Sustainability: Automotive industry changes to second gear
In its latest industry analysis, the rating agency oekom research evaluated the world’s 15 largest listed car manufacturers according to environmental and social criteria. On a scale from A+ (highest score) to D- (lowest score), Renault came out on top with a score of B, followed by the BMW Group, also with a B, and PSA Peugeot Citroën with a score of B-. The average score, at C+, lies slightly above the average score of C recorded in the last study. Renault and BMW Group remain the industry’s leading lights. “As far as the major issues affecting the future of the industry are concerned, our study reveals that car manufacturers are gradually casting off their defensive attitudes,” says Till Jung, analyst responsible for this sector at oekom.
The reduction in fleet consumption and the associated decrease in CO2 emissions is and will remain one of the hottest issues. The EU has now set itself the target of reducing average CO2 emissions to 130 grams per kilometre driven by 2015. Prior to this, the majority of companies in the industry had failed to meet the voluntary commitment they made in 1998 to reduce emissions to 140g CO2/km by 2008. On the European market, the Italian car builder Fiat leads the field, with average CO2 emissions of 138 g/km, followed by PSA Peugeot Citroen with 140 g/km and Renault with 143 g/km (all figures relate to 2008). Between 2007 and 2008, the BMW Group reduced its CO2 emissions by around 7 per cent, to a value of 156 g/km over its entire vehicle fleet. “The fact that these figures are now easier to obtain from the manufacturers and that we no longer have to rely on estimates is a sign of progress. However, scarcely any global data is available, with manufacturers citing regional differences in calculation methods. At the moment, only Nissan gives absolute data for worldwide average fleet consumption,” explains Jung.
As far as future reduction targets are concerned, the picture in the industry is mixed: Jung points out that most targets are neither really ambitious nor long-term in nature. He says, “Renault and Nissan, which have already announced reductions in emissions for 2020 and 2050 respectively, are setting a good example here.” Renault intends to reduce average CO2 emissions to 95 g/km by 2020, a target which would be 33 per cent lower than 2008 figures. In Germany, the BMW Group is the most ambitious. It has announced its intention to reduce fleet emissions by at least 25 per cent by 2020. This would be equivalent to CO2 emissions of around 117 g/km.
A lot has been happening on the alternative drive front. Jung states: “Those wishing to comply with regulatory requirements after 2015 will have to address the issue of the mass marketing of electric vehicles and advanced hybrid drives sooner rather than later.” The analysis shows that almost all the companies are working on this. The current leaders are Toyota and Honda, with their successful hybrid vehicles such as the “Prius” and the “Insight”. Renault and Nissan are working together to bring cars with purely electric drives on to the mass market. The first models are to be brought out in Denmark and Israel as early as 2011, and worldwide distribution of several vehicle models could begin in 2012.
All the car manufacturers have so far been tentative in their approach to further challenges, such as fluorine-free coolants in air-conditioning systems, interior emissions and the management of nanotechnology.
Jung sums up by saying, “As far as drive technology is concerned, the race is well under way. However, the findings in the social part of the rating show a clear divide.” As far as supplier standards, labour rights and workers’ health are concerned, only the European companies have achieved good to very good results across the board. The Japanese and Korean companies are bunched together right at the bottom of the table, to the detriment of their overall ratings. “Here, too, we would like to see greater competition to promote sustainability,” says Jung.
oekom research introduces Carbon Services
oekom research expands its product range with the oekom Carbon Services. Hereby, investors can leverage a comprehensive information base to identify and manage both current and future carbon-related risks and performance at issuer and portfolio level. oekom Carbon Services integrate over 100 cross-industry and industry-specific indicators, which record and evaluate the performance of over 3,700 companies in managing their industry-specific carbon risks, their business activities relating to the fossil fuels coal, oil and natural gas and – via a partnership with South Pole Group, the leading global provider of carbon footprinting data – their carbon footprint. more...
Update on evaluation of Volkswagen
Volkswagen announced that irregularities have also been discovered in its climate-relevant CO2 emission measurements. Reportedly, CO2 emissions and respectively also fuel consumption were understated in the type approval of vehicles. According to VW, some 800,000 passenger cars could be affected, for the first time also including vehicles with petrol engines. From oekom research’s point of view, the manipulation of CO2 and fuel consumption specifications constitutes a significant expansion and aggravation of the scandal. It raises questions regarding the credibility of the company’s currently communicated climate strategy as well as its data, e.g. regarding fleet consumption of VW vehicles. The new findings therefore lead to further severe downgradings for VW in the relevant sections of the rating, resulting in a further demotion of the company’s overall rating from C+ to C.
Climate change and sustainable investment: oekom research events in London and Paris
In the run-up to the world climate summit in Paris at the beginning of December, oekom research, together with its partners GES and South Pole, is organising two high-profile events in London and Paris in November on the topic of climate change and the repercussions for investment companies and investors.
On 16 November, oekom research, GES and Ruffer LLP are hosting a breakfast meeting in London on “Climate Change Risks – The Role Investors Can Play”. Keynote speeches and a roundtable discussion will outline how climate risks are assessed, considered and addressed, by utilising relevant ESG data and metrics, investing in assets such as renewable energy, engaging with companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or by persuading regulators to require corporate disclosure of the business impacts of climate change, in order to reach the levels needed to achieve a global low-carbon economy. Further information is available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/climate-change-risks-the-role-investors-can-play-tickets-19111481957
On 27 November 2015, oekom research and South Pole Group are holding an information event in Paris on issues relating to carbon strategies in investment. A roundtable discussion with experts and investors from various countries will cover topics including the French energy transition law (“loi sur la transition énergétique”), which is designed to encourage sustainable and climate-friendly investment, and its implementation. In addition, oekom research and South Pole Group will be giving presentations on their tools for analysing portfolios and for developing climate-friendly investment strategies. The event will take place at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, in Paris. For bookings and further information, visit https://www.inscription-facile.com/form/pcB8x6NmvtrvaCJAmlNA.
oekom research and GES intensify partnership
oekom research and independent engagement service provider GES join forces to an even greater extend. GES replaces its previous GES Risk Rating with the oekom Corporate Rating. With this, all clients of the GES Engagement Forum are able to access the Corporate Rating information provided by oekom research. GES is among the world's most experienced independent engagement service providers for sustainable investments and has assets of 1 trillion Euros under management. Together with investors, GES engages with the management of companies regarding environmental social and corporate governance issues. more...
