Archiv der Kategorie: ESGtech

Corporate governance illustration shows office worker with surveillance camera from Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Corporate governance and more: Researchpost #138

Corporate governance: 19x new research on German wealth, ESG real world impact, CDR, circular economy, ESG ratings, ESG AI, supplier ESG, climate data, green govvies and corporates, private equity ESG, VCs and UBS by Reiner Braun, Florian Ederer, Andreas Egert, Arnd Huchzermeier, Tim Kröncke and many more (# of SSRN downloads on August 10th, 2023) 

Social and ecological research

Rich Germans: Distributional National Accounts (DINA) for Germany, 1992-2016 by Stefan Bach, Charlotte Bartels, and Theresa Neef as of June 26th, 2023 (#36): “… Our DINA series show that economic growth has been pro-rich from 1992 to 2007 and pro-poor from 2007 to 2016. But although incomes of the bottom 50% have resumed to grow since 2007, the income gap between the bottom 50% and the top 10% has widened between 1992 and 2016. The ratio of top 10% to bottom 50%’s average incomes has increased from eight to ten. … Germany’s highly concentrated economic elite – Germany’s top 0.1% and 0.01% income share is similar to the United States and far above France. Germany’s top business income recipients primarily hold firms as partnerships predominantly owned by two to four shareholders, while top business income earners in the United States and France hold shares in corporations“ (p. 30/31).

CDR case studies: How Responsible Digitalization Creates Profitable Pathways to Sustainability by Niklas Werle and Arnd Huchzermeier as of June 24th, 2023 (#21): “… we show that companies that committed to CDR (Sö: Corporate Digital Responsibility) successfully implemented digitally enabled sustainability strategies. … we conclude that responsible digitalization enables improved sustainability and contributes to reaching not only the UN SDG goals but also carbon neutrality. This study contributes to the research on CDR by showcasing exemplary outcomes from pioneering companies and developing a framework explaining the effects of CDR practices“ (p. 23).

No ESG sales impact? Do consumers vote with their feet in response to negative ESG news? Evidence from consumer foot traffic to retail locations by Svenja Dube, Hye Seung (Grace) Lee, and Danye Wang as of July 20th, 2023 (#118): “We conduct an event-study analysis in the 21-day window around the release of negative ESG news. … individuals in counties with higher ESG consciousness (proxied with income, education, political affiliation, and population density) decrease their visits to stores following negative ESG news. … However, the magnitude of the response is inconsequentially small even for these most affected consumers” (p. 36).

Circular definition: Circular Economy by Mark Anthony Camilleri, Benedict Sheehy, and Kym Fraser as of June 26th, 2023 (#7):“This contribution features the submission of one of the most important sustainability keywords to Springer’s Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management. It provides a definition and an introduction to the circular economy (CE). It describes key policies and regulatory interventions that are meant to promote the CE agenda“ (abstract).

ESG investment research: Asset class independent (Corporate Governance and more)

ESG rating criticism: ESG Ratings—Guiding a Movement in Search for Itself by Andreas Engert as of July 31st, 2023 (#114): “ESG ratings deliver the short-hand evaluation that investors need to incorporate environmental, social, and governance aspects in their decision-making. … an ESG rating can serve two distinct purposes: either to inform financial investors about long-term risks and returns from ESG-related factors or to guide prosocial investors in awarding a “greenium” subsidy for social performance. Because the information demands differ, ESG rating providers should commit to either one of these missions. The paper analyzes the specific problems of ratings serving prosocial investors. Implicitly or explicitly, such ratings reflect an ordering of political priorities that rating providers have to set. … Standardizing ESG ratings would further strengthen the effect of impact investing but seems unlikely to be attainable“ (abstract). My comment: ESG ratings typically (should) measure ESG-risks for the rated entities and SDG ratings typically (should) measure the SDG-alignment of products and services offered

Chat ESG: Overcoming Complexity in ESG Investing: The Role of Generative AI Integration in Identifying Contextual ESG Factors by Yash Jain, Shubham Gupta, Serhan Yalciner, Yashodhan Joglekar, Parth Khetan, and Tony Zhang as of July 18th, 2023 (#171): “… The results of this study suggest that GPT 3.5 is capable of generating informative and accurate responses to prompts related to ESG. … we found that it has the ability to provide insights into various ESG-related topics, such as climate change, social responsibility, and corporate governance. Furthermore, the use of APIs in this study allowed for efficient and effective data collection and analysis“ (p. 32).

