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newsletter 05/2017

Our topics:

1. In-house news

- oekom research spreads its wings in France

2. Customers

- Volksbank Bielefeld-Gütersloh relies on sustainability research from oekom research

- Pension scheme foundation, Stiftung Altersversorgung, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany relies on sustainability ratings from oekom research

3. oekom Services

- Position Paper – Controversial Weapons

- Industry Focus – Construction Materials

4. Market

- Launch of Solactive oekom ESG Fossil Free Eurozone 50 Index

5. Studies/Publications

- SSGA: Performing for the future

- G20 Energy Efficiency Investment Toolkit

6. Events

- Austrian World Summit

- CSR Leader’s Circle by Systain: Business Case SDGs

7. Jobs

- Manager Client Relations and Business Development France & Benelux (m/f)

- (Senior) Manager Client Relations (m/f)

1. In-house news

oekom research spreads its wings in France

oekom research has moved to newer, larger premises in Paris to help expand its presence and business activities on the French market. The Parisian offices of the pioneer in sustainability research and its experts can be found at the following address in the heart of the city with immediate effect:

oekom research
153 Rue Saint Martin
75003 Paris
Tel. 0033 (0)1 53 09 99 70

oekom research had already been operating from its own office in Paris since 2011 under the management of Dr. Julia Haake, Director International Business Development.


2. Customers

Volksbank Bielefeld-Gütersloh relies on sustainability research from oekom research

Volksbank Bielefeld-Gütersloh will in the future rely on the sustainability research of oekom research as the basis for managing its “Volksbank Bielefeld-Gütersloh NachhaltigkeitsInvest” fund. The private label mutual fund, for which the Volksbank entered into an advisory agreement with Union Investment, invests worldwide, primarily in stocks and fixed-income securities with a regional focus on Europe and North America. Volksbank Bielefeld-Gütersloh picks the investments based on strict ethical, social, environmental and economic criteria, whereby Union Investment, in its capacity as capital management company, has the right to the final decision. During its analysis of the companies, Volksbank pays special attention to e.g. a responsible corporate culture, social commitment, as well as product innovations which generate social and environmental value added. oekom research provides its extensive sustainability research to enable an ongoing assessment of whether, and how, the fund’s constituent assets fulfil the sustainability criteria. The global overall universe covered in this process currently contains almost 5,500 companies and around 95 percent of all public bonds outstanding.

Volksbank Bielefeld-Gütersloh Treasury expert, Nicole Rüping, sees the choice of oekom research as the bank’s new research partner as a further quality step: “oekom research is regarded as one of the pioneers of sustainability research. This experience is reflected both in its rating methodology as well as the ensuing quality of the data, allowing us to manage our sustainability fund more systematically, and track achievement of its goals with greater efficiency than in the past."

Contact: Nicole Rüping, Treasury expert 
Email: nicole.rueping@volksbank-bi-gt.de 
Tel. +49 (0) 5241 104-450

Pension scheme foundation, Stiftung Altersversorgung, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany relies on sustainability ratings from oekom research

The pension scheme foundation, Stiftung Altersversorgung, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany will be using information from oekom research’s sustainability research to bolster its sustainability management endeavours. The information will enable it to better manage its investments in line with the policy “Guideline On Ethical, Sustainable Investment Within The Evangelical Church”. The foundation’s sustainable investment strategy implements explicitly-defined exclusion criteria and a best-in-class approach based on the rating results from oekom research’s research universe.

“As an ethical investor, it is imperative for us to avoid contradictions between our foundation’s mandate and our investment aims,” says Stiftung Altersversorgung executive, Thorsten Pries, and continues: “With oekom research’s sustainability ratings and portfolio analyses, we can track our foundation’s goal actively and more effectively than in the past. The rating agency’s longstanding experience, both in sustainability research and in the foundation sector, as well as its ability to offer us made-to-measure solutions tailored precisely to our needs, impressed us greatly during the agency-selection process.”

Contact: Torsten Pries, Geschäftsführung
Email: Torsten.Pries@lka.nordkirche.de
Tel. +49 (0)431 9797-848

3. oekom Services

Position Paper – Controversial Weapons

Position Paper GMOIn its updated Position Paper on the topic of Controversial Weapons, oekom research summarises the latest data and developments relating to the import and export of military weapons, discussions and assessments of current political initiatives, as well as analytical results from the Controversial Weapons Monitor. It includes an analysis based on independent sources and corporate information, identifying around 400 companies worldwide which are suspected of manufacturing controversial weapons. For approximately 250 of these companies, the suspicion has been substantiated to such an extent that they have been included in the CWM. Most of these companies are based in the USA (47), followed by France (15) and Russia (15).

The most recent statistics of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) of April 2017 were also taken into account. According to these, the USA and Russia accounted for by far the largest shares of the total military-weapons export market (at 33 and 23 percent respectively), followed with a significant gap by France (6 percent), Germany (5.6 percent) and the United Kingdom (4.6 percent).

The publication can be requested at no charge from communications@oekom-research.com

Industry Focus – Construction Materials

Position Paper GMOFrom a sustainability perspective, the most urgent topical areas of the Construction Materials industry are primarily the very high levels of energy and resources consumed during production. This is one of the findings of the latest Industry Focus for the Construction Materials sector. Of the total of 57 companies monitored in this industry, only seven (12.3 percent) achieve oekom Prime status – significantly below the general benchmark of 16.5 percent. Geberit AG (CH) was identified as the market leader with the rating B, followed by Owens Corning (US) and Rockwool International A/S (DK), each with B-. With an oekom Performance Score (OPS) of 27.69 on a scale from 0 to 100, the Construction Materials industry achieves a value significantly below the current best performers (Household & Consumer Goods industry with an OPS of 38.29).