Due to recent events: New evaluation of Volkswagen
The manipulation of air pollution tests at Volkswagen have led to a severe downgrading for Volkswagen in the sections “Product responsibility” and “Business ethics”. It has also led to a significant downgrading in the environmental "Products and services" section of the oekom corporate rating, which in total has resulted in a downgrading of the company’s rating from B- to C+.
The oekom Prime Status remains unchanged.
South Pole Group and oekom research AG Partner to Enhance Depth and Scope of Climate Impact Assessment of Investments
South Pole Group, a leading global provider of climate impact assessments and carbon footprinting data, and oekom research are entering a partnership to build on each other’s analysis and expertise in order to strengthen and expand their respective offerings.
The partnership of South Pole Group and oekom research will enable the companies to offer solutions based on data and analysis that will satisfy the growing demand for individual high-quality climate change or carbon-related investment strategies. more...
Unscheduled rebalancing: Swiss Re secures a place in the GCX with BWT Group's departure
With effect from 4 September 2015, the globally active reinsurer Swiss Re moved up into the Global Challenges Index (GCX) sustainability index. The insurance company is taking the place of BWT Group / Best Water Technology, which was previously listed. Due to the agreed merger between the BWT Group and non-listed BWT Holding AG, the company has been removed from the Index. The GCX comprises 50 international companies which have made substantial, forward-looking contributions to sustainability management. more...
Sustainable mutual funds in the German-speaking countries
According to data from the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), a total of 397 sustainable mutual funds were licensed for marketing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as at 31 March 2015. On that date, approximately 47 billion euros were invested in these funds.
Since the beginning of 2015, twelve new funds have been included in the SBI fund database. Some of these funds were new launches, some were existing funds that had switched to a sustainability-oriented strategy and some were funds that had previously been licensed in other countries. Eight funds have been closed or amalgamated with other funds since the beginning of the year. more...
oekom research assisting as an independent expert with ABN AMRO's and TenneT's first green bond issues
oekom research is acting as an independent expert for the issue of ABN AMRO’s first green bond in June 2015. The sustainability rating agency has provided a second party opinion, for which it checked and verified the sustainable added value of this bond against stringent and comprehensive sustainability criteria. In addition, oekom research checked the bond’s compliance with the Climate Bonds Standards. more...
Launch of the Solactive oekom Ethical Low Volatility Index
Solactive AG has launched the Solactive oekom Ethical Low Volatility Index, which was created to track the price movements of low volatility stocks passing the ESG screenings of oekom research, a leading rating agency for sustainable investments. BNP Paribas has licensed the Index to launch a wide range of products, from capital protected to more complex structures designed for both retail and institutional clients in Germany, Austria and Scandinavia. more...
oekom Corporate Responsibility Review 2015
oekom research has examined the sustainability performance of companies and, in the light of the current debate about the TTIP free trade agreement, has drawn up a comparison of European and US companies. The results are published by oekom research in its “oekom Corporate Responsibility Review 2015”, presented in April 2015 in Paris.
The environmental and social responsibility differs between European and US companies. The European companies achieved an average rating of 40.6 on a scale from 0 to 100 (highest score), while companies based in the US managed an average score of just 25.2, i.e. a significantly lower figure. more...
Outperformance through the use of oekom's Prime standard
As part of its collaboration with its partner Deutsche Performancemessungs-Gesellschaft (DPG), oekom research has once again examined the impact on returns and risks of taking oekom Prime Status into account in capital investments. Prime Status is awarded to companies which meet the sustainability management requirements defined by oekom research. The analysis is based on oekom’s Prime Portfolio Large Caps (oekom PPLC), which consists of the major companies from the oekom universe that have attained oekom Prime Status. more...
PRI event on “Research, Innovation & Stewardship“
We cordially invite you to attend the upcoming PRI event on “Research, Innovation & Stewardship” (RIS) at Henley Business School in Reading on 31 March 2015 – sponsored by oekom research. Following the success of the PRI’s “Research, Innovation & Stewardship” thought leadership events in New York and Paris, this one is the first session of its kind in the UK, bringing together asset owners and managers with an interest in sustainability research and innovation. more...
Mirova and oekom research launch collaboration
Mirova, the Responsible Investment division of Natixis Asset Management, has chosen oekom research as its principal provider of ESG research following an international invitation to tender. oekom research’s inputs will be factored into Mirova’s internal ESG research which serves both its own investment processes and Natixis Asset Management’s ESG integration approach.
When selecting suitable securities, Mirova places a strong emphasis on companies that make a particular contribution to sustainable development through their activities and products. more...
Vacancy: Senior Manager Client Relations
oekom research is looking for a new member of staff to work in its sales team. The main areas of responsibility will be client acquisition and account management in international markets. The post requires several years of experience in sales of financial market services, knowledge of the SRI market, an engaging personality, a meticulous and structured approach to work and excellent knowledge of German and English. The job is based in Munich. The position is to be filled as soon as possible. more...
Webinar on sustainability risks in the supply chain and company value
oekom research will be hosting, jointly with Sedex and Bloomberg, a webinar on “ESG Investment Implications in the Supply Chain”, on 26 February 2015 at 16:00 (CET). The hour-long event is aimed at interested investors, analysts and company representatives and will analyse the influence of social and environmental risks in the supply chain on companies’ financial performance. Appropriate risk management strategies, as well as the implications for investors, will also be discussed.