Supplier ESG: The Sustainability Reporting Ripple: Direct and Indirect Implications of the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive for SME Actors by Deirdre Ahern as of July 27th, 2023 (#31): “The unique regulatory lens of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive challenges affected companies, not just to mechanically report on, but to qualitatively consider how other partners in their value chain (including SMEs) impact on achievement of the company’s sustainability goals. … although the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive has not imposed any new reporting requirements on SMEs, except for those with securities listed on regulated markets in the EU, the indirect impact on the SME sector can be expected to be far broader. … The signal that the information required from value chain SMEs should be no more onerous that under the simplified reporting standards for listed SMEs is important to ensure regulatory coherence, feasibility, and to reduce the administrative burden on regulated actors and SMEs in the value chain” (p. 20/21). My comment: One of the focus areas of my shareholder engagement activities is to include suppliers in ESG-improvements across the whole value chain, see Shareholder engagement: 21 science based theses and an action plan – (

Governance research 1: Corporate Governance Characteristics and Involvement in ESG Activities: Current Trends and Research Directions by Anand Kumar, Tatiana Garanina, and Mikko Ranta as of July 26th, 2023 (#38): “Our unique combined approach towards conducting a literature review allows us to come up with the key research topics in the area, their deep analysis and identification of the current and future research trends. A review of corporate governance and ESG literature suggests a shift towards a more strategic and practically oriented papers” (abstract).

Governance research 2: A Literature Review on Corporate Governance and ESG research: Emerging Trends and Future Directions by Bruno Buchetti and Francesca Romana Arduino as of August 5ht, 2023 (#112): “… our findings reveal that a variety of elements, such as the inclusion of female directors, the participation of institutional investors, the appointment of independent directors, the existence of specific CEO traits, a strategically formulated directors’ compensation scheme, and the establishment of a sustainability committee, all positively influence ESG outcomes. On the other hand, it seems that family ownership may adversely impact ESG performance. Our review has also highlighted several research areas where, we believe, future research should contribute“ (p. 30).

Climate data chaos: Are Implied Temperature Rise Metrics as Inconsistent as ESG Ratings?: Examining Firm-Level Disagreement among Data Providers by Lea Chmel, Manuel C. Kathan, and Sebastian Utzas of June 29th, 2023 (#20): “This study documents substantial heterogeneity in valuating firms regarding their ITR (Sö: Implied Temperature Rise) values across different providers. Pairwise Pearson correlations range from −0.133 to 0.313 and indicate disagreement among providers. … We find that energy-intensive industry sectors and a headquarter located in North America seem to be the strongest drivers for the disagreement. … size and tangibility also appear to be determinants of higher divergence in the ITR values of firms. This is puzzling since larger firms are covered by more analysts, on average. … underlying assumptions are not observable to investors, making the exact methodology to determine an ITR value a black box …”.

ESG investment research: Bonds and Loans (Corporate Governance and more)

Brown Govvies: A framework to align sovereign bond portfolios with net zero trajectories by Inès Barahhou, Philippe Ferreira, and Yassine Maalej from Kepler Cheuvreux as of July 26th, 2023 (#76):  “The first conclusion that we drew from our analysis is that it is necessary to impose significant constraints on the optimisation programme. Otherwise, the resulting net zero portfolios may appear unrealistic for investors. … We also highlighted that the choice of the carbon metric is fundamental for net zero alignment. …. Production-based metrics tend to favour developed countries because their industries are more efficient, and they have relocated carbon-intensive activities overseas. In contrast, consumption-based carbon metrics favour emerging countries which tend to have more carbon-efficient consumption habits. … considering carbon emissions or carbon intensities paints very different pictures of the carbon dynamics. … we are not able to find solutions to our net zero problem until 2050. … that unless there is a significant improvement in countries’ behaviours, the main sovereign bond universe will be highly incompatible with an increase in global temperature below 1.5°C“ (p. 40/41). My comment: For my responsible multi-asset portfolios, since many years I use bonds of multilateral development banks instead of government bonds, see

