ESG Übertreibungen

ESG Übertreibungen

Umwelt und Soziales Umfeld

E und S sind wichtig: The social shortfall and ecological overshoot of nations von Andrew L. Fanning, Daniel W. O’Neill, Jason Hickel und Nicolas Roux von 2021 (kostenpflichtig): “… we analyse the historical dynamics of 11 social indicators and 6 biophysical indicators across more than 140 countries from 1992 to 2015. We find that countries tend to transgress biophysical boundaries faster than they achieve social thresholds. The number of countries overshooting biophysical boundaries increased over the period from 32–55% to 50–66%, depending on the indicator. At the same time, the number of countries achieving social thresholds increased for five social indicators (in particular life expectancy and educational enrolment), decreased for two indicators (social support and equality) and showed little change for the remaining four indicators. We also calculate ‘business-as-usual’ projections to 2050, which suggest deep transformations are needed to safeguard human and planetary health. Current trends will only deepen the ecological crisis while failing to eliminate social shortfalls” (abstract).

Frauenfeindliche Großunternehmen? Credential matter, but only for men: Evidence from the S&P 500 von Peer Czirakig und Adriana Robertson vom 2. November 2021 (#136): “… we show that S&P 500 experience leads to more future independent directorships and executive positions for men, but not women …. The increase for men is significant, 12% relative to the sample average for independent directorships and 42% for executive positions. Yet a woman with S&P 500 experience obtains fewer future executive positions at S&P 500 firms than a man without it” (S. 28).

Teure Hooligans: How Much Violence Does Football Hooliganism Cause? von Marc Fabel und Helmut Rainer vom 30. November 2021 (#9): “… football games cause large spikes in violent crime: on a match day, the rate of violent assault increases by, on average, more than 20 percent. This estimate has two important implications. First, on aggregate, football matches can explain almost 18 percent of all violent assaults in the regions studied. Second, the economic costs associated with football violence are far from negligible. … the match day effect … can be attributed to violence among males in the 18-29 age group … and can to a non-negligible extent also by explained by violent assaults on police officers“ (S. 19).

Lebensqualitätswarnung: Warming Temperature and the Role of Environmental Policy in Protecting the U.S. Quality of Life von Dimitrios Gounopoulos, Matthew T. Gustafson und Tam Nguyen vom 23. November 2021 (#57): “Our study provides new evidence on how temperature shocks affect quality of life in the 21st century U.S. We document a negative relation between abnormal temperature in an area and our aggregate quality of life measure, which accounts for an area’s income, knowledge, and health. More importantly, we provide evidence that the continuation of certain states’ environmental policies along several dimensions has the potential to mitigate the adverse effects of abnormal temperature on residents’ quality of life.” (S. 25).

Modesünden: Nowhere to Hide: How the Fashion Industry is linked to Amazon Rainforest Destruction von Stand.Earch Research Group vom 29. November 2021: “Deforestation caused by cattle ranching in the Amazon rainforest accounts for almost 2% of global CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to the emissions from all airplane flights globally (S. 14)”.

Glasgow-Defizite: It’s not what you say, it’s what you do – Making the finance sector’s net-zero alliances work for the climate von Reclaim Finance vom 2. November 2021: “… Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) … The Race to Zero criteria do not mention fossil fuels … It is not mandatory for alliance members to reduce Scope 3 emissions from the companies they support. This is particularly problematic for the fossil fuel sector where Scope 3 emissions account for around 88% of their total emissions. … The alliances suggest but do not require that targets are set using absolute emissions numbers, instead requiring only emission intensity metrics. None of the GFANZ alliances prohibit the use of offsets, or set any numerical limits on their use. The Asset Owner Alliance calls for an end to investments in new coal mines and power plants, but it does not require its members to act on this. As of mid-October 2021 at least 34 of the 58 AOA members lacked a policy to restrict investments in coal developers” (S. 4).

