S&P Global Ratings’ launch of ESG sections into credit rating reports, covered by the specialist press

S&P Global Ratings has announced that it has started to include ESG (environmental, social, and governance) sections within its credit rating reports on corporate entities. The new section signifies a move towards greater transparency across S&P Global Ratings’ credit analyses, particularly as market interest in ESG factors continues to increase.

The credit ratings agency has been phasing in the dedicated ESG sections, having already started with two sectors that have the greatest exposure to credit-relevant ESG factors: oil & gas and utilities. Throughout the course of the year, S&P Global Ratings expects to roll out the initiative to all major companies across every sector and smaller companies most exposed to ESG factors – representing approximately 40% of its rated corporate universe.

“We have long incorporated ESG considerations into our credit analysis,” says Michael Wilkins, Managing Director and Head of Sustainable Finance at S&P Global Ratings, “What we aim to do now is to more clearly underline to industry bodies, investors, and stakeholders how we do so.”

Following outreach from Moorgate, the news was covered by: Business Green here and here, Market Watch, Financial Times (behind paywall), Responsible Investor (behind paywall), Top 1000 Funds, GreenBiz, IPE, Markets Media, Bond Buyer, Environmental Finance (behind paywall), Institutional Asset Manager, Better Society (requires subscription) and Think Advisor.

S&P Global Ratings publishes its latest edition of Global Infrastructure Finance Outlook

What key trends do infrastructure investors face in 2019? For one, nationalist and populist movements are on the rise – creating an environment of heightened political risk, which investors may find hard to navigate. The result could weigh heavily on regulatory stability, as well as country risk or sovereign credit quality.

In tandem, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters are beginning to rise in prominence. Increasingly, investors are stepping up their focus in their investment mandates on companies that are seen as acting more sustainably.

Against this backdrop, the latest edition of Outlook keeps investors abreast of the most-read research from the past quarter – offering insights into how the Infrastructure segment is changing and, importantly, how it may yet evolve.

Outlook is available in PDF here

Moorgate compiles, edits and designs Infrastructure Finance Outlook.

S&P Global Ratings’ Michael Ferguson explores how California’s 100% renewable mandate will impact power markets; covered by the specialist press

In September, California Governor, Jerry Brown, unveiled a new gold standard for renewable energy in the U.S. – a mandate requiring the state to go 100% “green” by 2045. Yet for all the bill’s praise, a report published by S&P Global Ratings suggests that numerous technological and political challenges lie ahead.

As California edges towards its renewable goal, the economics of gas-fired generation promises to worsen. On the flip side, renewable energy will of course benefit though the extent of this will depend on the asset type. The durability and reliability of hydro and geothermal power, for instance, put these assets in pole position. Question marks remain over solar and wind, however:  the intermittent nature of these resources will, according to some estimates, necessitate a 200-fold increase in battery storage. Development in this sector has yet to truly take off.

Following Moorgate’s outreach, Climate Change News, Infrastructure Investor, Energy Manager Today, Energy Manager Today, NA Clean Energy, and Environmental Finance covered the news.

The Banker names Natixis’ Green and Sustainable Hub as its Team of the Month

The Banker has profiled Natixis’s Green and Sustainable Hub (GSH) as its Team of the Month. The hub, integral to all of Natixis’ work in green and sustainable finance sector, is helping to cement Natixis’ position as the leading reference bank for such activities.

Speaking with Orith Azoulay, Head of the GSH, and Thomas Girard, in charge of business development at the GSH, the article highlights some of the team’s achievements from the past year, including the first commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), real-estate loans and structured notes.

To read the full article, please click here

S&P Global Ratings and Resilience Economics’ joint report on the effects of weather events on corporate earning is covered by the specialist press.

The effect of climate risk and severe weather events on corporate earnings can be significant. If left unmitigated, the financial impact could increase over time as climate change makes disruptive weather events more frequent and severe. The report entitled “The Effects of Weather Events on Corporate Earnings are Gathering Force” was jointly released by S&P Global Ratings and Resilience Economics.

The news was covered in Edie, EurActiv, Bloomberg, BNN Bloomberg, Bloomberg Quint, Earther, The Star Business Journal, Oil Price, The TeCake, BlouinNews, The News Recorder, Washington Post, CTM File, EcoNews, Environmental Leader, Climate Alliance, and Triple Pundit.

Writing on environmental risk in credit ratings, S&P Global Ratings’ Michael Wilkins contributes to SEB’s paper The Green Bond

 Environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities are of growing interest to all market participants. With the potential to affect an entity’s capacity and willingness to meet its financial commitments in various ways, it is important to understand how S&P Global Ratings incorporates ESG factors into credit ratings. Michael Wilkins, Head of Sustainable Finance at S&P Global Ratings, explains.

The full piece was published in print.

Natixis’ Orith Azoulay and Louis Douady discuss the Green Weighting Factor in Environmental Finance

In an interview with Environmental Finance, Orith Azoulay, Head of Natixis’ Green and Sustainable Hub, and Louis Douady, Natixis’ Head of Environmental and Social Responsibility, discuss the bank’s new “green weighting factor”.

They explain how Natixis wanted to anticipate any incoming European regulation and introduce a highly versatile methodology which covers diverse industries while also working alongside existing taxonomies.

To read the article in full, please click here (please note the paywall).


Orith Azoulay, Global Head of Natixis’s Green and Sustainability Hub, discusses sustainable structured products in The Banker

Quoted in The Banker, Orith Azoulay, Global Head of Natixis’s Green and Sustainability Hub, explained that the growing trend for investors is “a top-down, cross-asset class commitment to ESG and/or green”.

However, Azoulay also noted that “the market has not defined per se what a green structured product is and how to assess its greenness”, and while common guidelines have been developed for other asset classes, a framework is still lacking for structured products.

To read the article in full, please click here (please note the paywall).

Miroslav Petkov, S&P Global Ratings, considers the growth of adaptation finance in the face of climate change, for the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership (CISL)

Following extreme weather events last year, the international community has issued multiple calls to strengthen infrastructure against extreme weather events and the expected impact of climate change. Writing for the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership (CISL), Miroslav Petkov, Director, S&P Global Ratings explores the need for and potential rise of adaptation infrastructure finance.

Read the full article here