The publication can be requested at no charge from communications@oekom-research.com

4. Market

Launch of Solactive oekom ESG Fossil Free Eurozone 50 Index

The BENEXX Solactive oekom ESG Fossil Free Eurozone 50 Index sustainability index, initiated by the regional state of Berlin, has been launched and is being calculated by Solactive AG since April 2017. The Index tracks the changes in the prices of a stock portfolio consisting of 50 individual shares from the universe of the euro zone’s 600 largest quoted companies which, with respect to general ESG criteria, have the best sustainability performances of their respective industry and have achieved oekom Prime status. The Index does not contain any companies which have a focus on fossil fuels, generate nuclear power, develop, manufacture or sell military weapons, or which are embroiled in severe or very severe controversies in the categories “monetary transactions” and “taxes” or with respect to the criteria of the UN Global Compact.

oekom research is responsible for regularly reviewing the companies contained in the Index for their compliance with the defined sustainability criteria, and for making any necessary Index adjustments. To avoid sustainability and reputation risks, oekom research also reviews the companies on a monthly basis with respect to new breaches in the area of controversial business practices. Companies, for which controversies of the category “very severe” are identified, for controversies of the category “very severe” can also be excluded from the Index in the course of the year.

For further information, please visit: 



5. Studies/Publications

SSGA: Performing for the future

State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) polled a total of 475 institutional investors in a worldwide survey on how they integrate ESG criteria into their investment strategies. Over two thirds of the participants polled in the study said that significantly higher earnings resulted from taking these aspects into account in their investment strategies. The survey also showed that over three quarters of the respondents who make ESG-conscious investments expect a direct positive impact on the business results of the stock corporations in whose shares they invest.

Although many of the polled investors are satisfied with the benefits that their ESG strategies have for their yields, they only apply ESG criteria to around a third of their investments. According to the study, this share is expected to rise to around 40 percent of their portfolios over the next two years.

The full study can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/2rlFWP2  

G20 Energy Efficiency Investment Toolkit

To improve the cooperation between the G20 member states in financing and advancing energy-efficiency technologies and programmes, the G20 Energy Efficiency Task Group has developed the Energy Efficiency Investment Toolkit. The toolkit includes a voluntary framework and other instruments for the G20 nations to increase capital flows into energy-efficiency projects in their markets. It also describes possibilities for political and financial market stakeholders to cooperate in developing innovative business and financing models. The Toolkit contains, amongst others, an appraisal of the current investments in energy-efficiency projects, in each case broken down by industry and region, as well as best practices for national draft frameworks and for implementing the G20 Voluntary Energy Efficiency Investment Principles. Additionally, a description of best-in-class instruments aims to encourage investors to increasingly focus on energy-efficiency investments.

The full Toolkit can be downloaded here: http://www.unepfi.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/G20-EE-Toolkit.pdf

6. Events

Austrian World Summit

The Austrian World Summit sustainability conference, to be held in Vienna on 20 June 2017, brings together leading politicians, industry representatives, scientists and recognised members of civil society to jointly discuss the challenges of tomorrow’s world. In doing so, the Forum offers a platform for international networking and the support of sustainable projects, and presents example projects which have orientated themselves exemplarily towards the goals of the UN SDGs.

Amongst the prominent participants and speakers at this event will be Austria Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as Climate Policy Initiative Executive Director, Barbara Buchner. 

For registration and further information, please visit: http://www.austrianworldsummit.com/event 

CSR Leader’s Circle by Systain: Business Case SDGs

With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the international community has set itself ambitious goals for improving the economy and society by 2030. But how are companies actually impacted by the SDGs? And how can they exploit the SDGs to their own benefit and transform their business models for long-term sustainability?

The CSR Leaders’ Circle event “Business Case SDGs” is dedicated to these questions in a combination of concise, practice-orientated lectures and interactive workshop formats.

Senior Analyst and speaker Silke Jolowicz will be representing oekom research at the June 22 event in Berlin.

For registration and further information, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.de/e/business-case-sdgs-tickets-33243616552 

7. Jobs

Manager Client Relations and Business Development France & Benelux (m/f)

For our Paris office we are seeking a new colleague who will support us in the development of our business, public and client relations in France and BENELUX. Our Paris office was founded in 2011, in order to develop our presence in the very dynamic French SRI market and to maintain our growing client relations in France. The candidate should be fluent in French and if possible in Dutch, dispose of at least 3 to 5 years of working experience either in SRI, CSR, Asset Management, investor relations or other finance related jobs.

For further information on the vacancy please visit: https://oekom-research.softgarden.io/job/1057819?l=de

(Senior) Manager Client Relations (m/f)

oekom research is further expanding its Sales team and is now looking for a (Senior) Manager Client Relations (m/f). The main aspects of this position will be the acquisition and support of customers in the German-speaking (D-A-CH) region. Candidates should have: experience in selling financial market-related services; knowledge of the SRI market; an interest in sustainability; an engaging personality; and an outstanding command of English. The job location is Munich, Germany. This is a permanent position and to be occupied as soon as possible.

For further information on the vacancy (Senior) Manager Client Relations (m/f), please visit: https://oekom-research.softgarden.io/job/703239?l=de  

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