Andreas von Angerer, who is the analyst at oekom research responsible for the issue of social standards in the supply chain, will be joined on the virtual panel by Mark Robertson, Head of Communications at Sedex Global, and Gregory Elders, ESG analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
Further information can be found at:
Sustainable mutual funds in the German-speaking countries: growth in numbers and volume
According to data from the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), a total of 397 sustainable mutual funds were licensed for marketing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as at 30 September 2014. The combined volume of the funds’ investments stood at around 45 billion euros. At the end of 2013 the SBI’s records listed 383 funds, in which approximately 40 billion euros were invested. more...
oekom research ESG ratings now available on Style Research
Style Research, an independent global provider of investment research and portfolio analysis applications, has integrated and made available oekom research’s ESG data and ratings on the Style Research Enterprise platform.This gives Style Research users the ability to include Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) factors throughout their investment processes. Style Research has global offices in London, Boston and Montreal, and representatives in South East Asia and South Africa, and currently serves a client base of over 300 international investment institutions in 25 countries. more...
The use of sustainability ratings improves the risk-return ratio of investments in corporate bonds
Corporate bonds are enjoying increasing popularity among companies and investors. The persisting low interest rates on investment-grade government bonds, in particular, mean that investors are increasingly turning their attention to corporate bonds. Those investors who take account, when selecting corporate bonds, of how the issuing company deals with the industry-specific challenges of sustainable development will have clear advantages in terms of the likelihood of default and the interest return on the bonds. This is shown in a study by the independent rating agency oekom research, which is being presented to the public at the rating agency’s annual “Double Dividend” conference in Frankfurt/Main. more...
Double-digit growth of the European SRI market
According to the European SRI Study 2014, published by the European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif), all surveyed SRI strategies are continuing to grow.
Assets subject to exclusion criteria grew by 91 per cent between 2011 and 2013 and cover an estimated 41 per cent (6.9 trillion euros) of European professionally managed assets. Exclusions cover more assets than any other SRI strategy and have the most consistent usage across Europe. Assets subject to engagement and voting policies have grown by 86 per cent over the period to reach 3.3 trillion euros, more...
oekom research publishes new Industry Report on the telecommunications industry
The importance of sustainability management to the economic success of a company, and thus to its shareholders and creditors, is an ongoing issue which is growing in significance. In its newly revised and restyled Industry Report on the main findings of the latest rating of companies from the telecommunications industry, oekom research therefore focuses in particular on the economic opportunities and risks associated with the ways in which companies are tackling the challenges of sustainable development. more...
Position available: Senior Manager Client Relations
oekom research is looking for a new member of staff to work in its sales team. The main areas of responsibility will be client acquisition and account management in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The post requires several years of experience in sales of financial market services, knowledge of the SRI market, an engaging personality, a meticulous and structured approach to work and excellent knowledge of German and English. The job is based in Munich. The position is to be filled as soon as possible. more...
oekom research supports new sustainability index, the Finvex Ethical & Efficient Europe 30
In collaboration with oekom research, the Brussels-based Finvex Group has launched the Finvex Ethical & Efficient Europe 30 sustainability index. The index comprises a total of 30 European companies, which, in a two-stage process, are selected from the largest European companies by market capitalization. In the first stage, oekom research identifies those companies which, based on its analyses, are amongst the companies operating most sustainably in their industries and have therefore been awarded oekom Prime Status. more...
oekom research publishes position paper on tax havens
For the European Union countries alone, the use of tax havens results in up to a trillion euros in lost tax revenues every year. This leaves them short of funds for the realisation of sovereign duties such as education, health and transport infrastructure. The (resource-rich) developing and newly industrialised countries, which the transfer of company profits to tax havens deprives of urgently needed tax revenues, are even more severely affected. Besides the loss of tax revenues, other negative effects of the existence and use of tax havens include the threat they pose to the stability of the international financial system and the support they provide for criminal and terrorist activities. more...
oekom research Representation in London via an Exclusive Partnership with SI Partners
oekom research has established an exclusive partnership with Sustainable Investment Partners (SI Partners) to provide access to the London and UK market as part of its strategy to increase its global reach. Through this strategic move, oekom research aims to strengthen its international presence and activities. The research provider already has more than 100 customers in ten countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Scandinavia, Japan, the US and the UK. more...
Sustainable investments in Germany, Austria and Switzerland continue to grow
Ever-increasing numbers of private and institutional investors are choosing to invest their money sustainably. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the volume of investments where not only financial indicators but also environmental, social and governance criteria are taken into account in the investment process has increased by twelve per cent within the space of a year. According to the Sustainable Investment Market Report 2014, published by Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG) on 7 May, the overall market in these three countries is now valued at 134.5 billion euros. more...
New faces on oekom research's Advisory Board
In April 2014, there were changes in the membership of oekom research AG’s Advisory Board. The Advisory Board has been in existence since 1999 and is the key advisory body for oekom research AG. It is primarily concerned with discussing issues of methodology. Prof. Lucia A. Reisch, Antje Schneeweiß and Prof. Alexander Bassen are the Advisory Board’s new members. They are replacing Dr. Bernd Balkenhol and Caspar von Blomberg, as well as the founding members Prof. Johannes Hoffmann, Dr. Manuel Schneider and Prof. Bernd Wagner. more...
Deutschland Ethik 30 equity index – a new barometer of the price performance of sustainability-oriented German companies
With support from oekom research and advice from an independent ethics advisory board, the asset management company Rhein Asset Management has developed a new ethical equity index, the Deutschland Ethik 30. It reconciles, in particular, the demands of ethical and sustainable investors with the requirements of modern asset management. more...
oekom Facts & Figures: production of controversial weapons
On Monday, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published its annual report on world military expenditure. With a military budget of 640 billion euros, the USA remains at the top of the list, followed by China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The USA also heads the list of manufacturers of controversial weapons. oekom research has identified a total of around 250 producers of controversial and/or banned weapons worldwide, and more than one in five of these are based in the USA. more...
oekom CR Review 2014: stagnation in the corporate management of environmental and social challenges
In the light of the problems of climate change, enforcing good labour standards worldwide, as well as many other social and environment problems, it is incumbent on companies to make a contribution to sustainable development. The latest facts and figures on companies’ engagement towards sustainable development, presented today by the independent rating agency oekom research in its Corporate Responsibility Review 2014, illustrate that they are only partially fulfilling their responsibilities in this area. more...
Sustainability rating agency oekom research and engagement specialist GES join forces
The two independent ESG service providers have already been working together, under a strategic marketing partnership, since mid-2012. As the partnership has proved a positive development, these pioneers of sustainable investment are now extending their collaboration to include company analysis.
