Greenwashing

Greenwashing oder evidenzbasiertes Investing?

Greenwashing: Umwelt

Heisse Schrumpfung: Growth at Risk from Climate Change von Michael T. Kiley vom 23. August 2021 (#38): “The analysis herein considers the link between temperature and the percent change in real GDP per capita across the distribution of potential outcomes for 124 countries. … The results indicate substantially larger effects of temperature on downside risks to economic growth than on the central tendency of economic growth. … At the same time, empirical associations between weather and economic growth may differ from those associated with climate change” (S. 9).

Klima-Meta-Analyse: What do you think about climate change? von Donatella Baiardi vom 2. September 2021 (#7): “… this paper … summarizes insights emerging from a critical review of about 140 papers. … The study .. reviewed the data sources most widely used in the empirical literature. It focused on the different variables used to proxy climate change awareness … this study provided an overview of the most widely investigated determinants of climate change awareness, and reviewed variables often included in the model specifications in the literature. Individual characteristics like age, gender, education, political values, experience with extreme weather conditions and trust appear to be crucial for understanding climate change, as does the stage of development of the country where people live”.

Energiesparen bringts: Energy Efficiency: What has Research Delivered in the Last 40 years? von Harry Saunders et al vom 4. Mai 2021 (#54): “We find that technological energy efficiency improvements generally increase economic welfare. But this may have negative externalities (such as rebound effects that increase emissions leading to climate change and health damages from ground-level air pollution) thus making it difficult in the absence of appropriate policy necessarily leading to increased social welfare. In the case of policy interventions to mitigate market barriers or failures from energy-economy systems, poorly designed policy mechanisms could also lead to a reduction in economic welfare. The overall welfare effects are difficult to measure as they depend on price and substitution elasticities resulting from energy efficiency improvements” (S. 23).

Grünes Öl und Gas? Wind of change: A Scandinavian perspective on energy transition and the ‘greenification’ of the oil and gas sector von Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui und Aleksander Glapiak vom 21. April 2021 (#125): “… a close review of the policies and electrification plans reveals that electricity consumption may not grow as rapidly as desired or expected, particularly in the transport and industrial sectors … Like the rest of the world, oil and gas are still the first energy source in the region. … Our chapter shows the efforts made in Norway by Equinor, the state-owned petroleum company, and the Norwegian state to develop new technologies and technical solutions that promote a more sustainable oil and gas industry with a reduced carbon footprint. This is primarily done in two ways: through the electrification of oil and gas rigs, either from renewable electricity from land or through offshore wind farms, and CCTS projects” (S. 21/22).

Besser konzentrierte Windparks? Concentration Versus Diversification: A Spatial Deployment Approach to Improve the Economics of Wind Power von Leo Klie und Reinhard Madlener vom 4. Juni 2021 (#7): “The results show that a concentration of turbines … (i.e. in the North of Germany) is more beneficial in terms of subsidy need and system costs. The analysis further shows that these areas are also more beneficial in terms of market values …”

Vergeudete Ökosubventionen? The effectiveness of Environmental Management System standards von Amélie Goerge vom 9. Juni 2021 (#11): “This paper investigates the effects of Environmental Management System standards (EMS standards), such as the ISO 14001, on the environmental performance of French manufacturing plants from 2001 to 2017. … adopters of EMS standards lower their water removals by 6.7% and they increase their production of hazardous waste by 8.6% directly after the certification, while there are no significant effects for the CO2 emissions and the water pollution. … The absence of clear-cut conclusions regarding the environmental effectiveness of EMS standards question the efficiency of the eventual subsidies” (abstract).

Mehr Forschung durch höhere CO2-Steuern: Can Environmental Policy Encourage Technical Change? Emissions Taxes and R&D Investment in Polluting Firms von James R. Brown, Gustav Martinsson und Christian Thomann vom 19. Augut 2021 (#49): “Higher country taxes on noxious manufacturing emissions lead to substantial increases in firm R&D spending. The R&D response is driven entirely by the high-pollution firms most affected by emissions taxes. Pollution taxes increase the market value of R&D spending in polluting firms, even when this spending does not lead to new innovation” (abstract).

