and social degradation.

“We find that many mining companies have made significant progress, but warn that the current fall in commodity prices could tempt some to cut back on their commitment to sustainable business practices,” says F&C Management’s John Farley. “However, cutting in these areas often stores up costly problems for the future, saddling shareholders with burdens that they understand much better than they did in the past and are increasingly reluctant to shoulder. F&C considers the effective management of environmental and social impacts of mining a key component of commercial success.”

The report states that companies need to address such issues as community relations, mine security and environmental pollution from the earliest stages of mine development, because the cost of early neglect is far greater later on.

For instance, as mining companies expand into poor and underdeveloped countries, they are looked to by the local communities to provide basic services, such as healthcare and clean water. “Ignoring these expectations may jeopardize the company’s reputation in the region; however, stepping in and providing services on which the community comes to depend also has its risks, as the company may find itself taking on the role of a quasi-government from which it is difficult to extricate itself.

“Bad relations with the locals can, in the worst cases, lead to shutdowns, loss of licences, or even violence and sabotage, with obvious implications for site and staff security as well as production volumes,” says Karina Litvack, head of governance and sustainable investment at F&C. “In addition, corruption and waste also often mean that resource wealth fails to benefit development, as taxes, royalties and social payments are misappropriated by government officials; this fuels community resentment against companies, and raises the risk of contract renegotiation or even expropriation.”

In addition to these longer-term challenges, mining companies are faced with the immediacy of falling commodities prices in the wake of the credit crunch and resulting global recession, Litvack adds. “As a consequence, they have announced dramatic spending cuts.”

Despite the gains achieved by many of the leading mining firms on ESG risk management, the recent retrenchment may tempt some to cut corners, F&C notes. “This is really a case of ‘pay now or pay a lot more later’,” Litvack says.

The question is, can mining ever be sustainable? “It would be hard to argue that extracting a non-renewable resource is sustainable in the absolute sense of the term but neither can companies afford to dodge sustainability challenges, or they will pay an unacceptable price. In practical terms, miners have little choice but to act as if sustainability is an attainable goal, and do the very best possible job,” says Litvack.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Responsible versus sustainable

There’s been a subtle semantic shift over the past few years in the SRI movement, as more companies and industry leaders choose to talk about sustainable investing, rather than socially responsible or responsible investing.

It may seem unimportant on the surface, after all, what’s in a name?, but it’s an issue many people take very seriously.

In a recent article posted on Responsible Investor, philanthropist and writer Stephen Viederman stated that “confusion over terminology describing an investment approach that considers environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors obscures the point of our work linking investing and corporate change.”

Viederman concedes that socially responsible investing, responsible investing and sustainable investing share a common goal: achieving long-term shareowner returns and corporate change, but he insists that the approaches are different.

Viederman believes SRI is about investing with personal values while sustainable investing (SI) is about investing for shareowner value using ESG to assess a company. “SRI employs positive and negative screens to identify good or bad companies across economic sectors; SI ranks the best and worst companies within economic sectors. Thus, relatively few integrated oil and gas companies will likely appear in an SRI portfolio, while the best of these companies will appear in SI portfolios.”

Viederman’s support of SRI or responsible investing is shared by KLD founder and SRI pioneer Amy Domini. In an interview with Responsible Investor earlier this year, Domini expressed concern about the use of the term sustainability. “It’s a bit of a marketing term; a comfort word,” Domini said. “Companies like Boeing have been talking about sustainability for a long time, even if the person repeating the mantra was then disgraced. Personally I like SRI or responsible investment. People say well are you then accusing other investors of being ‘irresponsible’? My answer is, yes, that is what we are saying!”

What do you think? Is there a difference between SRI and sustainable investing? Do names matter? Please share your thoughts with SRI Monitor.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

SRI at the G8 Summit

Transparency, integrity, social and environmental standards – an SRI conference?
Surprise!, it’s the G8 summit.
When the leaders of the G8 countries begin their meeting tomorrow in Italy, one of the things they will be discussing is a new Global Standard put forward by the OECD. The proposal is based on twelve principles that should be the basis for all international business dealings. The agenda is packed, making it likely that although these issues will be discussed, nothing concrete may result. However, it’s a good start, and hopefully will be followed up at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in September.

Common Principles and Standards on Propriety, Integrity and Transparency

1) A strong, fair and clean economy must be based on the values of propriety, integrity and transparency. These values should be promoted by public policies and be upheld by business. Effective monitoring of the implementation of these principles and standards should be undertaken on a regular basis.

2) Governments, companies and all business entities, irrespective of their legal form, around the world should recognise that these values are the keystone of a market economy which serves the needs and aspirations of citizens of every country and which deserves their respect and confidence.

3) Any “race to the bottom” in labour, social and environmental standards and regulatory arbitrage among jurisdictions should be prevented through international cooperation and convergence of domestic legal frameworks.

4) Tax evasion and avoidance are harmful to society as a whole and companies and all business entities, irrespective of their legal form, should fulfil their fiscal duties, including by respecting the arm’s length principle in transfer pricing practices.