Erneuerbare: Renewables 2021 Analysis and forecast to 2026 von der International Energy Agency vom 1. Dezember 2021: “In addition to providing detailed market analysis and forecasts, Renewables 2021 also explores trends to watch including storage, producing hydrogen from renewable electricity, stimulus packages, aviation biofuels and residential heating“ (S. 3).

Starker Fossilenergieausbau: NGOs veröffentlichen die „Global Oil & Gas Exit List“ auf der COP 26 in Glasgow von urgewald et al. vom 4. November 2022: „… die „Global Oil & Gas Exit List“ (GOGEL) … ist weltweit die erste öffentliche, umfangreiche Datenbank zu Unternehmen aus der Öl- und Gasindustrie. GOGEL umfasst derzeit 887 Unternehmen und bildet damit knapp 95% der weltweiten Öl- und Gasproduktion ab. Nutzer*innen der Datenbank … können mit GOGEL die Öl- und Gasfirmen mit den größten Expansionsplänen sowie mit den umstrittensten Formen der Öl- und Gasförderung leicht identifizieren. … Unsere Zahlen belegen, dass die Branche sich insgesamt auf einem rücksichtslosen Expansionspfad befindet“, sagt Nils Bartsch, Leiter GOGEL-Research bei urgewald“.

Hohe Umweltzerstörungs-Subventionen: Umweltschädliche Subventionen in Deutschland von Andreas Burger und Wolfgang Bretschneider vom Umweltbundesamt vom 3. Dezember 2021: „Im Jahr 2018 beliefen sich die umweltschädlichen Subventionen in Deutschland auf rund 65,4 Mrd. EUR …. Da der Bericht … Förderprogramme auf Landes- und kommunaler Ebene fast nicht betrachtet, lag das tatsächliche Volumen umweltschädlicher Subventionen in Deutschland noch deutlich höher. Außerdem war es in einigen Fällen nicht möglich, den umweltschädlichen Anteil der Subventionen zu quantifizieren. … so standen im Jahr 2018 die Bereiche Verkehr (30,8 Mrd. EUR) und Energie (25,4 Mrd. EUR) mit einem Anteil von 47 % bzw. 39 % der gesamten umweltschädlichen Subventionen an der Spitze. Es folgen mit deutlichem Abstand die Sektoren Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Fischerei (6,2 Mrd. EUR bzw. 9 %) sowie Bau- und Wohnungswesen (3,1 Mrd. EUR bzw. 5 %) (vgl. Abbildung 17). Allerdings lassen sich in diesen Sektoren die umweltschädlichen Subventionsbestandteile teilweise nicht quantifizieren, etwa im Rahmen der Agrarförderung der EU und der EU-Fischereiförderung. Übersicht angegeben“.

Klimaversicherungsdefizite: Versicherungsranking 2021 von NGO-Netzwerk: Fortschritte bei Kohle, fehlende Ambitionen bei Öl & Gas von urgewald et al. vom 3. November 2021: „Während die Kohleausschlüsse zunehmen und damit die Kohleindustrie unter Druck gerät, untergraben Versicherungen ihre eigenen Klimaambitionen durch Untätigkeit bei Öl und Gas. … gehört die Allianz nach wie vor zu den größten Versicherern im Öl- und Gassektor: sie ist Nummer vier mit 8,9 Prozent Marktanteil laut Orbis Research. Hannover Rück und Münchner Rück haben sich beide Ranking im Vergleich zum Vorjahr verschlechtert, ebenso wie Talanx. … Regine Richter …: Drei deutsche Versicherer sind in der Net Zero Insurance Alliance und keiner hat bisher eine ernst zu nehmende Öl- und Gasrichtlinie.