Green cover: Corporate Green Bonds: Market Response and Corporate Response by Sanjai Bhagat and Aaron Yoon as of July 13th, 2023 (#81): “… per the Green Stakeholder Hypothesis, announcement of green bond issuance should elicit a positive stock market response for the company … Per the Greenwashing Hypothesis, the stock market will respond non-positively to green bond issuance announcements. … Consistent with the Greenwashing Hypothesis, we do not find any significant market response to these green bond announcements. … We document no change in carbon emissions subsequent to the announcement of green bonds. … In the year of the green bond announcements, the abnormal operating performance of these announcing firms is significantly negative. This is consistent with the argument that managers of these firms are using the green bond announcements as a cover for their poor business performance“ (p. 24/25).

Sustenium: The Pricing of Sustainability Linked Bonds on the Primary and Secondary Bond Market  by Jannis Poggensee as of July 13th, 2023 (#33): “The central innovation SLBs provide is that their financial characteristics can vary depending on whether a predefined sustainable performance target has been achieved or not. Typically, the coupon steps-up 25bps for the remaining lifetime of the bond if the target will not be achieved. … investor pay higher prices (accept lower returns) for green assets reflected in the premium SLBs trade both on the primary and on the secondary market on average. Issuers benefit from lower cost of capital, although this effect is decaying“ (p. 32).

Green innovation premium: Can firms adopting a green innovation policy fetch better deals from debtholders? A study on G7 countries by Vu Quang Trinh, Hai Hong Trinh, Tam Huy Nguyen, and Giang Phung as of June 26th,2023 (#38):.“… We find that high green innovation lowers the corporate cost of debt … Specifically, high-level green innovation engagement facilitates firms to reduce their carbon intensity (risk) and the likelihood of bankruptcy … The better borrowing deals underneath green innovation are also more likely to be acquired in financially constrained businesses. … prolonged green innovation engagement helps firms secure a lower cost of debt because it signifies both a richer experience and higher commitment, increasing trust from debt providers …”(abstract).

ESG investment research: Equities (Corporate Governance and more)

Costly ESG: The Cost of Being Green: How ESG Ratings Affect a Firm’s Cost of Equity by Alessio Galluzzi, Fergus O’Donnell, and Reuben Segara as of July 10th, 2023 (#123): “We find that a one standard deviation increase in ESG ratings is linked to a significant 15 basis points increase in a firm’s COE on average. This relationship is predominantly observed among S&P 500 firms or large firms, while its impact is less pronounced for energy-intensive firms. These findings highlight the importance of considering industry-specific dynamics, firm-level characteristics, and the broader investment climate when assessing the impact of ESG ratings on a firm’s COE“ (abstract).

Brown Private Equity: ESG in the Top 100 US Private Equity Firms by Garen Markarian, Calvin Rakotobe, and Alexander Semionov as of July 17th, 2023 (#96): “… we conduct an examination of the ESG practices of the top 100 private equity firms in the United States, a sector that represents over $1.5 trillion of committed capital and directly employs 12 million individuals. … We find that approximately 58% of these private equity firms disclose no information about their ESG practices. Moreover, of the firms that do disclose, two-thirds provide sparse and uninformative ESG information. … Internal Rate of Return (IRR) does not predict ESG scores overall but relates to higher social scores.“ (p. 31).

Other investment research

Unquant PE: Limited Partners versus Unlimited Machines; Artificial Intelligence and the Performance of Private Equity Funds by Reiner Braun, Borja Fernández Tamayo, Florencio López-de-Silanes, Ludovic Phalippou, and Natalia Sigrist as of July 3rd, 2023 (#1556): “… traditional quantitative factors and document readability proxies, are poor predictors of future performance. In addition, we do not find our proxies of fundraising success at the beginning of a fund’s life are actually correlated with ultimate fund performance. … Results show that approaches exploiting the qualitative information disclosed to investors in PPMs (Sö: Private placement memorandum) have important predictive power for ultimate fund success …“ (p. 25/26).