Grüne Energiezertifikate: The European Market for Guarantees of Origin for Green Electricity: A Scenario-Based Evaluation of Trading under Uncertainty von Alexander Wimmers und Reinhard Madlener vom 21. April 2021 (#71): “… the origin of a specific MWh of delivered green electricity cannot be determined. Thus, Guarantees of Origin (GoO) were introduced …. The separation of electricity and GoO trade has resulted in a prosperous GoO market that is, however, characterized by non-transparency and speculative behavior. Historic price development occurs seemingly arbitrarily and can therefore not be used to forecast future GoO prices. … It was found that prices for GoOs will increase on average in the next years, with prices ranging from 1.77 to 3.36 €/MWh in 2040. … GoOs might well become a useful tool for the promotion of green electricity production in the EU“ (abstract).

Grosses Klimainvestmentdefizit: Governments that Invest in Climate Innovation Invest in Growth von Joerg Hildebrandt, Dave Sivaprasad, Marco Duso, Chafic Mourad, Daniel Kiefer und Bernard Graf von der Boston Consulting Group vom 21. Juli 2021: “We estimate the world is between $90 billion and $210 billion short of the yearly investments in climatealtering technology needed to achieve net zero” (S. 3).

Klimapessimismus: Climate Change: The Real Inconvenient Truth von Yossi Sheffi vom 2. September 2021 (#13): “Consumers choose economic development over serious climate initiatives. Corporations don’t invest in meaningful change because consumers won’t pay for it. And governments cannot lead if citizens won’t follow. The battle to prevent climate change through behavior modification, regulation, or personal deprivation has already been lost. Yossi Sheffi explains why the solution is collaborative investment in developing technologies that can reverse climate change” (S. 1). Die oder Klimaoptimismus: The Case for Climate Optimism: A Response von Kieren Mayers und Jonathan G. Koomey vom 2. September 2021 (#5)

Klima-Mensch Interaktionen: Climate-Society Feedback Effects: Be Wary of Unidentified Connections von Peter H. Howard und Michael A. Livermore vom 8. September 2021 (#8):“The research analyzing the relationship between human activities and the climate is considerable, with particular focus on intra-system feedback effects: environmental tipping points, and climate-triggered social tipping points, like migration, to a lesser extent … we describe these social-ecological system (SES) feedbacks and place them in the existing taxonomy for tipping points applied by mainstream climate-economy models … “ (abstract).

Videostreamingsteuer? The Electricity- and CO2-Saving Potentials Offered by Regulation of European Video-Streaming Services von Reinhard Madlener, Siamak Sheykhha und Wolfgang Briglauer vom 8. Juli 2021 (#32): “This paper presents an estimation of current and expected future electricity consumption, CO2 emissions, and potential electricity savings from video-streaming in end-use devices, networks, and data centers in Europe from 2020 to 2030. … Simulation results show a 21.2 TWh electricity saving in the Green scenario compared to the BAU scenario. This amount of saving is equivalent to the yearly electricity production of three mid-size baseload coal power plants (∼900 MW) and some 8000 full-load hours” (S. 27/28).

Greenwashing: Soziales

Umweltkritische Sklavenarbeit: From forests to factories: How modern slavery deepens the crisis of climate change von Kevin Bales und Benjamin K. Sovacool vom 24. Mai 2021 (#4): “Globally those in slavery, though small in absolute numbers (est. 40.2 million), contribute disproportionately to environmental destruction and carbon emissions. If modern slaves were a country, they would be the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, after China and the United States. … Abolishing slavery is shown to be one of the most effective instruments for climate change mitigation, especially given that the costs of ending slavery seem on par to about $20 billion, or the expense of a single large nuclear power plant” (abstract).

Linke reduzieren Ungleichkeit nicht: Do Left-Wing Governments Decrease Wage Inequality among Civil Servants? Empirical Evidence from the German States von Björn Kauder, Manuela Krause und Niklas Potrafke vom 3. Dezember 2020 (#26): “The data is based on salaries of civil servants in the German states. … The results do not suggest that left-wing governments were more active in decreasing wage inequality among civil servants than center or right-wing governments. … government ideology is also not shown to predict salaries of cabinet members” (abstract).