ESG Übertreibungen: Nachhaltige Investments

Meta-Nachhaltigkeitsresearch: Past, present, and future of sustainable finance: Insights from big data analytics through machine learning of scholarly research von Kumar, S., Sharma, D., Rao, S., Lim, W. M und Mangla, S. vom 18. November 2021 (#115): “… a review of sustainable finance research using big data analytics through machine learning of scholarly research. In doing so, this study unpacks the most influential articles and top contributing journals, authors, institutions, and countries, as well as the methodological choices and research contexts for sustainable finance research. In addition, this study reveals insights into seven major themes of sustainable finance research, namely socially responsible investing, climate financing, green financing, impact investing, carbon financing, energy financing, and governance of sustainable financing and investing” (abstract).

Kein Greenwashing: Do ESG Mutual Funds Deliver on Their Promises? Von Quinn Curtis, Jill E. Fisch und Adriana Z. Robertson vom 22. Juni 2021 (#737): “Our empirical results provide no justification for regulatory invention. Simply put, analysis reveals that, at present, ESG funds do not present distinctive concerns from either an investor protection or a capital markets perspective. Funds that market themselves as employing an ESG investment strategy invest and vote differently from funds that do not purport to do so. ESG funds do not appear to be charging investors higher fees or sacrificing returns relative to their traditional counterparts” (S. 60). Mein Kommentar: Mein ESG SDG Fonds siehe Nachhaltigster Aktienfonds? – Verantwortungsvolle (ESG) Geldanlage (

Doch Greenwashing? Greenwashing im großen Stil von Alison Schultz und Magdalena Senn von Finanzwende vom 1. Dezember 2021: „Weder besonders problematische Unternehmen noch schädliche Sektoren werden bei nachhaltigen Fonds ausgeschlossen: So liegen über 70 Prozent der nachhaltigen Investitionen in Energie in fossilen Energien, darunter fast 100 Millionen Euro in Kohle. Auch ein Schwerpunkt auf klar zukunftsträchtige Investments ist nicht erkennbar. … Über 563 Millionen „nachhaltige“ Euro stecken allein in Amazon-Aktien, 439 Millionen Euro davon haben nachhaltige Fonds allein seit 2019 zugekauft. Amazon werden unmenschliche Arbeitsbedingungen in Lagerhallen und in der Zustellung vorgeworfen. Auslieferfahrer beklagen zum Beispiel unbezahlte Überstunden sowie die Überwachung mit Kameras“ (S. 4/5). Mein Kommentar: In Bezug auf ESG-Progress/Momentum/Transition und Engagement bin ich anderer Ansicht als die Finanzwende, vgl. z.B. Absolute und Relative Impact Investing und Additionalität – Verantwortungsvolle (ESG) Geldanlage (

ESG- plus Kreditratings: How ESG Affected Corporate Credit Risk and Performance von Rohit Mendiratta, Hitendra D. Varsani und Guido Giese von MSCI Research vom 22. Oktober 2021: “Our analysis … showed that high-ESG-rated issuers showed statistically stronger financials than low-rated issuers, which ultimately led to better credit quality. The analysis of risks showed that high-ESG-rated issuers showed statistically lower levels of systematic and idiosyncratic risks after …. the risk-adjusted returns were slightly better than in the overall universe. … we found that ESG-related risks were not fully captured in credit ratings, which means ESG ratings provided extra information to investors” (S. 16).

Strenges Pflichtreporting: Mandatory Corporate Climate Disclosures: Now, but How? von John Armour, Luca Enriques und Thom Wetzer vom 14. November 2021 (#287): “Current disclosure policies do not require companies to disclose the information that investors need to price climate risk, and voluntary frameworks like the TCFD— important as they are—have failed to turn the tide. The result is mispricing and a misallocation of capital, which harms investors and hampers the net zero transition. … The principles we have outlined go beyond the emerging consensus by extending disclosure to raw asset-level data, standardizing transition scenarios for climate stress tests, and … demanding disclosure of scope 3 emissions and more information about their net zero pledges” (S. 35).