Big tech control: The Great Startup Sellout and the Rise of Oligopoly by Florian Ederer and Bruno Pellegrino as of Aril 14th, 2023 (#638): “… we documented a secular shift from IPOs (Sö: Initial public offerings) to acquisitions by VC-backed startups. … firms face an increasingly high (opportunity) cost of going public … dominant companies that are disproportionately active in the corporate control market for startups (such as GAFAM) appear to have become more insulated from the product market competition over the same period. These facts are consistent with the hypothesis that startup acquisitions have contributed to rising oligopoly power in high-tech sectors …” (p. 7). My comment: One more reason for not investing with big techs?

Swiss bailout: The UBS-Credit Suisse Merger: Helvetia’s Gift by Pascal Böni, Tim Kröncke, and Florin Vasvari as of July 13th, 2023 (#204): “We show that the UBS-CS-merger … created a net value of 22.8 bn USD, distributed to UBS stockholders (5.1 bn USD), CS stockholders (-1.1 bn USD), and CS bondholders (18.8 bn USD). The combined wealth effect cannot be explained by the participating firms’ abnormal returns on securities. … we find that there have likely been large transfers of wealth from taxpayers to UBS/CS stakeholders. … First, we argue that UBS stockholders have profited from bidding restrictions imposed by the government. … Second, we believe that CS bondholders profited from substantial coinsurance effects. Third, the “too-big-to-fail” channel, combined with a material loss protection agreement which covered a specific portfolio of CS assets (corresponding to approximately 3% of the combined assets of the merged bank) may have contributed to the combined wealth effect. Finally, and importantly, we infer from our analysis that the government intervention likely came at the cost of a significant jump in Switzerland’s sovereign credit risk and thus an increase in its expected cost of debt, implying the risk of a substantial taxpayer wealth transfer in the magnitude of approximately six to seven billion USD” (p.23/24).


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ESG bonus Picture by Pixabay shows suitcase full of dollar bills

ESG bonus: Researchblogposting #109

ESG bonus: 15x new research on inequality, diversity, PRI, greenium, fintech, incompetences, engagement, 1/n and more by Peter Mülbert, David Walker, Malcom Baker, Lucian Bebchuk, Marie Dutordoir, Guofu Zhou, Dirk Zetzsche, David Larcker, Raina Gibson, Pedro Matos et al.

Environmental and social research

Climate action: Adaptation platforms – a way forward for adaptation governance in small cities? Lessons learned from two cities in Germany by Julia Teebken, Nicole Mitchell and Klaus Jacob as of Dec. 7th, 2022 (#6): “… we introduce adaptation platforms as a novel, low-threshold approach to initiate climate adaptation governance in small cities. … In Boizenburg (Elbe) in Northern Germany, an adaptation platform (“Platz-B”) was set up in the municipal administration. In the local authority association of Liebenwerda, in Eastern Germany, the platform (“Lighthouse Louise”) was developed through an association, which is organized by civil society. We present the context conditions for establishing the platforms, their core principles, functions, and some of the adaptation projects which were initiated“ (abstract).

Inequality drivers: Hours Inequality by Daniele Checchi, Cecilia García-Peñalosa, and Lara Vivian as of Dec. 14th, 2022 (#16): “… while the contribution of hours worked to earnings inequality is moderate in France and the US, it explains between 30 and 40 percent of earnings inequality in Germany and the UK. … it could be that individuals with higher wages now work more (supply-side) or that jobs that pay lower wages also provide fewer hours (demand-side) … the increase in female employment observed in all countries tending to increase inequality. … If reduced working hours are the result of individual choices, the increase in leisure may offset the loss in relative income and result in higher welfare. Alternatively, if low-pay workers are unable to work as much as they would like … then a deteriorated income position will be associated with under-employment and hence a loss in utility“ (p. 24).