Mädchen besonders betroffen: Uncertain Pathways – How gender shapes the experiences of children on the move von UNICEF vom August 2021: “In 2020, 35.5 million children under the age of 18 were living outside their country of birth; this number includes refugees, asylum seekers and any kind of international migrant. Slightly less than half of them were girls (48 per cent). … In 2020, nearly 9 in 10 unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Europe were boys … At the end of 2020, an estimated 23.3 million girls and boys were living in internal displacement due to conflict, violence or natural disasters; 11.3 million were girls and 11.9 million were boys. … Among detected victims of trafficking, girls outnumber boys four to three … In the Global North, migrant girls may have better school outcomes than migrant boys, while the reverse is true for boys in the Global South. The gendered division of labour means many migrant women and girls work in less regulated, less visible, more poorly paid industries, making them vulnerable to exploitation” (S. 10/11).

Greenwashing: Nachhaltige Investments

Rendite mit Gender Diversity: Board Gender Diversity and Firm Value in Times of Crisis: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic von Farida Akhtar, Madhu Veeraraghavan und Leon Zolotoy vom 10. September 2021 (#117): “We find that firms with gender-diverse boards experienced significantly higher abnormal returns during the period when COVID-19-related market sentiment was at its peak …. In cross-sectional analysis, we find that the documented effect was amplified among financially constrained firms and firms with longer cash conversion cycle, while was mitigated for firms led by management teams with higher managerial ability …. We also find that the documented effect of board gender diversity was amplified among firms with high information uncertainty …” (S. 26). Mein Kommentar: Etwas Vergleichbares haben wir schon vor einigen Jahren herausgefunden vgl. 140227 ESG_Paper_V3 1 (naaim.org)

ESG Benchmarkquatsch: Benchmarking Has Become Circular von Joachim Klement vom 18. August 202: “I went to the website of a major exchange-traded-fund (ETF) provider and compared the portfolio weights of the companies in its MSCI World ETF with the weights in its different ESG ETFs. The chart below shows that there is essentially no difference between these ETFs, sustainable or not. … If every company qualifies for inclusion in an ESG benchmark and then has roughly the same weight in that benchmark as in a conventional one, then what’s the point of the ESG benchmark? Where is the benefit for the investor? Why should companies change their business practices when they will be included in an ESG benchmark with minimal effort anyway and won’t risk losing any of their investors? … Mein Kommentar: Einfache „Weltverbesserung“ mit verantwortungsvollen Geldanlage-Benchmarks – Verantwortungsvolle (ESG) Geldanlage (prof-soehnholz.com)

(Noch) kein ESG Einfluss auf Kapitalkosten: The Impact of Impact Investing von Jonathan Berk und Jules van Binsbergen vom 3. Septembere 2021 (#458): “We evaluate the quantitative effect of ESG divestitures on the cost of capital of affected firms. … Given the current state of ESG investment we find that the impact on the cost of capital is too small to meaningfully affect real investment decisions. … When firms are either included or excluded from the leading socially conscious US index (FTSE USA 4Good) we find no detectable effect on the cost of capital. Our results suggest that to have impact, instead of divesting, socially conscious investors should invest and exercise their rights of control to change corporate policy” (abstract). Mein Kommentar: Die Autoren zeigen nicht, dass Kontrollausübung funktioniert. Vergleich auch den o.g. Beitrag “ESG Benchmarkquatsch” und Divestmentkritik: Populäre aber falsche Kritik an verantwortungsvollen Geldanlagen – Verantwortungsvolle (ESG) Geldanlage (prof-soehnholz.com)