Following a successful pilot project in 2013, oekom research and GES have agreed that in future they will also collaborate in the area of research. Under this strategic partnership, GES will assist oekom research in drawing up the oekom Corporate Ratings. more...
ESG strategies of European asset owners
The French SRI organisation Novethic has published its annual survey on the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria by European asset owners. In 2013, Novethic’s survey assesses the views of 165 long-term investors (e.g. pension funds or insurance companies) in 12 countries representing a total asset value of over 5 trillion euros.
The asset owners surveyed are, on the whole, more familiar with the concept of responsible investment than in the previous editions of the annual survey. more...
oekom research again nominated for ESG Leaders Award
The ESG Leaders Awards are being awarded for the eighth time at this year’s TBLI Conference Europe, to be held in mid-November 2013 in Zürich. For the second year running, oekom research has been nominated in the “Best ESG Research” category. Last year, oekom research was presented with the prestigious ESG Leaders Award for its sustainability analyses. The winners are chosen by a jury and will be announced on 14 November 2013. more...
New study: sustainability ratings are a reliable indicator of countries' solvency
There is currently a high level of uncertainty on the international financial markets, due to the budget dispute in the USA surrounding the proposed raising of the borrowing limit. The markets are waiting with bated breath to see whether the Democrats and the Republicans will be able to agree on raising the debt ceiling, which currently stands at just under 17 trillion US dollars. The key question for investors is whether the USA more...
Sustainable mutual funds in the German-speaking countries: volumes rising
According to data from the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), a total of 375 sustainable mutual funds were licensed for marketing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as at 30 June 2013. On that date, approximately 38 billion euros were invested in these funds. At the end of 2012 the SBI had recorded 384 funds, in which approximately 35 billion euros were invested.
In the first half of this year, 17 new funds have been added to the database. more...
oekom research evaluates the sustainability of the leisure sector
The tourism and leisure sector comprises tour operators, hotel chains and companies operating cruise ships, casinos and betting shops. The range of services offered by these companies thus extends from travel to and from destinations and stays at those destinations to leisure activities such as gambling.
In its recent industry rating, oekom research examined the extent to which leisure companies are facing up to the social and environmental responsibilities associated with the services they offer. more...
Position available: Manager Client Relations
oekom research is looking for a new member of staff to work in its sales team. The main areas of responsibility will be client acquisition and account management. The post requires in-depth knowledge of the financial sector, a university degree or equivalent training in the commercial sector, an engaging personality, a meticulous and structured approach to work and excellent knowledge of German and English. The job is based in Munich. The position is to be filled as soon as possible. more...
Sustainability in the auto components supply industry
In its recent industry rating, oekom research scrutinised the sustainability performance of 40 auto components suppliers. 16 companies managed to qualify for a comprehensive oekom Corporate Rating. The highest overall rating on a scale from A+ (highest score) to D- was achieved by the Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli, with a score of B-. It was followed in 2nd place by Johnson Controls (US), which also scored B-, while the French company Valeo, with a C+, was ranked third. more...
oekom research evaluates sustainability of insurance companies
Insurance companies fulfil an important economic function by assuming personal, property and pecuniary risks and passing them on to the community of policyholders. At the same time, however, insurance companies also make possible e.g. the implementation of large-scale projects with negative environmental and social impacts and thus bear some of the responsibility for these. Insurance companies’ sales practices also attract criticism. more...
Sustainable investments and sustainability ratings promote responsible company management
Sustainable investments and sustainability ratings are an important lever for motivating companies to make a greater commitment to sustainable development. For almost two-thirds of the companies surveyed by oekom research, requests from sustainability rating agencies were a decisive factor in prompting them to tackle the issue of sustainability. Enquiries from sustainability analysts influence the overall strategy of one in three of the companies surveyed and the sustainability strategies of two-thirds of companies. more...
Ongoing strong growth in the French SRI market
The French SRI research institution Novethic has published its yearly numbers on the French market for responsible investments in early April 2013. With a total investment volume of 150 billion euros, a new peak has been reached at the end of 2012. Even if the annual growth rate of 29 per cent was not as impressive as last year’s (+69 per cent), the French SRI market remains a very dynamic one. In total, the overall SRI market volume has tripled since 2009. more...
Are the global players failing to meet the seven major challenges of sustainability?
Since the international community formulated the goal of a “green economy” at the Rio+20 summit in summer 2012, if not earlier, public attention has increasingly been focussing on the economy’s contribution to global sustainable development. But how are companies tackling the issue of sustainability, and what concrete action are they taking to combat climate change, to protect species diversity or to fight poverty? The sustainability rating agency oekom research looks into this question in its latest Corporate Responsibility Review. more...
Erste Asset Management launches collaboration with engagement services provider GES
The Austrian company Erste Asset Management, parent of oekom research’s long-standing client Erste Sparinvest, is stepping up its corporate engagement work and will in future be collaborating with the Swedish engagement services company GES. This is the first shareholder engagement mandate GES has received from Austria. more...
Global Sustainable Investment Review 2012
At the end of January 2013, the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) published a report on global SRI market data and trends. This puts the volume of sustainable capital investments worldwide at 13.6 trillion US dollars (over 10 trillion euros), equivalent to a market share of 21.8 per cent of total assets under management. 65 per cent of sustainably-invested capital is invested in Europe. more...
Volumes of sustainable investment in the USA on the increase
The US Social Investment Forum (US SIF) states in its recent “Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States” that the total volume of SRI assets in the USA has risen to 3.74 trillion US dollars, as at year-end 2011. This represents growth of 22 per cent compared with the 2009 level. more...
oekom research honoured with ESG Leaders Award
The independent sustainability rating agency oekom research, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, has been awarded the prestigious ESG Leaders Award for its sustainability analyses. Robert Haßler, CEO and co-founder of oekom research, accepted the award in Zürich at the TBLI Conference Europe 2012, the sustainable investment industry’s international summit. more...