Advert for German investors: “Sponsor” my research by recommending my article 9 fund. The minimum investment is approx. EUR 50 and return and risks are relatively good: FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T: I focus on social SDGs and midcaps and use best-in-universe as well as separate E, S and G minimum ratings. The fund typically scores very well in sustainability rankings, see this new tool for example.

… continues on page 2 (# indicates the number of SSRN downloads on December 20th):

Unsustainable Bonds: Naturbild von Andres Dressler zur Illustration

Unsustainable bonds? Researchposting 102

Unsustainable bonds? 20x new research on climate risk, real estate, health, Trump, carbon credits, CDS, bank loans, bonds, interest rates, ESG indexing, pensions, gender, infrastructure, private equity, investment apps, ESG fintechs, climate AI by Roland Fuess, Tabea Bucher-Koenen, Paul Pudschedl, Markus Leippold et al.

Social and Ecological Research: Unsustainable bonds?

Longer hot: 800,000 Years of Climate Risk by Tobias Adrian, Nina Boyarchenko, Domenico Giannone,  Ananthakrishnan Prasad, Dulani Seneviratne, and Yanzhe Xiao as of September 9th, 2022 (#22): “… we study how climate evolves over the past 800,000 years … We find that the temperature-CO2 dynamics are non-linear, so that large deviations in either temperature or CO2 concentrations take a long time to correct … even conditional on the net-zero 2050 scenario, there remains a significant risk of elevated temperatures for at least a further five millennia” (p. 26/27).

Reduce green incentives? The Low-Carbon Rent Premium of Residential Buildings by Angelika Brändle, Roland Füss, Jörg Schläpfer, and Alois Weigand as of September 22nd, 2022 (#53): “The operation of residential real estate accounts for a large part of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions …. we analyze 39,791 rental contracts from 2,438 residential properties in the Switzerland … our results suggest that apartments in low-carbon buildings have higher net rents compared to dwellings which emit more carbon emissions. … the higher willingness-to-pay for low-carbon housing is not decisively driven by a tenant’s higher preference for living in an environmentally-friendly apartment. … based on capitalization rates from 432 transactions, we suggest that the market value is on average higher for carbon neutral apartment properties due to lower expected risk premiums. … incentive structures for sustainable housing have to be carefully evaluated by policy makers as higher market values of low-carbon buildings compensate investors for cutting CO2 emissions” (p. 17/18).

Advert for German investors: “Sponsor” my free research e.g. by buying my Article 9 fund. The minimum investment is around EUR 50. FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T: I focus on social SDGs and midcaps and use best-in-universe as well as separate E, S and G minimum ratings.

For my approach to this blog see 100 research blogposts since 2018 – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

For more current research please go to page 2 (# indicates the number of SSRN downloads on November 1st):

ESG regulation: Das Bild von Thomas Hartmann zeigt Blumen in Celle

ESG overall (Researchblog #91)

ESG overall: >15x new research on fixed income ESG, greenium, insurer ESG investing, sin stocks, ESG ratings, impact investments, real estate ESG, equity lending, ESG derivatives, virtual fashion, bio revolution, behavioral ESG investing

Advert: Check my article 9 SFDR fund FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals (-2,9% YTD). With my most responsible stock selection approach I focus on social SDGs and midcaps and use best-in-universe as well as separate E, S and G minimum ratings.

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Bild zum Beitrag ESG skeptical zeigt eine Ansicht einer Allee aus dem Celler Französischen Garten

ESG skeptical research (Researchblog #90)

ESG skeptical: >15x new and skeptical research on ESG and SDG investments, performance, cost of capital, reporting, ratings, impact, bonifications and artificial intelligence

Advert: Check my article 9 SFDR fund FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals. With my most responsible selection approach I focus on social SDGs and midcaps and use best-in-universe as well as separate E, S and G minimum ratings.