Wenig Nutzen von Länder ESG-Ratings? Demystifying Sovereign ESG von Ekaterina Gratcheva, Teal Emery und Dieter Wang von der Weltbank vom 28. Mai 2021 (#99): “Because sovereign ESG is an underresearched area of ESG investing, the current vacuum has been filled with heuristics and extrapolations from the more developed area of corporate ESG. … To illuminate distinct features of sovereign ESG, we analyze sovereign ESG methodologies and their outputs—sovereign ESG scores—from the leading sovereign ESG providers, including FTSE Russell/Beyond Ratings, ISS, MSCI, RepRisk,2 Robeco (previously known as RobecoSAM), Sustainalytics, and V.E (previously known as Vigeo Eiris). Our analysis reveals that … there is convergence among sovereign ESG scores across ESG providers. … the E pillar is the most challenging of the three pillars for sovereigns because sovereign E scores vary widely among the providers. … our inquiry provides plausible explanations for this divergence among ESG providers, including sovereign environmental data lags (five years on average), lack of consensus on the definition of a “good” environmental performance, longer time horizon for environmental risks to materialize, and the nonlinear nature of environmental risks, among other factors. … We find that about 90 percent of a country’s sovereign ESG score is explained by the country’s level of development and that a country’s national income permeates all sustainability-linked measures used by the market. … We also find that sustainability-related data and indexes, such as the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Index, EPI (Yale Environmental Performance Index), and ND-GAIN (Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative) Country Index, are affected by the same structural issue: they are mostly explained by the country’s level of development, or its income” (S. 9/10).

CO2-Transparenz hilft: Keeping Promises? Investment Objectives and Impact of Carbon Risk Disclosures von John R. Nofsinger und Abhishek Varma vom 8. September 2021 (#22): “Morningstar’s disclosure of carbon risk (CR) scores in May 2018 showed that (environmentally) sustainable mutual funds in the US had lower CR scores before the disclosure and a greater reduction in their portfolio CR scores after the announcement relative to convention funds. … Conventional funds that are signatories to UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) or those with secondary sustainability mandates behave more like other conventional funds rather than sustainable funds. Such funds appear insensitive to disclosures as their sustainability considerations are superseded by other primary investment criteria. Sustainable funds lower their CR score by reducing exposure to fossil fuels, not by increasing exposure to renewables” (abstract).

Mehr Lieferkettentransparenz: The Time Is Ripe for Food Traceability von Shalini Unnikrishnan, Elfrun von Koeller, Markus Mutz, Henry Fovargue und Keong Yong von der Boston Consulting Group vom 4. August 2021: “The global movement to hold food companies accountable for the provenance of the goods they grow, distribute, and sell creates an opportunity to devise a broadly beneficial solution for food systems and security. By establishing an end-to-end, near real-time view of their supply chain, industry participants can become more resilient, a critical capability in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. They can also improve public health and reduce food waste. One-third of the food produced globally each year, or 1.6 billion tons, goes to waste. In meeting the updated health and sustainability goals, companies can strengthen their bottom line, reputation, and customer loyalty by selling food products that consumers trust. On the other hand, failing to act productively could be devastating for an industry that operates on low margins. If poorly managed, traceability requirements could add $700 billion in costs globally to food supply chains. This risk is likely to fall most heavily on those who can least afford it, such as small growers, low-income consumers, and society as a whole”.

Evidenz für Green- und Socialwashing von Publikumsfonds: What is the impact of mutual funds’ ESG preferences on portfolio firms von Maxime Couvert vom 22. Juli 2021 (#100): “I find that mutual fund families announce heterogeneous and time-varying ESG preferences in their proxy voting guidelines. … my results also suggest that greenwashing may explain deviations from E&S-supportive voting policies. Exploiting staggered changes in voting, I show that portfolio firms adopt the governance preferences of their mutual fund shareholder base, but not the environmental and social ones. … non-mutual fund shareholders strategically submit proposals addressing provisions that mutual funds have announced to favor” (S. 32/33). Mein Kommentar: DVFA PRISC nutzen, siehe PRISC – Policy for Responsible Investment Scoring: Die Taxonomiealternative von der DVFA – Verantwortungsvolle (ESG) Geldanlage (prof-soehnholz.com)

Zu schlau für Greenwashing? Greenwashing and Bank Loan Contracting: Does Environmental Disclosure Quality Matter to Creditors? von Najah Attig, Mohammad Rahaman und Samir Trabelsi vom 13. JUli 2021 (#60): “We find that elevated greenwashing is associated with lower loan cost, leading to significant reduction in debt-service payments by firms. However, when we examine the overall design of a loan contract, including the price, fee structure, and non-price terms, we find that creditors use a complex pricing structure to ensure an appropriate expected return rather than a single price measure such as loan spread. In particular, private lenders charge higher fees and demand significantly more collateral from greenwashing firms. Furthermore, lenders impose tougher covenant restrictions on those firms compared to others” (S. 25).

