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BlackRock and Fixed Income ETF Build Sustainable Product Range



BlackRock has launched a sustainable bond exchange-traded fund in response to growing demand for investments that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. The fund is an extension of the firm’s ESG and impact product set that includes active funds, index funds and ETFs.

Assets in sustainable investing grew 61% globally from 2012 to 2014 to USD$21.4 trillion. Using ETFs can be a transparent and cost-effective way to build ESG-driven portfolios.

The iShares Euro Corporate Bond Sustainability Screened 0-3yr UCITS ETF (SUSE) tracks the Barclays MSCI Euro Corporate 0-3 year Sustainability ex-Controversial Weapons Index, which includes short-term Euro-denominated investment grade bonds issued by corporates with an ESG rating of BBB or above, as determined by MSCI. Companies are rated on 37 different ESG factors including carbon emissions. Additionally, the index excludes debt from companies that are involved with controversial weapons, including cluster bombs, land mines and chemical and biological weapons. Bonds included in the index are issued by corporates from across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

Hannah Skeates, iShares Global Head of Sustainable Investments at BlackRock, commented: “Sustainable investing is going mainstream and it is no longer a niche pursuit. Investors are placing greater emphasis on transparency and the ESG practices of companies, regardless of whether they are investing in the company’s equity or debt. ETFs are one of the investment products of choice because they are easy to use and investors can see the process and methodology in selecting social and environmental characteristics, all implemented in a single trade.

“This is our first move into sustainable bond ETFs. It complements our European-domiciled sustainable equity ETFs, which has amassed almost USD$500m. Combined with the active and index funds within the BlackRock range, investors now have more choice for expressing their traditional investment views whilst taking into account the impacts of investment choices.”

This fund is physically-replicating and has a total expense ratio of 0.25%.

BlackRock currently manages more than USD$200 billion of assets across ESG screened and impact funds globally. iShares, BlackRock’s ETF business, is a global leader in sustainable ETF investing, and offers a range of developed and emerging equity, as well as corporate bond ETFs.




A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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