Quality standard for responsible investment research re-launched with broader scope
The global voluntary quality standard for responsible investment research, formerly known as CSRR-QS®, gets its global re-launch today under the brand-new name ARISTA®. The ARISTA® standard is increasingly recognised by investors as a mark of quality for responsible investment research. more...
Continuing growth and sophistication of sustainable and responsible investment in Europe
According to the European SRI Study 2012, published by the European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif), European investors are adopting a wider array of responsible investment strategies, often in combination: sustainability-themed, best-in-class, norms-based screening, exclusions, ESG integration, engagement/voting and impact investments. more...
The chemicals industry and sustainability: an explosive mixture
The chemicals industry is often seen as having a key role to play in the achievement of a sustainable economy. oekom research's latest industry rating shows that chemicals companies have so far fulfilled their responsibilities in this area only in a piecemeal fashion. Advances in climate protection and plant safety are countered by shortcomings in chemical and product safety and in the use and procurement of sustainable raw materials. more...
Nomination of oekom research for the ESG Leaders Awards
Fifth anniversary of the GCX sustainability index: balance between sustainability and returns achieved right from the outset
The Global Challenges Index (GCX) is celebrating five successful years as a sustainability index. Since its launch five years ago, the GCX has performed significantly better than the leading indexes. To date, it has achieved growth of 1.60 per cent, outperforming the DAX (-8.30 per cent) and the EuroStoxx (-32.74 per cent). more...
Sustainable mutual funds in the German-speaking countries: range on offer up in first half of 2012
According to data from the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), a total of 380 sustainable mutual funds were licensed for marketing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as at 30 June 2012. On that date, approximately 34 billion euros were invested in these funds. At the end of 2011 the SBI had recorded 357 funds, in which approximately 30 billion euros were invested. more...
Oil and gas industry operating in difficult territory
Be it in the Arctic, in the deep sea or in protected areas in Alaska, the oil industry is tapping into increasingly difficult-to-access reserves in order to meet demand. The technologies that would enable the industry to manage the associated risks are often lacking. Controlling environmental risks is, however, just one of the sustainability challenges facing the industry. more...
Sustainability in the health care equipment & supplies sector
The medical technology industry supplies technology and products for disease research, diagnosis and treatment to doctors, laboratories and clinics, as well as to private customers. Its portfolio of products ranges from pipettes, glasses and artificial hip joints to the equipment for an intensive-care unit. Doctors’ and patients’ main expectations of these products are that they should be safe and harmless. more...
Double Dividend with Sustainability Ratings from oekom research
In cooperation with DPG, the Deutsche Performancemessungs-Gesellschaft für Wertpapierportfolios mbH (a German company specialised on investment portfolio performance assessment) oekom research compared the performance and risk status of large caps that have been awarded with the oekom Prime Status against the respective development of the MSCI World Total Return Index® – revealing a very positive outcome: more...
Sustainability in the textiles sector
Xintang, an industrial town in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, is known in the textiles industry as “the blue jeans capital of the world”. Around 700,000 people are employed in Xintang’s about 4,000 jeans manufacturing companies, sewing, dyeing and printing more than 260 million pairs of jeans a year. These are purchased by prestigious fashion labels as well as by discount clothing stores. Xintang thus typifies the numerous companies in developing and emerging economies which produce textiles for global markets – often under atrocious social and environmental conditions. more...
GES and oekom research form strategic partnership
Two of Europe’s leading independent service providers within responsible investment, GES and oekom research, today announce that they have formed a strategic partnership in order to meet an increasing demand for responsible investment services in the German-speaking markets and the Nordic. more...
oekom research publishes sustainability report
Environmental and sustainability reports are an important source of data for the corporate ratings carried out by oekom research’s team of analysts, which now numbers more than thirty. In recent years, both the availability and the quality of sustainability reports have increased, with growing numbers of companies reporting on their social and environmental performance. more...
Sustainability in the transport and logistics sector
oekom research has evaluated the way in which the world’s major companies in the transport & logistics sector are facing up to their social and environmental responsibilities and the challenges associated with them. Of the 69 companies analysed, 13 qualified for the comprehensive oekom Corporate Rating. more...
oekom Corporate Responsibility Review 2012: first tender shoots of a “green economy”
When the heads of government meet for the global sustainability summit in Rio de Janeiro at the end of June, they will be focusing on the question of how the economy can be restructured to create a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially just “green economy”. The oekom Corporate Responsibility Review 2012, which is being presented today in Paris by the sustainability rating agency oekom research, shows the magnitude. more...
oekom research rates the sustainability performance of the commercial banks
Be it in lending, international project financing or investment, banks have at their disposal numerous levers for actively promoting sustainable development. Unfortunately, they have as yet made little use of these. oekom research has analysed a total of 294 commercial banks from just under 40 countries. In the latest industry rating by the independent sustainability rating agency, only 23 (7.8 per cent) met the minimum requirements in terms of sustainability management to be awarded Prime status. more...
Sustainability rating reveals countries' true creditworthiness
The past few months have seen a vigorous debate about trends in the financial ratings not only of the eurozone countries but also of the USA. Sustainability-oriented investors, in particular, are convinced that conventional financial ratings inadequately reflect the ability of these countries to meet their obligations arising from the issuing of government bonds. The additional inclusion of sustainability ratings, which evaluate the social and environmental conditions in a country, provides a more soundly-based assessment of that country’s creditworthiness. more...
Christmas spirit dampened – consumer electronics manufacturers still face serious social and environmental problems
In its latest industry analysis, the sustainability rating agency oekom research has analysed 205 companies from the Information Technology (IT) sector against a range of environmental and social criteria. more...
Global Challenges Index beating DAX and EuroStoxx
In the last three years, the Global Challenges Index (GCX) has recorded a higher overall increase in value than both the DAX and the EuroStoxx indexes. In the current year, as well as over one year and over three years, the GCX’s performance was significantly better than that of the leading German index. This data comes from a recent evaluation of index performance conducted by the Hanover stock exchange. more...
oekom research to check sustainability quality of EJS foundation fund on a regular basis
oekom research is to start, with immediate effect, carrying out regular checks of the foundation fund of the Evangelische Johannesstift (EJS) in Berlin to verify its compliance with sustainability criteria. The main focus here will be on analysing the individual securities in which the EJS foundation fund invests either directly or via target funds. The fund’s equity investments, currently exclusively via target funds, are handled by the appointed fund manager, Allianz Global Investors (AGI), in consultation with the investor. more...