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Heidebild als Illustration für Proven Impact Investing

ESG ok, SDG gut: Performance 1. HJ 2022

ESG ok, SDG gut: Im ersten Halbjahr 2022 haben meine Trendfolgeportfolios sowie die Portfolios, die sich an den nachhaltigen Entwicklungszielen der Vereinten Nationen ausrichten (SDG), zwar auch an Wert verloren, aber dafür relativ gut gegenüber Vergleichsgruppen performt. Das gilt besonders auch für den FutureVest Equities SDG Fonds. Anders als die meist OK gelaufenen globalen haben spezialisierte ESG Portfolios der Soehnholz ESG GmbH im ersten Halbjahr schlechter als traditionelle Vergleichsportfolios abgeschnitten. Dafür war deren Performance in der Vergangenheit oft überdurchschnittlich.

Werbemitteilung: Kennen Sie meinen Artikel 9 Fonds FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals: Fokus auf soziale SDGs und Midcaps, Best-in-Universe Ansatz, getrennte E, S und G Mindestratings.

Auf Seite 2 folgt die Übersicht der Halbjahresrenditen für die 15 nachhaltigen und zwei traditionellen Portfolios von Soehnholz ESG sowie für meinen Fonds.

Pictures shows Fire Icon by Elionas

ESG and impact investments under fire (Researchpost #89)

Under fire includes >10x new research on ESG and factors, performance, commitment, regulation, scope 3 GHG, market potential, indices, reporting, engagement, and impact washing

Advert: Check my article 9 SFDR fund FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals. With my most responsible selection approach I focus on social SDGs and midcaps and use best-in-universe as well as separate E, S and G minimum ratings.

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Nachhaltigkeitsfragen als Screenshot einer Präsentationsfolie

Deadline August: Müssen dann andere Fonds angeboten werden?

Deadline August: Ab August müssen AnlegerInnen aufgrund regulatorischer Vorgaben (MiFID II, IDD) nach ihren Nachhaltigkeitspräferenzen befragt werden. Auch künftig ist zunächst weiterhin die sogenannte Geeignetheit zu prüfen, speziell Renditeerwartungen, Risikokriterien, Zeithorizont und individuelle Umstände von InteressentInnen. Vereinfacht zusammengefasst muss künftig im Anschluss daran gefragt werden, inwieweit eines oder mehrere dreier Nachhaltigkeitsprodukttypen in Anlagen einbezogen werden sollen: Erstens ein Produkt mit einem ein Mindestanteil an ökologisch nachhaltigen Investitionen oder, zweitens, einem Mindestanteil an sozial nachhaltigen Investitionen oder drittens mit einer Mindest-ESG-Gesamtbeurteilung.

Werbemitteilung: Kennen Sie meinen Artikel 9 Fonds FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T mit Fokus auf soziale SDGs und Midcaps, Best-in-Universe Ansatz, getrennte E, S und G Mindestratings?

Auf Seite 2 geht es weiter:

Picture by SugarHima shows wooden fake wind generator to illustrate benchmarking problems

Benchmarking problems (Researchpost #88)

Benchmarking problems: Almost 20x new research on tax avoidance, net-zero illusions, brown and unsocial banks and mutual funds, negative ESG bonus, plastics, real estate, panic, monetary policy, missing data, wrong benchmarks, institutional herding, and fintechs

Advert: Check my article 9 SFDR fund FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals. With my most responsible selection approach I focus on social SDGs and midcaps and use best-in-universe as well as separate E, S and G minimum ratings.

Continue on page 2 (# indicates the number of SSRN downloads on June 14th):

Bild zeigt religösen Palast mit zahlreichen Heiligenfiguren als Illustration für factor problems

Factor problems: Researchpost #87

Factor problems includes >20 new studies on plastic, water, children, rich people, the web, ESG indices, ESG reporting, greenwashing, ESG cost, SDG, UN PRI, mutual funds, factor investing, skew, forecasts, institutional investors, infrastructure, fintech, PFOF

Advert: Check my article 9 SFDR fund FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals. With my most responsible selection approach I focus on social SDGs and midcaps and use best-in-universe as well as separate E, S and G minimum ratings.

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