Wasserfondskritik: Are Water Funds Too Watered Down? von Bobby Blue von Morningstar vom 23. August 2021: “the water business is fragmented and highly regulated …Because of this, none of these open-end water funds invest directly in water rights or have direct exposure to the price of water. … There are four broad categories that the holdings typically fall under. Water utilities: Regulated companies that provide clean drinking water and/or wastewater management. Water transportation: Pumps and pipes, as well as companies that improve water delivery. Water technology: Companies that produce equipment to treat or purify water. Miscellaneous: These companies may have little to no exposure to the water industry but may be considered leaders in water efficiency. …Until products that offer more meaningful differentiation are made available, the high price tag doesn’t justify the straightforward exposures”. Mein Kommentar: M.E. sollte man auf fokussierte Themenfonds setzen, vgl. Drittes SDG ETF-Portfolio: Konform mit Art. 9 SFDR – Verantwortungsvolle (ESG) Geldanlage (prof-soehnholz.com)

Traditionelle Investments

Grosse Klimadefizite von Banken: Countdown to COP26 An analysis of the climate and biodiversity practices of Europe’s largest banks von Share Action vom 27. Mai  2021: “This report discusses how the 25 largest European banks approach five critical climate and biodiversity-related themes … Each theme includes a comparison table, leading practice checklist, leading practice case studies, and next steps. … Theme 1: Net-zero targets and alignment … very few banks have started taking concrete steps to get there. … Theme 2: High-carbon disclosures … Seventeen of the 25 banks we assessed currently report their exposure to high-carbon sectors. … Themes 3.1 & 3.2: Fossil fuels policies (thermal coal and oil and gas) …. Less than half of the banks in scope have committed to a full phase-out of financing to thermal coal-related activities on a timeline that is compatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Even fewer banks are using their influence to make their clients change course. … Theme 3.3: Shipping sector policies … Eleven of the banks analysed have a publicly available shipping sector policy … Theme 3.4: Biomass sector policies … only six publishing a relevant sector policy … Theme 4: Biodiversity … Just ten of the 25 banks we assessed have a biodiversity policy. … Theme 5: Executive remuneration … only a handful of banks have failed to link their executive remuneration to climate-related metrics …However. … the most commonly used metrics do not focus on the most material climate issues” (S. 4-7).

Institutionelles Gold: The Gold Exposure of Institutional Investors von Dirk Baur, Lai T. Hoang und Lorenzo Casavecchia vom 17. August 2021: “… despite its reputation and size, there is no comprehensive information to date about the role of gold in institutional investor portfolios … For example, when the price of gold increases in response to a large stock market shock or at the beginning of a financial crisis, it is generally not known whether existing gold investors buy more gold or whether new investors buy gold and thus broaden the investor base. We observe an increase in terms of both depth (i.e., percentage gold holdings of existing investors) and breadth (i.e., number of new investors holding gold) of ownership of institutional investors. The average gold-holding institutional investor in our sample allocates about 2% of the portfolio to gold ETFs, an economic magnitude which is significant considering that the average security weight in institutional portfolios is 0.4% and the average quarterly portfolio turnover rate is about 4-5%” (S. 19/20). Mein Kommentar: Vgl. Warum sich das Weltmarktportfolio so gut entwickelt – Verantwortungsvolle (ESG) Geldanlage (prof-soehnholz.com)

Timing bringt nichts: Mind the Gap 2021 – A report on investor returns in the United States von Amy Arnott von Morningstar vom 31. August 2021: “Our annual study of dollar-weighted returns (also known as investor returns) finds investors earned about 7.7% per year on the average dollar they invested in mutual funds and ETFs over the 10 years ended Dec. 31, 2020. This is about 1.7 percentage points less than the total returns their fund investments generated over the same period. This shortfall, or gap, stems from inopportunely timed purchases and sales of fund shares … That investor-return gap is more or less in line with the gaps we found for the four previous rolling 10- year periods” (S. 1). … “.. we found that the most volatile quintile of U.S. stock funds had an annual return gap of 1.7 percentage points over the 10 years ended Dec. 31, 2020, while the least-volatile quintile had a far smaller gap of 0.9 percentage points per year” (S. 2).