Adoption of ESG practices among corporate pension funds
With asset owners playing a fundamental role in influencing SRI practices, Eurosif’s 2011 Corporate Pension Funds Study shows that 56 per cent of surveyed corporate pension funds have an SRI policy in place today. Of those without an SRI policy, about a quarter intend to implement one in the coming year. more...
oekom research strengthens sales team for the French market
Dr. Julia Haake will be joining oekom research’s sales team in mid-October 2011. As Director of the new Paris office, she will be responsible for client acquisition and account management in the French market. 40-year-old Dr. Haake was previously Director of Corporate Relations at WWF France. more...
Sustainability in the auto components industry
oekom research has analysed the social and environmental engagement of the auto components industry. Of the 41 companies analysed, 16 qualified for the comprehensive oekom Corporate Rating. On a scale from A+ (highest score) to D-, the top three performers were the US-based vehicle outfitter Johnson Controls, the Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli and Denso from Japan. more...
Pharmaceuticals: risks and side-effects of production
In its latest industry analysis, the rating agency oekom research evaluated 76 listed and/or bond-issuing pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies according to environmental and social criteria. The new frontrunner in the industry, with the best overall rating on a scale from A+ (highest score) to D-, is the UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which achieved a score of B-. The Danish biotechnology company Novozymes secured second place, followed by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi more...
oekom research publishes position paper on controversial weapons
In a six-page position paper, oekom research has collated facts on controversial and banned weapons and reveals how oekom research’s analysts handle this issue when evaluating companies and countries.
The United Nations regards the way in which certain weapons systems operate as being so inhumane that in the past it has drawn up a number of conventions on banning these weapons. more...
Swiss retailers leading the way in sustainability management
oekom research put 130 of the world’s largest retail companies under the microscope in its recent rating of the sector. 105 companies exhibited so little engagement or transparency that they failed to qualify for a detailed analysis. 25 companies can point to having implemented comparatively wide-ranging measures, and eleven of them are playing a pioneering role. These meet the requirements for sound sustainability management defined by oekom research, and the analysts have awarded them “Prime” Status. more...
ORBIT - oekom Responsibility Benchmarking & Information Tool: adding a new dimension to sustainability ratings
ORBIT, oekom research's new Responsibility Benchmarking & Information Tool, offers sustainable investors and companies comprehensive and user-friendly access to all oekom's Corporate Rating results. The key feature of the online database is the facility for comparing companies from oekom's Rating Universe directly against one another at the individual criterion level. more...
Position available: Sales Manager France
oekom research is looking for a suitable person to set up and manage its Paris office. Key aspects of the job will be market analysis, customer acquisition and client relations. Prerequisites for the post are sufficient sales and marketing experience, demonstrated knowledge of the French financial services industry, more...
Energy efficiency key to create a turn in energy politics
By increasing energy efficiency, Europe could reduce its energy consumption substantially. In the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan and debate about an energy transition, share prices of solar and wind power companies have shot up, while systematic energy saving is being largely neglected. The new ‘Theme Report Energy Efficiency’ by the sustainability rating agency oekom research AG more...
oekom Position Paper on Nuclear Power
The recent nuclear disaster in Japan has rekindled the debate about the future of nuclear power. In recognition of this fact, oekom research has updated its position paper on nuclear power. This position paper provides sound background information on the arguments put forward by the proponents and opponents of nuclear power more...
New faces on oekom research's Advisory Board
Dr. Bernd Balkenhol, Caspar von Blomberg and Dr. Klaus Gabriel are joining oekom research AG’s Advisory Board. They are replacing Dr. Jürgen Glaser, Prof. Dr. Martin Jänicke and Prof. Dr. Gerhard Scherhorn, who are stepping down after many years of service. more...
Black sheep rather than black swans: oekom Corporate Responsibility Review 2011
Only one in six companies currently satisfies the environmental and social requirements laid down by oekom research as prerequisites for oekom Prime Status – this is the essential message of the oekom Corporate Responsibility (CR) Review 2011. Today, in Frankfurt am Main, the sustainability rating agency oekom research AG presented its third annual report on global corporate responsibility. more...
Sustainability on the railways
oekom research has evaluated the way in which the world’s major companies in the transport & logistics / rail sector are facing up to their social and environmental responsibilities and the challenges associated with them. Of the 27 companies analysed, 10 failed to meet the transparency requirements of the oekom Corporate Scouting, therefore 17 qualified for the comprehensive oekom Corporate Rating. more...
Position available: Sales Manager
oekom research is looking for a suitable person to join its marketing team. Key aspects of the job will be market analysis and customer acquisition. Prerequisites for the post are sufficient marketing experience, a basic knowledge of the responsible investment sector, a thorough and methodical approach to your work, an engaging personality and very good knowledge of English and German. more...
Network analysis attests to oekom research's market leadership in the German-speaking countries
In its survey “The Importance of Socially Responsible Investments for Institutional Investors in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, A Network Analytical Perspective - reloaded" (a continuation of its 2009 analysis), the consultancy firm Funds@Work seeks to provide an insight into the investments of relevant investors and their service provider networks, and thereby to create transparency more...
Sustainability in the internet and software sector
In its latest study, oekom research has looked at the corporate responsibility performance of the 79 world’s largest listed internet and software companies. More and more internet and software companies are becoming aware of their environmental and social responsibilities. This is reflected in significantly more comprehensive sustainability reporting and in outstanding beacon projects. more...
