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Federal State Of Berlin’s Divestment Activities Supported By Oekom Research and Solactive



berlin by hans-jürgen2013 via flickr

The two organisations have been chosen by the Federal State of Berlin to support its long term divestment for public pension funds management.

Oekom research AG, a leading expert in ESG research and analysis and Solactive AG, the German multi-asset index provider specialized in the creation of customized financial indices will aid the development of a sustainable equity index to aid the disinvestment.

Berlin is one of the latest capitals to join the movement that has seen cities, such as Oslo and Stockholm, commit to divestment as a response to climate change.

In summer 2016, Berlin announced a plan to divest its reserve funds from companies involved in the extraction of fossil fuels (i.e. coal, oil and natural gas), or operating in disputable industries such as nuclear and arms, or that do not comply with the principles promoted by the UN Global Compact. To put the plan into action, a sustainable equity index will be developed in a joint collaboration by Oekom research and Solactive. The index, which will be customized to the State of Berlin’s divesting policies, not only aims to achieve the aforementioned qualitative goals but will also allocate funds to ESG-related investment objectives, while ensuring the ease of tradability of the index constituents.

For this project, Oekom research and Solactive were selected among other contestants by the Senate Department for Finance of Berlin thanks to the compelling index concept which was jointly pitched. Both companies have a long track record of experience in their respective fields and this collaboration brings together the best of both worlds – expertise in ESG rating with an in-depth know-how of index construction – in a combined solution.

“We received numerous excellent applications and concepts which proves that sustainability becomes an increasingly relevant topic for the financial sector”, says Dr. Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen, Senator for Finance of the State of Berlin. “I am convinced that with the decision for oekom research and Solactive, Berlin found very strong partners and will be able to set a new benchmark for sustainable investment strategies for public funds.“

Robert Haßler, CEO Oekom research, adds:

We are very much looking forward to support the Federal State of Berlin with our sustainability research and data about company-related climate risks.

“With our expertise as divestment partner for municipal climate pioneers such as the cities of Stuttgart or Münster as well as the long lasting close cooperation with Solactive in regards to sustainability indexes we surely will be able to make a meaningful contribution to the climate plans of Berlin.“

Steffen Scheuble, Chairman and founder of Solactive, explains: “As index providers, we see a high demand for sustainability indexes. A number of studies have shown that companies that do not follow sustainability strategies might lag in relative performance due to ESG related risks. Therefore, we are very proud to support – together with Oekom research – the State of Berlin with our sustainability index. When defining the index concept, we put a lot of effort in coming up with the best possible combination of sustainability and tradability of the composing shares.”

Oekom research already supports the capital of the German Federal State Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart, with its carbon services and filters out all the issuers within an investment universe that breach specifically defined exclusion criteria. In addition, the city of Münster, which has become the country’s first local authority to commit to decarbonisation, has tasked the rating agency with analysing its medium- and long-term investments in potentially climate-damaging or non-sustainable companies and projects. With now supporting Berlin, Stuttgart and Münster, Oekom research is partner of the spearhead of Germany´s municipal divestment movement.

Solactive and Oekom research have already been partnering in regards to several projects for sustainable investments. In May 2015, the Solactive Oekom Ethical Low Volatility Index was launched, which was created to track the price movements of low volatility stocks passing the ESG screenings of Oekom research. The lasting success of that project and an increasing demand in sustainability-indices proves that sustainable and responsible investment pays off. It becomes increasingly important to exclude companies from investments that do not comply with the strict sustainability criteria.


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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