Klimaratings wirken: The Case for Corporate Climate Ratings von Felix Mormann und Milica Mormann vom 18. November 2021 (#25): “Our data provides strong evidence that inclusion of a climate rating among the performance metrics considered by investors significantly increases investment in the stock of companies with favorable climate ratings, even when other stocks boast stronger performance data. We further find that … the magnitude of the climate ratings effect depends on the framing and format of ratings” (S. 65).

ESG Übertreibungen: ESG: Hyperboles and Reality von George Serafeim vom 24. November 2021 (#3166): “… if divestment forces companies to go private you lose both transparency and voice (S. 3) … if targeted engagement is the carrot, targeted divestment is the stick (S. 4) … reporting and transparency can be effective at changing behavior and outcomes … There are also areas where this has not been the case. For example, disclosure of executive compensation does not seem to have had much effect at curbing the level of executive compensation (S. 5) … only a small portion of ESG metrics entering the evaluation of ESG raters is outcomes. Most of them are activities … measuring and reporting ESG outcome metrics can change behavior if there are strong incentives tied to those metrics (S. 6) … we should not expect the “ESG pays” argument to lead all the way to the desired societal outcomes. Sometimes, it pays up to a certain point and sometimes it does not pay at all (S. 8) … regulation is likely to be a necessary condition but unlikely to be a sufficient condition (S. 10) … lack of significant reactions to the vast majority of ESG news (S. 11) … one cannot ask only the question about what the value of ESG investments is but also ask what is the price that an investor is paying to buy into those investments (S. 13) … one cannot have much confidence on the performance outcomes of most ESG investment products. Most of these products are quasi-index funds designed to minimize tracking error and to change weights on holdings to optimize certain ESG metrics or ratings (S. 14) …rating disagreement … It is not clear whether this disagreement is a good or a bad thing (S. 16)” Mein Kommentar: Vgl. ESG-Kritik: Über 20 Falschaussagen – Verantwortungsvolle (ESG) Geldanlage (

Stimmrechtsignoranz: Hidden Agendas in Shareholder Voting von Scott Hirst und Adriana Z. Robertson vom 13. August 2021 (#65): “Hidden agendas are overwhelmingly common in proxy voting: in over 88% of shareholder votes, investors do not know what they will be voting on by the record date. … it poses a particular challenge for mutual fund managers and other investors who manage other people’s money. They have a responsibility to decide whether to vote (and therefore recall) lent shares, and who are unable to effectively make that decision because of hidden agendas. … We urge the SEC to amend its proxy rules to require public companies to file proxy statements at least five days before the record date for the meeting” (S. 60/61). Mein Kommentar: Vgl. Divestments bewirken mehr als Stimmrechtsausübungen oder Engagement | SpringerLink

Stimm(rechts)verluste: When many decisions tire you out: Choice fatigue in proxy voting von Tanja Artiga González, Paul Calluzzo und Georg Granic vom 18. Oktober 2021 (#30): “… as investors hold an increasing number of stocks in their portfolio, the cost to becoming informed about every firm in their portfolio increases. …. compounded by the fact that proxy meetings are concentrated in a five-week period each year … we focus on the election of the independent directors of the board of directors. Our results show that investors and proxy advisors, confronted with repeated decision making across multiple proxy votes, are prone to choice fatigue that affects their voting patterns when electing corporate directors. We present robust results that down the ballot directors receive less opposition and scrutiny then directors placed on top of ballots” (S. 22).

ESG Übertreibungen: Traditionelle und alternative Investments

Aktienrenditendämpfer: Stock Investors’ Returns are Exaggerated von Jesse M. Fried, Paul Ma und Charles C.Y. Wang vom 29. November 2021 (#204): “ … we show that TSR, the standard measure of stock investor performance, substantially exaggerates returns earned by stock investors in aggregate. … ASR … Our measure differs from TSR by taking into account non-dividend equity cash flows and recognizing that dividends are not actually reinvested by the firm in its own operations, but rather must be invested in other (potentially lower-yielding) assets … 70 to 92% of the ASR-TSR gap is due to this reinvestment effect. The effects of market timing explain another 8 to 32% of the ASR-TSR gap” (S. 18/19).