Protecting the forests: companies have a responsibility
In the light of the contraction of forest areas worldwide and increasing demand for timber and wood products, efforts to protect forests and promote their sustainable management have intensified in recent years. For example, in October 2010 the European Council passed a law banning the import of timber and wood products from illegal logging into Europe more...
oekom research analyses sustainability of the metals and mining industry
The devastating harm that can be caused to people and the environment by the metals and mining industry has been demonstrated by the recent accident at an alumina plant in Hungary: the breach of a storage reservoir dam led to the release of around a million cubic metres of toxic bauxite sludge. oekom research AG continuously monitors the sustainability performance of more than 130 of the world’s largest listed metals and mining corporations more...
oekom research expands its coverage
oekom research has expanded its coverage to around 3,000 companies and now provides complete coverage of international indexes such as the Stoxx 600, the MSCI World and the MSCI Emerging Markets as well as of numerous national indexes such as, for example, the DAX family, the ATX, the SMI and the CAC40.
As part of the expansion, our research processes have also been further optimised and a two-stage model developed. more...
European SRI Market almost double since 2008
Eurosif’s 2010 European SRI Study reveals that the total SRI assets under management (AuM) have increased from 2.7 trillion euros to 5 trillion euros, as of December 31, 2009. This represents a growth of about 87 per cent since the data was previously collected two years before. more...
Emissions trading: serious action required now to meet 2013 deadline
Trading in the greenhouse gas CO2 has been going on in Europe since 2005. Since then, industrial installations in numerous industries have had to demonstrate that they hold emissions certificates for every tonne of CO2 they emit. Expectations that emissions trading would make a significant contribution to reaching climate protection goals were - and still are - high. However, these expectations are still a long way from being fulfilled, as a recent position paper on emissions trading produced by oekom research AG shows. more...
UN declares clean water a human right
The United Nations has included entitlement to clean water in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The General Assembly of 192 member states approved by a majority a resolution to this effect. The resolution was put forward by Bolivia and supported by 33 other countries. more...
The rush to deep water – what next after BP?
The international oil and gas industry is taking ever-increasing risks in order to extract the Earth’s last remaining fossil fuel reserves – at the expense of both mankind and the environment. That is the conclusion reached by oekom research AG’s latest study of the industry. The rating agency has evaluated how 27 of the world’s largest listed oil and gas companies are facing up to their social and environmental responsibilities and the challenges these entail. more...
oekom survey reveals high levels of customer satisfaction
oekom research recently carried out a survey of its customers, the second since 2008. The aim of such customer monitoring is to gauge levels of customer satisfaction and to identify possible ways of further improving our range of products and services. Aspects covered by the survey included the quality of our ratings, the service-orientation of our employees, the importance of quality management and the use to which the various publications are being put. More than half of the total of over sixty customers took part in the survey. more...
France: sustainable investment market up by 70 per cent
The French research institute Novethic reports, in the latest edition of its annual survey of the French SRI market, that the volume of sustainable investments by French investors has passed the 50 billion euro mark for the first time. Between the end of 2008 and the end of 2009, investment volumes increased by 20.8 billion euros, corresponding to growth of over 70 per cent. more...
Number of mutual funds in the German-speaking countries increasing
As at 31 March 2010, according to information from the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), there were a total of 330 sustainable mutual funds licensed for marketing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Approximately 31 billion euros were invested in these 330 funds on that date. more...
Caspar von Hauenschild to join oekom research’s supervisory board
Caspar von Hauenschild is to become a member of oekom research AG’s supervisory board. His appointment was confirmed on 21 May at the general meeting of the rating agency’s shareholders. Von Hauenschild will replace Klaus Pyter, who has been a member of the board since 2001 and is now retiring. more...
GRI Oil & Gas Sector Supplement: public comment period
Interested parties have until 2 June 2010 to comment on the draft indicators drawn up by the multistakeholder working group on a GRI Oil & Gas Sector Supplement. After this feedback has been thoroughly examined, the findings will be used in the development of the final guidelines. more...
France: sustainable money market funds on course for success
As at the end of December 2009, 268 mutual funds were licensed for distribution in France – 41 more than in the previous year. This brought the total invested in this asset class to 34 billion euros, corresponding to an increase of 68 per cent compared to the previous year. more...
Canadian railway company joins sustainability index
Shares in the rail logistics company Canadian National Railway (ISIN CA1363751027) will in future be included in the Hannover Stock Exchange’s Global Challenges Index (GCX). The company, based in Montreal, was promoted to the sustainability index after former GCX member Burlington Northern Santa Fe was taken over by the US investor Warren Buffett more...
Mutual funds in the German-speaking countries: offering and volumes growing
According to figures from the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), the number of sustainable mutual funds on offer in Germany, Austria and Switzerland increased during 2009. By 31 December 2009, there were 313 funds licensed for distribution in the German-speaking countries, whereas at the end of 2008 there had been just 274. more...
oekom Position Paper: Nuclear Power
In its recent position paper on nuclear power, oekom research documents and analyses the arguments of proponents and opponents and sets out in detail how our analysts evaluate relevant activities when rating companies and countries. more...
Sustainability in the chemical industry: at a standstill despite advances in technology
In its latest sectoral analysis, the rating agency oekom research has evaluated the world’s 24 major listed chemical companies against a large number of environmental and social criteria. The top overall rating, on a scale from A+ (top score) to D-, went to the German chemical company BASF with a score of B- more...
Sustainable mutual funds: range on offer in the German-speaking countries up to over 300 funds
The number of sustainable mutual funds on offer in the German-speaking countries has passed the 300 mark. According to calculations by the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), a total of 301 sustainability funds were approved for distribution in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as at 30.06.2009. more...
oekom Position Paper: Microfinance
Since the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to micro-credit pioneer Muhammad Yunus in 2006, microfinance has enjoyed greater prominence. The basic idea behind microfinance instruments is to enable those people who do not have access to conventional banks and insurance companies to obtain financial services. more...
Ethics in core business: banks insufficiently committed
For those seeking a way out of the current financial and economic crisis – particularly the banks, sustainable management has become the latest catchphrase. How are the world’s major banks currently placed as regards sustainability? oekom research has examined the social and environmental responsibility of 65 commercial banks. more...
Investors should take into consideration the economic value of biodiversity
Eurosif (European Sustainable Investment Forum) and oekom research have jointly published a report highlighting critical business risks and opportunities in various industries linked with biodiversity and ecosystem services. more...