5) Government / business interaction, including lobbying and “revolving door”, should be conducted in accordance with principles which are balanced, transparent, fair to all parties, and enforceable.

6) Business practices and governance of companies and all business entities, irrespective of their legal form - whether traded or non-traded, private or State-owned - should ensure accountability and fairness in the relationship between management, the board, shareholders and other stakeholders. Financial structures and instruments should not be misused in order to hide the true beneficial owner and corporate vehicles, in their various forms, should not be used for illicit activities, including money laundering, bribery, shielding assets from creditors, illicit tax practices, self-dealing and diversion of assets, market fraud and
circumvention of disclosure requirements.

7) Disclosure of timely and accurate information regarding the activities, structure, ownership, financial situation and performance of companies should be ensured.

8) Pay and compensation schemes should be sustainable and consistent with companies’ and all business entities’, irrespective of their legal form, long-term goals and prudent risk-taking.

9) Bribery, including bribery in international business transactions, should be established as a criminal offence and effectively prosecuted and punished.

10) Money laundering should be criminalised and the crime of money laundering should be applied to all serious offences, with a view to including the widest range of predicate offences.

11) Any form of protectionism should be banned.

12) Bank secrecy should not constitute an obstacle to the application of the above mentioned principles , including tax compliance worldwide.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Carbon risk evident in UK funds

There’s a wide range of carbon footprint exposure among the UK’s institutional equity funds, according to a new study conducted by Mercer and Trucost on behalf of WWF. That’s not much of a surprise, considering that the fund’s managers do not actively consider climate change factors such as greenhouse gas emissions as part of their investment process.

The report, Carbon Risks in UK Equity Funds, reveals that greenhouse gas emissions in 118 equity portfolios varied from 209 to 1,487 tonnes per million pounds invested. “A wide variation of carbon exposure was identified between companies in the same carbon-intensive sectors such as utilities, basic resources, construction and materials, oil and gas, and food and beverages.”

Asset managers do not consider climate change for a variety of reasons, including a belief that governments will not achieve emissions reduction targets or establish a global carbon price, short-term pressure to generate returns and the lack of a standardized reporting framework needed to deliver accurate data on company’s greenhouse gas emissions, the study says.

However, it adds that asset managers could dramatically reduce the carbon footprints of their funds through stock selection without the need to alter sector weightings or their overall investment strategy; they could also engage with portfolio companies and support government introduction of mandatory reporting requirements for corporate greenhouse gas emissions that would make carbon management easier and more effective.

Pension funds and fund managers could also integrate climate change criteria such as carbon performance into financial analysis, stock selection and active ownership practices, the report suggests, as well as invest in renewable energy and other energy efficient technologies.

“The results of our research with WWF and Trucost indicate that the investment management industry has a long way to go before pension funds can feel reassured that sufficient attention is being paid to the investment implications of the shift to a low carbon economy, “says Mercer principal Danyelle Guyatt, “It is important for pension funds to be aware of these potential risks and opportunities, and to manage these proactively through their strategic asset allocation decisions and the way they review and select fund managers."

The report outlines how fund manager complacency on corporate carbon performance could put pension fund assets at risk as carbon-intensive companies face rising carbon costs and their company valuations fall in the short-term in anticipation of future carbon risk.

“Fund managers “wait and see” approach to company exposure to carbon costs could expose pension funds to financial risk and result in mixed opportunities to position portfolios for a carbon-constrained economy.”

The full report is available

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The massive cost of addressing climate change

It’s a staggering figure. The International Energy Agency estimates that $1.3 trillion will be required just to halve greenhouse gas emissions from the global energy sector by 2050.

In a new green paper, the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) Finance Initiative concedes that addressing climate change on a global scale will require an “unprecedented mobilization of financial resources.”

“Only a joint effort of public and private forces will achieve such a mobilization,” the paper adds, noting that the lion’s share of climate change investment is expected to come from the private sector. A range of public policy measures will also be required, including carbon markets and taxes, regulations and standards.

The paper calls for an agreement of ambitious emission reduction targets over the short, medium and long term, as well as “accelerated action to manage the unavoidable impact of climate change, particularly on poor communities.”

As well as the capital expenditure required to “decarbonize” and adapt the global economy, particular attention must be focused on how to expand the flow of public and private financing to the developing world, the paper states.

The UNEP’s proposals are based on six areas to enhance financial sector involvement:

1) Reducing the risk of low carbon investments in developing countries
2) Improving the operation of flexible mechanisms
3) Establishing funding for low carbon technology development and deployment in developing countries
4) Creating an international carbon insurance vehicle
5) Enabling enhanced investment in low carbon buildings
6) Expanding the application of insurance mechanisms for adaptation

“Climate science demands an ambitious climate agreement in Copenhagen,” the report notes, including emission reductions of 25% to 40% by 2020 from 1990 levels. The UNEP Finance Initiative is a partnership between the UNEP and 180 financial institutions from around the world. For more, read the UNEP’s latest green paper, Financing a Global Deal on Climate Change.