Sensitive Faktorrenditen: Investigating the Sources of Day and Night Returns von Austin Hill-Kleespie vom 10. März 2021 (#125): “Recent research has shown that the premiums of many popular factors are earned at different times of the day. I examine how time of day affects the performance of the Fama and French (1996) and Fama and French (2015) factor models. I find that factor models composed of nighttime returns perform significantly better in explaining average portfolio returns but models using exclusively daytime returns better explain total portfolio variance” (abstract).

Investment research wird gerne bezahlt: The Value of Intermediation in the Stock Market von Marco Di Maggio, Mark Egan und Francesco Franzoni vom 15. Juli 2021 (#286) “Our results indicate that brokers create value for investors by providing efficient execution, sell-side research, and other informal services such as order flow information. Formal and informal research account for roughly half of the value that brokers create. … Hedge funds place almost no value on sell-side research but place a large premium on order flow information. Conversely, large institutional investors are willing to pay up to 50% more per trade to access sell-side research. … Our estimates suggest that investment management fees would be 10% higher if investment managers were forced to pay for the value of the research that they consume” (S. 31/32).

Noch ein Fondsmanagerbias: Back to the Roots: Ancestral Origin and Mutual Fund Manager Portfolio Choice von Manuel Ammann, Alexander Cochardt, Simon Straumann und Florian Weigert vom 8. Juli 2021 (#61): “We document that fund managers’ ancestry shapes their investments. In their non-U.S. portfolios, funds overweight stocks from their managers’ ancestral home countries by 132 bps, or 20.34%, compared with their peers. Similarly, they overweight the industries that are comparatively large in their managers’ ancestral home countries, especially the countries’ signature industries. … We also show that managers who overweight their ancestral home countries or industries do not exhibit superior performance for these holdings” (S. 30).

Genetische Diversität ist gut: Genetic diversity and corporate environmental performance von Renatas Kizys, Emmanuel Mamatzakis und Panagiotis Tzouvanas vom 30. August 2021 (#60): “We present comprehensive evidence that board genetic diversity can improve corporate environmental and carbon performance. … Moreover, we find that corporate transparency in terms of ESG performance is positively associated with board genetic diversity. Furthermore, our results also reveal that increasing genetic diversity and carbon performance can improve financial performance and reduce risk” (S. 20).

Kleine Fonds sind besser: Diseconomies of Scale in Active Management: Robust Evidence von Lubos Pastor, Robert F. Stambaugh, Lucian A. Taylor und Min Zhu vom 16. Juli 2021 (#114): “We take a deeper look at the robustness of evidence presented by P´astor, Stambaugh, and Taylor (2015) and Zhu (2018), who find that an actively managed mutual fund’s returns relate negatively to both fund size and the size of the active mutual fund industry. When we apply robust regression methods, we confirm both studies’ inferences about scale diseconomies at the fund and industry levels” (abstract). Mein Kommentar: Mein neuer Fonds ist noch klein, vgl. Nachhaltigster Aktienfonds? – Verantwortungsvolle (ESG) Geldanlage (prof-soehnholz.com)

Pro Aktienbruchstücke: Stock Price Level Effect von Charlotte Borsboom und Sascha Füllbrunn vom 20. August 2021 (#32): “Companies around the globe manage their stock prices in IPOs and through stock splits or stock repurchases to retain their stock price within a particular range … Our study contributes to .. previous studies by conducting a controlled online experiment on the existence and potential drivers of the stock price level effect. Based on the data of 900 US retail investors, we illustrate that investments are increased by 25% when stock prices are high compared to low. We identify two potential drivers of the stock price level effect. Our results demonstrate that the implementation of fractional purchases diminishes the effect. Additionally, the findings indicate that individuals’ investment decisions depend on the number of shares and not only on the amount to invest. Erasing the number of shares during the investment decision eliminates the stock price level effect” (S. 18).

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