Sustainability in the telecommunications industry
oekom research has examined twenty-three of the world’s largest listed telecommunications companies in terms of their social and environmental sustainability performance. The current study identifies the global challenges facing the sector and examines the extent to which the companies are facing up to these challenges and developing and implementing strategies and measures to make their business activities more socially and environmentally acceptable. more...
Quality of oekom’s research certified to new European standard
oekom research is one of the first agencies to have succeeded in achieving certification of compliance with the new European quality standard CSRR-QS. more...
IT sector: lifestyle with guilt pangs?
Is the enormous success of manufacturers of high-tech products achieved at the cost of child labour and environmental pollution? The environmental rating agency oekom research analyses the extent to which manufacturers are meeting their responsibilities toward society and the environment in the face of price pressures and the rapid pace of product development. more...
Sustainability in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry: making small steps forward
In its latest sectoral analysis, the sustainability rating agency oekom research has evaluated the world’s 22 major listed pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies against a large number of environmental and social criteria. The top overall rating, on a scale from A+ (top score) to D-, went to the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis with a score of B more...
oekom research’s latest country rating: potential for improvement in the US
“If President Obama means what he said in his announcements, then US bonds look set to become increasingly attractive for sustainably-oriented investors,” says Oliver Rüdel, Research Director at the sustainability rating agency oekom research, summing up the results of its latest country ranking. more...
oekom Position Paper: Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS)
Out of sight, out of mind? The technology which makes it possible to separate the “climate killer”, CO2, in power stations and store it underground has many proponents. Particularly in the light of an expected massive expansion of coal-fired power stations, notably in China and India, Carbon Capture & Storage CCS could make a key contribution to achieving the necessary reduction in CO2 emissions. more...
Vigeo and oekom research form a strategic partnership on bond research
Vigeo and oekom research, two leading European Corporate Social Responsibility Rating Agencies, decided to join forces in the area of bonds on two levels.
1. Non-sovereign bond research
Vigeo now has the exclusive licence to distribute oekom ́s non-sovereign bond research throughout seven European countries more...
Financial crisis: oekom research calls for new incentive systems for managers
One of the items under discussion as part of the rescue package for German banks is the capping of board salaries to 500,000 euros per annum. Robert Haßler, CEO of the sustainability rating agency oekom research, does not believe that this measure would send out the right signal: “The debate about the absolute levels of board members’ and bank managers’ remuneration is diverting attention away from the actual problem. more...
Sustainable investment on the increase in German-speaking countries
According to the latest status report on the sustainable investment market in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, published annually by the German Forum for Sustainable Investments (FNG), in 2007 the volume of sustainable investments with German, Austrian and Swiss financial service providers rose by 69 per cent compared with the previous year. more...
UniCredit: ESG report
For the first time, UniCredit Global Research presents a "Responsible Investment" (RI) survey of its entire German equity universe offering a unique product that combines "Environmental, Social and Governance" (ESG) and financial ratings for 140 German companies. more...
Utilities sector: half-hearted moves toward transforming
oekom research has evaluated the sustainability activities of the world’s 30 major listed utilities companies, assessing them against a large number of environmental and social criteria. Findings: The utilities sector is paving the way for a transformation of energy system, but only rather hesitantly. more...
oekom Position Paper: Nanotechnology
What exactly is nanotechnology? What are the opportunities and risks presented by this new form of technology? Where is it already being applied? In a six-page position paper, oekom research’s analysts throw light on this controversial technology, examining it from different viewpoints and explaining how they handle this topic when evaluating companies. more...
oekom Industry Report: Textiles & Apparel
The winners of Euro 2008 have been decided. The winners in the sustainability arena are now also clear. oekom research presents the results of its latest analysis of the textile industry: on a scale from A+ (highest score) to D- (lowest score) Puma came out on top with a score of B-, followed by Adidas with a C+. more...
Climate check for funds and indexes
With the debate about the consequences of climate change in mind, more and more fund managers and investors are asking themselves what the climate risks associated with their portfolios are. The “Climate Risk Portfolio Check” is a tool developed by oekom research for illustrating the nature and scale of the climate risks which particular investment products entail. more...
Sustainability in the Media Sector
oekom research has scrutinised the activities of the 24 most prominent listed media companies worldwide. Levels of commitment shown in the media sector toward CSR vary widely: while the top performers continue to build on their commitment and take the subject very seriously, a small proportion of the companies looked at are still largely ignoring their responsibilities in environmental and social areas. The best overall ratings on a scale from A+ (best score) to D- (worst score) were awarded by oekom research to the British TV broadcaster ITV and the British science publisher Reed Elsevier more...
Financial market increasingly recognising the value of species diversity
It is now possible to put a figure on the financial value of species diversity. This gives the issue an entry into the traditional financial market. Companies which specifically link adding value to the protection of species diversity could in future score well on the stock exchange. “Anyone ignoring the issue totally will be taking risks or missing opportunities. That may have an adverse impact on long-term business development,” says Rolf D. Häßler, Director Business Development at the sustainability rating agency oekom research. more...
Emerging markets: new risk management tool
Involvement in emerging markets carries with it a considerable reputational risk for companies. Knowledge of the social and environmental situation in the relevant countries is essential in order to manage such risk proactively. oekom research’s Emerging Markets Risk Assessment (EMRA) closes this information gap. more...
oekom responsible investment portfolio: Sustainable Lifestyle
Themed funds and certificates are growing in popularity. oekom research has identified this trend and is assisting its clients by developing products with themed portfolios. oekom’s “Sustainable Lifestyle” portfolio represents the first of these. more...
Growth across the board
oekom research AG is continuing along its path of growth, and last year was able to increase the number of its customers (and thus also the total amount of assets under management it services) as well as significantly expanding its team of staff. more...
Increased profits with CSR
Businesses are rapidly moving beyond the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as simply a necessary cost of doing business, according to two reports released from IBM and the Economist Intelligence Unit. more...
OECD Watch fact sheets
OECD Watch and Eurosif are working together on the EU-funded project “Promoting Convergence of CSR Practices and Tools among European Socially Responsible Investors (SRI) and National Contact Points for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises”. The project aims to promote the use of the OECD Guidelines among responsible investors and extra-financial ranking and rating agencies. more...