Last updated: 18:15 / Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Montréal Carbon Pledge

Erste Asset Management Discloses CO2-Footprint of its Equity Funds

Erste Asset Management Discloses CO2-Footprint of its Equity Funds
  • The average CO2 intensity of the EAM equity funds amounts to 70.6% of the footprint of the MSCI World index
  • At 50% of the referential value, the CO2 footprint of the three sustainable flagship funds is even lower, and significantly so
  • “Erste Asset Management sees itself as pioneer in sustainable investments”, says Gerold Permoser, CIO of Erste Asset Management
  • “By publishing this key ratio we disclose to what extent our investments contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases.” added Permoser

As part of the Montréal Carbon Pledge which it signed as first asset management company in Austria in September 2015, Erste Asset Management has for the first time published the cumulative CO2 footprint of its equity funds. At 70.6%, the footprint falls nearly 30% short of the benchmark index, the MSC World (as of 30 October 2015). “Erste Asset Management sees itself as pioneer in sustainable investments”, says Gerold Permoser, CIO of the company in Vienna. “The climate conference in Paris reminds us how important the curtailing of the emission of greenhouse gases and a sustainable economy are in general. By publishing this key figure, we show to what extent our investments contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases.”

As Austrian market leader in the area of sustainability, Erste Asset Management offers three sustainable flagship equity funds, the CO2 footprint of each of which is even lower than that of the overall portfolio, as compared to the MSCI World index: Erste Responsible Stock America (45.4%), Erste Responsible Stock Global (40.7%), and Erste Responsible Stock Europe (39.9%). This way Erste Asset Management clearly demonstrates that a sustainable and ecological investment approach and yield are not mutually exclusive, but instead, complement each other. “We apply stringent criteria in the share selection and orientate ourselves on the basis of the environmental friendliness and sustainability of the respective companies,” as Permoser points out. This is also reflected by the impressive numbers of Erste Asset Management’s CO2 footprint.

After the assessment of the status quo, the next goals are expansion and optimization

By measuring and especially publishing the footprint, Erste Asset Management is taking another step towards strengthening its position as market leader in the field of sustainability. “To us at Erste Asset Management, sustainability also always means transparency. Therefore, there was no long discussion about whether or not to sign the Montréal Carbon Pledge.” At the moment, the company is preparing its next step. In the future, as soon as a sufficient reservoir of reliable data can be guaranteed, additional asset classes may be taken under the umbrella of the Montréal Carbon Pledge, such as corporate bonds or government bonds”.

Establishment of the CO2 footprint

Erste Asset Management establishes the CO2 footprint of its portfolios in a multi-step process: external rating agencies calculate the greenhouse emissions for all securities in the respective fund. Then the weighted average of the emissions of the securities held are calculated for each fund portfolio. The experts establish the total footprint of the measured equities held by Erste Asset Management by assigning weights across all funds, with the weights resulting from the share of the respective fund in terms of total assets under Erste AM’s management. The CO2 footprint accounts for the emission of all six greenhouse gases as defined by the Kyoto Protocol. The emission of the various gases is translated into a carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e: tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) to ensure the different gases are comparable in terms of their harmful effects on the climate at one glance. In order to facilitate comparability between companies of different sizes the emission of the carbon dioxide equivalent is related to sales in millions of USDs. This standardization is defined as CO2 intensity.

Montréal Carbon Pledge

The Montréal Carbon Pledge was launched on 25 September 2014 at the “PRI in Person” meeting in Montréal. This initiative is supported by PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) and UNEP FI (United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative).  The goal of the Montréal Pledge is to compile a list of signatories that manage assets worth in excess of USD 3,000 billion by the time of the world climate conference in Paris in December 2015. The Montréal Pledge tries to facilitate a higher degree of transparency in connection with the carbon footprint of equity portfolios and wants to contribute to its reduction in the long run.