Große Statistikprobleme: Non-Standard Errors von Albert Menkveld und vielen anderen vom 29. November 2021 (#2761): “Testing an hypothesis on a data sample involves many decisions on the side of the researcher. He needs to find an appropriate econometric model, clean the data, choose suitable software for estimation, et cetera. …. We propose the across-researcher standard deviation in results as a measure of such dispersion and refer to it as the non-standard error. … 164 research teams tested relatively standard types of hypotheses on novel and proprietary trade data. We compute NSEs and show that they are sizeable, similar in magnitude to SEs“ (S. 27).

Faktorkritik: Noisy Factors von Pat Akey, Adriana Z. Robertson und Mikhail Simutin vom 28. September 2021 (#519): “The returns on the Fama-French factors—which are among the most ubiquitous inputs in empirical finance—differ substantially depending on when the data were downloaded. These differences stem from large retroactive changes to the data … changing factor vintage is enough to cause unconditional alphas of a third of long-short anomaly portfolios to lose statistical significance. Mutual funds are also affected: annual alphas of almost half of individual funds and even portfolios of funds change by more than 1%. … Our findings have significant implications for the replicability and robustness of finance research and have a direct bearing on a variety of legal contexts, including securities fraud, corporate valuation, and estimation of damages“ (S. 28/29).

Rentable Transparenz: Disclosure Deregulation of Quarterly Reporting von Vanessa Behrmann, Lars Hornuf und Jochen Zimmermann vom 18. Oktober 2021 (#95): “…. investigating an instance of deregulation for Prime Standard firms of the FSE in Germany in 2015, whereby the removal of mandatory quarterly financial reporting has led to widespread reductions in quarterly reporting levels. The evidence shows that information asymmetry increases and firm value decreases when quarterly reporting levels decrease. However, the increase in information asymmetry in the market is not the result of the deregulation as such, but most likely stems from the fact that the firms that are inherently more prone to the negative effects of information asymmetries have not taken the opportunity to report more” (S. 21).

Komplexer Anleihehandel: All-to-All Liquidity in Corporate Bonds von Terrence Hendershott, Dmitry Livdan und Norman Schürhoff vom 28. Oktober 2021 (#226): We examine the introduction of all-to-all trading (called Opening Trading or OT) in the OTC market for corporate bonds. … OT may lower trading costs by economically meaningful amounts … our results suggest that investors in corporate bonds prefer intermediation to direct trade. … All-to-all trading can facilitate the entry of new dealers that compete for liquidity provision. Our findings suggest that single new entrant uses OT to learn how to bid for smaller trade sizes, which historically have had higher trading costs, in higher credit quality bonds” (S. 50).

Unverantwortliche Stiftungen: The Modern Endowment Story: A Ubiquitous U.S. Equity Risk Premium von Richard M. Ennis vom 18. Oktober 2021 (#232): “The endowment model is indeed a thing of the past. Large endowments have been piling into investments that provide sure access to the U.S. equity market risk premium to the virtual exclusion of everything else … for all intents and purposes, the endowments own the U.S. stock market. They are not, however, getting the return of the stock market. They have experienced an annual opportunity cost of more than 4% per year” (S. 9).

Spekukative NFT: Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). The Analysis of Risk and Return von Mieszko Mazur vom 22. November 2021 (#382): “This study examines the risk and return characteristics of the NFT-based startups whose valuations are determined on a cryptocurrency exchange. … we find that NFTs earn large first-day returns of 130% on average. This is an order of magnitude higher than returns on IPOs – startup firms going public on a traditional stock exchange. … NFTs provide superior long-term returns, both on the raw and the risk-adjusted basis. … volatility of NFTs remains excessively high (11% daily or 175% annually), …. the correlation between NFTs and S&P500 is nearly zero … We show that incorporating NFTs into the existing blockchain networks can boosts their market valuations by over 20%”.

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